NOVUS NY is Trinity Church Wall Street’s contemporary music orchestra, under the leadership of Trinity’s Director of Music, Julian Wachner. Hailed by the New Yorker as “expert and versatile musicians,” its members perform new music from all corners of the repertoire, meeting “every challenge with an impressive combination of discipline and imagination” (New York Classical Review).
In its annual appearances at the Prototype Festival, New York’s premiere festival of contemporary opera, NOVUS NY has helped pioneer a number of major new operas. These include Ellen Reid’s Winter’s Child and Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for music, in which NOVUS NY “negotiated the transitions through different musical styles with wondrous ease” (New York Times). This season, in addition to presenting workshop performances of Rev. 23 by Cerise Jacobs and Wachner, the orchestra brought new “dramatic clarity” and “a more specific view of the score” (Philadelphia Inquirer) to the New York City premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves, a finalist for the 2017 International Opera Award for World Premiere, and already reputed to be “among the finest operas of the new century” (New York Times).
NOVUS NY has forged strong links with other key players on the contemporary music scene. The orchestra collaborated on the world premiere performances of Daniel Felsenfeld’s Astrophysical Mass and Paola Prestini’s interdisciplinary Hubble Cantata, which drew an open-air audience of thousands to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The ensemble also gave the U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s A Letter of Rights and the world premiere of Laura Schwendinger’s opera Artemisia. Last January, Wachner led NOVUS NY in selections by Hannah Lash, Stewart Copeland, Sheila Silver, and Bright Sheng at Opera America’s New Opera Showcase. The ensemble’s recent recordings include Elena Ruehr: Averno, Prestini’s The Hubble Cantata, Trevor Weston Choral Works, and a three-CD set of Wachner’s orchestral works on the Musica Omnia label.
An integral part of Trinity’s musical outreach, NOVUS NY has been essential to several Trinity commissioning projects, including the long-term Mass Reimaginings project and works commissioned for Trinity’s Sunken Cathedral series. NOVUS NY is also the resident orchestra for the monthly Third Thursdays Concerts at One series, and has anchored such critically acclaimed festivals as Revolutionaries, The Stravinsky Festival, Celebrating Britten, Lamentatio, Twelve in ’12, Remember to Love, and Time’s Arrow, in which the orchestra presented four premieres last season. NOVUS NY’s Carnegie Hall debut, made with a formidable pairing of Ives and Ginastera, prompted the New York Times to declare: “Adventure and ambition go hand in hand at Trinity Wall Street.”