New Juilliard Ensemble (N.J.E.), led by founding director Joel Sachs and in its 23rd season, presents music by a variety of international composers writing in the most diverse styles. Its members are current students at Juilliard, who are admitted to the ensemble by audition. Student interest in the ensemble’s work is considerable, with more than 100 students participating each year, although the maximum size of compositions is normally 15-20 players. The ensemble appears regularly at MoMA’s Summergarden and has been a featured ensemble four times at the Lincoln Center Festival. It has premiered some 100 compositions.
In 2014, the New Juilliard Ensemble collaborated with Carnegie Hall on “UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa.” A highlight of the 2013-14 season was a collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Bicentennial Celebration with the U.S. premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg and Judith Weir. In November 2012, N.J.E. collaborated with Carnegie Hall on “Voices from Latin America”; in April 2011, with Carnegie Hall’s “Japan/NYC” festival; and in November 2009, with Carnegie Hall’s “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices” festival.
In spring 2009, the New Juilliard Ensemble toured Japan and in December 2009, they performed aleatory music at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with an exhibition of Persian and Turkish “divining” manuscripts.
The New Juilliard Ensemble performs in Juilliard’s FOCUS! festival. Recent FOCUS! festivals have included: “California: A Century of New Music” (2009); “Music at the Center: Composing an American Mainstream” (2010); “Polish Modern: New Directions in Polish Music Since 1945” (2011); “Sounds Re-Imagined: John Cage at 100” (2012); “The British Renaissance” (2013); and “Alfred Schnittke and His World” (2014); and “Nippon Gendai Ongaku: Japanese Music Since 1945” (2015).