Led by Artistic Director and cellist Clarice Jensen, the AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE (ACME) is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The flexible ensemble presents fresh work by living composers alongside the classics of the contemporary. ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. NPR calls them "contemporary music dynamos," and The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” Time Out New York reports, “Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.” ACME was honored by ASCAP during its 10th anniversary season in 2015 for the “virtuosity, passion, and commitment with which it performs and champions American composers.”
ACME has performed at leading international venues including Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Kitchen, (Le) Poisson Rouge, National Sawdust, Columbia University's Miller Theatre, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Symphony Space, The Morgan Library, The Stone, Joyce Theater, Montclair's Peak Performances, Washington Performing Arts, UCLA's Royce Hall, Stanford Live, Constellation Chicago, Chicago’s Millennium Park, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Jordan Hall in Boston, Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, The Library of Congress in DC, Virginia Tech, Newman Center at the University of Denver, Flynn Center, Duke Performances, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, Dartmouth's Hopkins Center, The Satellite in Los Angeles, Triple Door in Seattle, Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Melbourne Recital Hall and Sydney Opera House in Australia, and at festivals including the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Poland, All Tomorrow's Parties in England, and Big Ears in Knoxville, TN.
ACME’s roster includes Timo Andres, piano; Hideaki Aomori, clarinet; Emily Brausa, cello; Caleb Burhans, violin/viola; Peter Dugan, piano; Isabel Hagen, viola; Alicia Lee, clarinet; Laura Lutzke, violin; Caitlin Lynch, viola; Grey Mcmurray, guitar; Andrew Rehrig, flute; Yuki Numata Resnick, violin; Ben Russell, violin; Caroline Shaw, violin; Chihiro Shibayama, percussion; Alex Shiozaki, violin; Nadia Sirota, viola; Brian Snow, cello; Mary Jo Stilp, violin; and Chris Thompson, percussion.
ACME has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, New World, New Amsterdam, and Butterscotch Records. In October 2016, ACME's recording with thereminist Carolina Eyck Fantasias will be released on Butterscotch Records. ACME will release its first portrait album on Sono Luminus in spring 2017, featuring music by members Caroline Shaw, Timo Andres, and Caleb Burhans, plus John Luther Adams. ACME is also featured on Jóhann Jóhannsson’s album Orphée, out September 2016 on Deutsche Grammophon. ACME's recording of ACMED, which the group commissioned from Mick Barr in 2012, is slated for future release. ACME's discography includes Max Richter’s 8-hour piece, Sleep, released on Deutsche Grammophon in fall 2015; Joseph Byrd: NYC 1960-63, the first commercial recording of the music of rediscovered American Fluxus composer Joseph Byrd, on New World Records; William Brittelle’s electro-acoustic chamber work Loving the Chambered Nautilus on New Amsterdam Records; and Jefferson Friedman's On In Love with vocalist Craig Wedren.