The St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble (= SLCE) was formed in 1974 when a group of 20 musicians offered a season of concerts at the Church of Saint-Luke-in-the-Fields in New York City's Greenwich Village. The programs, which included chamber works, music for chamber orchestra, chamber operas, early music on original instruments, and premiere performances of works by leading American composers, reflected the versatility and cohesiveness that have become SLCE's hallmarks.
The Chamber Ensemble consists of virtuoso artists who perform nationally and internationally. Playing in a variety of configurations, the Ensemble performs repertoire ranging from Baroque suites to contemporary works of large, mixed ensembles. The Ensemble presents an annual subscription series in New York City at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and at The Brooklyn Museum. Members of the SLCE are Artists-in-Residence at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, New York, where, under the direction of Andre Previn, SLCE collaborates with soloists including cellist Yo Yo Ma, violinist Joshua Bell, soprano Kathleen Battle, and pianists Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax and Peter Serkin. In honour of SLCE’s 20th anniversary in 1994, SLCE comrnissioned a piano and wind trio from Andre Previn, which was performed with the composer and which was released on Arabesque Recordings in 1997.
Characterized by a commitment to ensemble playing, diverse programming, high-quality educational programs, and collaborations with a variety of performing arts organizations, SLCE has created a distinctive, vital identity, establishing a place for itself among the nation's finest musical institutions.