The CIM New Music Ensemble was first formed as the CIM Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1973 by composer Donald Erb (a precursor to the ensemble was CIM’s “Portfolio” Series in the early 1970s). Its first concert was given on October 10, 1973 and was devoted to the music of Bernard Heiden, with whom Erb had studied at Indiana University. Since then, the ensemble has been led by Larry Baker and Margaret Brouwer; it is currently led by Keith Fitch, head of the CIM Composition Department.

Devoted to the music of our time - as well as classics of the twentieth century - in recent years, the ensemble has hosted many of today’s leading composers, including Claude Baker, Chen Yi, Donald Crockett, James Mobberly, Shulamit Ran, David Rakowski, Augusta Read Thomas, Steven Stucky and Joan Tower, among others. Members of the ensemble have gone on to found such new music ensembles and series as Classical Revolution Cleveland, FiveOne Experimental Orchestra and Ars Futura, as well as being members of such nationally-recognized groups as wild Up and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Recent alumni of the ensemble include the 2014 Gold Medal Laureate of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Jinjoo Cho. For several years, the ensemble partnered with the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland as part of their concert series; upcoming plans include concerts at the Cleveland Museum of Art and continuing a series of performances at local universities.

Participation in the ensemble is through audition and concerts take place throughout the academic year.