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ACME: Chamber Masterpieces by Weinberg, Shostakovich, Górecki at the Morgan Library

Thursday, April 18 at 7:30pm
ACME: Chamber Masterpieces
The Morgan Library & Museum
New York, NY

Described by San Francisco Classical Voice as “flawless urban sophisticates at their finest,” American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) pays homage to the late, largely unsung Polish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg with an elegiac chamber music program that includes his exquisite Piano Quintet Op. 18, plus works by Henryk Górecki and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Weinberg, Piano Quintet, Op. 18
Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
Górecki, String Quartet No. 3, select movements

Presented in cooperation with the Polish Cultural Institute New York. 

ACME performs Muhly, Cage, Friedman, Andriessen & more


Wednesday, March 27 at 8pm
ACME: Brutal + Sublime
The CenterStage at Reston Community Center
Reston, VA

On Wednesday, March 27, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) performs a new concert program called Brutal + Sublime that juxtaposes musical extremes in an ecstatic dance of dissonance and serenity.

The program includes Nico Muhly’s Big Time for percussion and string quartet, Timothy Andres’ I Found it by the Sea for piano quartet, Mick Barr’s ACMED, selections from Jefferson Friedman’s Grammy-nominated String Quartet No. 3, John Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts, and Louis Andriessen’s iconic Workers Union.

ACME players for this concert include Caroline Shaw, violin; Ben Russell, violin; Caleb Burhans, viola; Clarice Jensen, cello; Peter Dugan, piano; and Chris Thompson, percussion.

Lionheart with ACME: Wayfaring Stranger at Montclair State University Peak Performances


Lionheart Vocal Ensemble and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) take the stage at Montclair State University Peak Performances with a special concert program: Wayfaring Stranger, featuring the East Coast Premiere of Ingram Marshall’s PsalmBook.

The evening sees the two groups offering an ode to wanderlust with a selection of works including Marshall’s iconic Fog Tropes, pieces by Phil Kline and Laura Nyro, vocal music from the 14th and 16th centuries, and the traditional Appalachian folk song from which the program draws its name. For PsalmBook, composer Ingram Marshall draws inspiration from early American psalmody. Writes Thomas Busse for San Francisco Classical Voice: “[Marshall’s] PsalmBook deserves serious consideration for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize.”

Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8pm
Lionheart & ACME: Wayfaring Stranger
at Montclair State University Peak Performances
Montclair, NJ

Save the Date: Phil Kline, Theo Bleckmann & ACME give World Premieres at BAM

Composer Phil Kline

World Premiere: Out Cold / Zippo Songs
Music and Lyrics by Phil Kline
with Theo Bleckmann and ACME

October 25 - 27, 2012 at 7:30
BAM Fishman Space

Out Cold is a song cycle with music and lyrics by Phil Kline featuring vocalist Theo Bleckmann and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME). It takes its cue from Schubert’s great romantic song cycle Winterreise (winter journey) as seen through the filter of Frank Sinatra’s great torch song album Only The Lonely. Here the winter landscape is replaced by a mythical bar at 2:45am, with a man haunted by the past and searching for something, singing sad and beautiful songs with a ten-piece lounge band from a dark corner of heaven.

Zippo Songs originated when Kline discovered the practice of scratching poems onto the sides of Zippo lighters by American GIs in Vietnam. These inscriptions contain a world of emotion that speak purely and without political commentary. The songs follow like a harrowing series of haikus, expressing the gamut of emotions young men feel in the throes of war.  These performances mark the World Premiere of a new version of Zippo Songs arranged for a seven piece ensemble.

ACME plays All Tomorrow’s Parties, Ecstatic Music Fest, Stanford Lively Arts, more

Line-up for All Tomorrow's Parties

This March, ACME joins a star-studded line-up at All Tomorrow’s Parties, the legendary music festival in the UKThis year’s festival was curated by indie music icon Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, who ACME shared bills with earlier this season.

The festival follows two other high profile appearances by ACME.  On March 1, they’ll be at
New York’s Ecstatic Music Fest alongside Mariam Wallentin of the Pitchfork-praised Wildbirds & Peacedrums performing a new song cycle by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson.  And on March 4 they’ll be at Stanford Lively Arts with Lionheart vocal ensemble, performing music by two American composers - Phil Kline and Ingram Marshall, including a World Premiere by Marshall.  Later that month, ACME will again play the music of Phil Kline, this time with Theo Bleckmann at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts on March 23.

In May, ACME visits The Kitchen for a two-night run celebrating the release of William Brittelle’s Loving the Chambered Nautilus on New Amsterdam Records on May 11 & 12.  Then on May 14, they’ll appear at the acclaimed Look & Listen Festival at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

Upcoming dates for ACME:

3.01.12 Ecstatic Music Fest with Mariam Wallentin & Mikael Karlsson 
3.04.12 Stanford Lively Arts with Lionheart 
3.09.12 All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Jeff Mangum 
3.10.12 All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Jeff Mangum 
3.11.12 All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Jeff Mangum
3.23.12 Flynn Center for the Performing Arts with Phil Kline & Theo Bleckmann
5.11.12 The Kitchen with William Brittelle & Mick Barr
5.12.12 The Kitchen with William Brittelle & Mick Barr
5.14.12 Look & Listen Festival

ACME in NY Times, North American Tour with A Winged Victory for the Sullen


ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) just gave a special concert at Joe’s Pub co-presented by Manhattan New Music Project and Sequenza21 showcasing new compositions by composers from around the world.  Steve Smith for the New York Times writes:

More than 200 composers from around the world applied to have works performed by ACME, and nine were picked by a small jury. Two judges, Christian Carey and Hayes Biggs, also provided pieces for the program. The composers selected came from as far afield as California and England. […] the concert offered a personable panoply of individual styles. […] another echo of the Internet’s power to span unbridgeable distances and inspire connections previously unimagined. [New York Times]

Next, ACME is on the road with A Winged Victory for the Sullen (Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, Dustin O’Halloran) for a North American tour from October 29 through November 15, 2011. The group is performing music from A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s self-titled debut album, which was released on Erased Tapes/Kranky to great critical acclaim on September 14, 2011.

Listen to some of what they’ll be playing below:

North American Tour Dates: ACME with A Winged Victory for the Sullen

October 29: St. Mary’s Hamilton Village (Philadelphia, PA)
October 30: West Park Presbyterian Church (New York, NY)
October 31: Casa Del Popolo (Montreal, QC)
November 1: The Drake Hotel (Toronto, ON)
November 2: Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, PA)
November 3: Southgate House (Newport, KY)
November 5: Off Broadway (St. Louis, MO)
November 6: Lincoln Hall (Chicago, IL)
November 7: The Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis, MN)
November 10: The Triple Door (Seattle, WA)
November 12: The Holocene (Portland, OR)
November 14: The Independent (San Francisco, CA)
November 15: The Satellite (Los Angeles, CA)

For more information on ACME, visit

On In Love’s Craig Wedren Stuns Viewers with Groundbreaking 360-Degree Music Video

Critics and bloggers have been abuzz over On In Love singer and librettist Craig Wedren's mesmerizing panoramic music video for his new single “Are We”.  The former Shudder To Think frontman is taking time from film and TV scoring (School of RockUnited States of TaraWet Hot American Summer) to complete a new album entitled Wand.  Watch the video at

Wedren’s project engages the audience throughout the length of the piece. […] Do take your time exploring each scene to fully absorb the oomph." [NPR All Songs Considered]

"While you won’t get the iPhone augmented reality feel the Black Eyed Peas were going for, you will get an experience that’s about a million times more fluid and interesting. […] This one takes the cake for one-upping all the multi-billion dollar bands." [Backbeat

Of course, Wedren is no stranger to innovation.  On In Love, his collaboration with ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) and composer Jefferson Friedman, sees Wedren and Friedman exploring archetypal song themes and using a powerful, hybrid compositional style that combines popular song forms with the detail and complexity of chamber music writing.  Recently presented as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival in New York, On In Love reflects the deeply forward-thinking sensibility of its collaborators, offering music that is as exhilarating as it is fulfilling.

For more info, video and audio, check out On In Love on

On In Love: “reconnecting classical and pop music”

Craig WedrenWhen Classical TV asked composer and writer George Grella to survey the landscape of contemporary music, he brought up Jefferson Friedman’s On In Love, a riveting new project written for post-punk rock vocalist Craig Wedren of Shudder To Think fame and the indie chamber group ACME.

"Friedman […] deliberately brings together the two strands of his musical life, progressive rock and classical, into music that is rock for a chamber ensemble.  The musicians and instrumentation allow him to write in the type of polyrhythmic and polyphonic detail that is inappropriate for a rock band, and he does so inside recognizable verse-chorus-verse song structures, conveyed via Wedren’s powerful, extroverted tenor and with the sweetening of amplification and audio processing of the instruments.  The result has touches of Led Zeppelin, and is often more rock than Radiohead […].  The songs are a doorway reconnecting classical and pop music across a slender divide, an easy way for rock and classical audiences to enjoy each other’s company and music." [George Grella for Classical TV]

On In Love will be part of the Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall in New York on January 22, 2011.

For more information, video and audio, check out On In Love on

Members of ACME appear on Arcade Fire’s latest release

The Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

ACME is also featured in two new additions to the Bernstein Artists roster: On In Love, a new work by Jefferson Friedman with Shudder To Think vocalist Craig Wedren, and Psalm Book, by composer Ingram Marshall which also features Lionheart vocal ensemble.