The Indiana University New Music Ensemble, with a core of eighteen virtuoso instrumentalists, dedicates its efforts to performing a broad spectrum of contemporary music, focusing on works from the recent past and giving many world premieres with the composer present, but also presenting significant ensemble works from the 20th century. A season's repertoire will include music by IU students and faculty, guest composers, and other composers from around the world. To date, ten CDs featuring the New Music Ensemble and music by IU faculty composers have been released. There are also many live audio and video recordings of the ensemble available online, at Soundcloud, YouTube and IUMusicLive.
Soloists that have collaborated in performance with the ensemble include guests Wu Man, Claire Chaise, Kate Soper, Stephen Copes, Steve Mackey, Michael Lowenstern, Sang Mee Lee, Karl Paulnack, Solungga Liu, Yuval Gotlibovich, David Taylor, Summer Aebker, Erin Helgeson Torres and Nathan Fischer; faculty members Jorja Fleezanis, Simin Ganatra, John Rommel, Jeff Nelsen, Thomas Robertello, Kate Lukas, William Ludwig, Edward Gazouleas, Linda Strommen, Howard Klug, James Campbell, Patricia Stiles, Yael Weiss, Mark Kaplan, Mary Ann Hart, Eric Kim, Sung-Mi Im and Ik-Hwan Bae; and numerous student singers and instrumentalists. Alumni of the ensemble include Jeremy Denk, Winston Choi, Bella Hristova, Madalyn and Cicely Parnas, Edgar Myer and Kenny Aronoff, to just name a few.
Founded in 1974 by Frederick Fox and directed since 1992 by David Dzubay, the other directors of the group have been Harvey Sollberger (1983-89), Claude Baker (1989-90), and Eugene O'Brien (1990-92). In addition to presenting a series of six concerts each year on the Bloomington campus, the New Music Ensemble is active touring, and has performed extensively beyond the borders of Indiana. In 1977 it performed at the Eighth Annual Inter-American Music Festival at the Library of Congress. The NME made its New York debut in 1981 at Merkin Hall as part of Indiana University's week-long concert series entitled Music from IU. In March 1985, the ensemble again performed in New York City as part of a tour which included Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Champaign-Urbana. In 1987, the ensemble performed a concert in Davies Hall as part of the San Francisco Symphony's New and Unusual Music Series, and in 1989 performed in Columbia University's Miller Theatre. Other appearances have included a return to New York City's Merkin Hall in 1995, a residency at the 1997 June in Buffalo Festival, a featured performance at the 1998 National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc., a performance of Pierre Boulez's Grawmeyer Prize-winning sur incises at the University of Louisville in 2002, and a tour of the west coast during March 2003 that included performances in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and a tour of the east coast in 2007 that included performances in Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York. The ensemble performed in April 2010 at the DAM International Festival of Young Musicians in Prishtina, Kosovo.
In May 2018, the New Music Ensemble will perform a concert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City celebrating the opening of IU's Gateway Center in Mexico City.