The American Chamber Ensemble, directed by pianists Blanche Abram and Marilyn Lehman and clarinetist Naomi Drucker, has presented concerts for more than 40 years. In residence at Hofstra University, ACE is a consortium of distinguished musicians whose concerts explore the music for clarinet and/or piano with strings, woodwinds and/or voice.
ACE is dedicated to presenting the music of living American composers and has commissioned and presented world premieres by Elie Siegmeister, Meyer Kupferman, Vally Weigl, Max Lifchitz, David Hollister, Joelle Wallach, Albert Tepper, Marga Richter, Dana Richardson, Edward Smaldone, Jerry Rizzi, Katherine Hoover, Josef Alexander and Herbert Deutsch.
They have performed music by American composers Morton Gould, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Leonard Bernstein, Judith Lang Zaimont, Vally Weigl, Philip James, Miriam Gideon, Daniel Gregory Mason, Charles Ives, George Kleinsinger, Douglas Moore, Amy Beach, George Gershwin, Alan Hovhaness, Peter Schickele, Robert Starer and many others. They have recorded a number of these works for Elysium, Leonarda, Gasparo, Soundspells, Cala, Dionysus and 4Tay
Because ACE is Long Island based, it has, since 1980, included a work celebrating the Festival of Long Island Composers at each concert. The purpose is to help our audience realize that today's composer is their neighbor whose contribution to our culture, although relatively unrecognized, is very important.
Core members of the American Chamber Ensemble are Blanche Abram, piano, Naomi Drucker, clarinet, Eriko Sato, violin, Deborah Wong, violin, Lois Martin, viola, Chris Finckel, cello, Marilyn Sherman Lehman, piano, Dorothy Darlington, oboe, and Braden Toan, bassoon.
The American Chamber Ensemble was featured in a June 2005 article in "The Clarinet" celebrating their 40th anniversary. Read page 1 here, page 2 here and page 3 here. Article reprinted with kind permission of "The Clarinet" Magazine.
Blanche Abram and Naomi Drucker were awarded the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Long Island Sound Award on April 22, 2007 at Hofstra University. See a photo here and an article and political recognition here.