Trinity Church Wall Street’s new music orchestra, NOVUS NY, is a key player on the contemporary music scene. Under the leadership of Julian Wachner, its “expert and versatile musicians” (The New Yorker) perform new music from all corners of the repertoire, meeting “every challenge with an impressive combination of discipline and imagination” (New York Classical Review). The orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut, made with a formidable pairing of Ives and Ginastera, prompted The New York Times to declare that “adventure and ambition go hand in hand at Trinity Wall Street.”
With its annual appearances at the Prototype Festival, New York’s premier celebration of contemporary opera, NOVUS NY and Trinity Church Wall Street have partnered in the development of several major new works. These include Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music; Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves, named “Best New Opera for 2016” by the Music Critics Association of North America; and Ellen Reid’s Winter’s Child, which was later revised in collaboration with librettist Roxie Perkins and retitled p r i s m. NOVUS NY performed in the East Coast premiere of p r i s m, in the Prototype Festival production at New York’s LaMaMa, and the opera went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2019. Last season’s Prototype highlights also included the ensemble’s East Coast premiere of Reid’s Dreams of the New World, and the world premiere of David T. Little’s revised version of Am I Born.
NOVUS NY has forged strong links with many of today’s leading composers, collaborating with Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Daniel Felsenfeld, Jonathan Newman, and Wachner on Trinity’s “Mass Reimaginings” commissioning project, and giving world premiere performances of Laura Schwendinger’s opera Artemisia and Prestini’s interdisciplinary The Hubble Cantata, which drew an open-air audience of thousands to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. In recent seasons the ensemble also gave the U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s A Letter of Rights, presented an all-Terry Riley program at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and performed selections by Hannah Lash, Stewart Copeland, Sheila Silver, and Bright Sheng at Opera America’s New Opera Showcase. In 2019, the orchestra gave concert performances of new Trinity co-commissions by Daniel Schlosberg and Nico Muhly and reprised a fully staged Artemisia at Trinity’s Time’s Arrow festival.
The ensemble’s recent recordings include Prestini’s The Hubble Cantata, Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone, Trevor WestonChoral Works, Elena Ruehr: Averno, a three-CD set of Wachner’s orchestral works, the new opera Anna Christie by Edward Thomas; Reid’s p r i s m; Epistle, featuring works by Wachner and Little; and Philip Glass’s Symphony No. 5.