The Indiana University New Music Ensemble dedicates its efforts to performing a broad spectrum of contemporary music, focusing on works from the past thirty years, but also presenting significant works from earlier in the 20th century. Along with solo, chamber, and large ensemble works by composers from around the world, a typical concert includes music by a guest composer and a work by a member of the Indiana University Composition Department, the latter of which is recorded soon after the concert. To date, ten CDs featuring the New Music Ensemble and music by IU faculty composers have been released.
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 four concerts each year on the Bloomington campus, the New Music Ensemble is active in 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. Most recently, the New Music Ensemble performed in April 2010 at the DAM International Festival of Young Musicians in Prishtina, Kosovo.