Members of New Music ensemble pose with instruments and a toy piano

New Music Ensemble

The University of Texas New Music Ensemble is widely regarded as one of the best student ensembles of its kind in the United States. Featuring solo, chamber and large ensemble works by living composers and those of the recent past, the ensemble presents five concerts each season, with a focus on music from the past twenty years.

Since the inception of the Visiting Composers Series in 1995, the ensemble has featured works of world-class guest composers who also present an open forum on their works and give master classes to students in the composition division. 

The New Music Ensemble has been called "the best hidden treasure in Austin's classical music scene" (Austin Chronicle), and performances by the ensemble have won "Best Performance of a New Work" awards from the Austin Critics' Table on several occasions.



Ryan Kelly

Associate Director, Butler School of Music

Associate Director of Bands

Director, New Music Ensemble
Director, Wind Symphony
Associate Professor of Practice in Conducting  

Read More about Ryan Kelly


New Music Ensemble consists of sixteen core members made up primarily of the most proficient students in the Butler School. It is open to qualified students university-wide by audition.  


Audition Info



M-W-F,  12–2p   
MRH 6.222



"Into Thin Air" from Oblivion
Nathan Lincoln De Cusatis
Ryan Kelly, conductor

Bates Recital Hall 
Austin, TX

Student Composer looks into camera with electronic keyboard on his shoulder

New Music Ensemble collaborates with the Butler School composition division to regularly present world premieres of outstanding student compositions.


Recent visiting composers 

Andy Akiho
Viet Cuong
Michael Daugherty
David Del Tredici 
Annie Gosfield 
Augusta Read Thomas 
Joan Tower
Chen Yi

Recent Visiting Musician headshots




Upcoming Performances

A white man in a white shirt and black jacket sits outside with his arms crossed and smiles.
Event Status
October 24, 2022, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Michael Daugherty, visiting Composer
Page Stephens, mezzo soprano
Donnie Ray Albert, baritone

This Land Sings

+ more...

Members of New Music ensemble pose with instruments and a toy piano
Event Status
December 5, 2022, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

The Moon and Sixpence


Scream and Light Up the Sky

Missy Mazzoli stands in front of urban decay, the New York City skyline in the distant background
Event Status
February 15, 2023, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Missy Mazzoli, visiting composer
Ellen Sirower, piano

Ecstatic Science

Still Life with Avalanche

+ more...

Portrait of Raven Chacon
Event Status
March 8, 2023, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Raven Chacon, visiting composer & 2022 Pulitzer Prize winner

The Fried Room 

Voiceless Mass

+ more...

Portrait of visiting composer Marcos Balter
Event Status
April 15, 2023, 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Marcos Balter, visiting composer
Sean Riley, violin

Bladed Stance

Violin Concerto

Empty Space
Empty Space

Previous Seasons



Gabriela Lena Frank
Danza de los Saqsampillos (marimba version)
Zapatos de Cincha

Olivia Davis
Luisa y Alejandro

Andrew Rodriquez
Loved and Feard

Brandon Scott Rumsey
the Sparrows

Jessie Montgomery
Starburst (chamber version)

Takuma Itoh
Adaptation Variations

Carla Lucero

Ian Dicke
Grand Central




Nabil Abad
Dynamic Movement

Andy Akiho  
Speaking Tree

David Biedenbender  
Red Vesper

Ian Dicke
Assembly Lines

Annie Gosfield  
Detroit Industry

Mary Kouyoumdjian
The Vanishing Dark

Hannah Lash  

Steven Mackey  
Blue Notes and Other Clashes

Nathan Nokes
Don't Feed the Trolls, world premiere

Monte Taylor  
Sigil III: Nibiru, world premiere

Christopher Trapani  
Sparrow Episodes, US premiere

Mattea Williams
Bloomworld premiere



Viet Cuong
Extra Fancy
Electric Aroma

Paul Dooley
Point Blank

Jennifer Higdon
Wissahickon poeTrees

Jennifer Higdon
Splendid Wood
American Canvas 

Matthew Lyons
Guitar Concerto

Harold Meltzer
Variations on a Summer Day

Darius Milhaud
La Creation du monde, Op. 81

Steven Stucky
Boston Fancies

Thomas B. Yee  
The Musician's Guide to Philosophy,
world premiere


lists are partial