photo: Jacob Blickenstaff
Critically acclaimed for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts,” (NPR) and as “singers of superb musicianship and vocal allure” (The New Yorker), New York Polyphony is one of the foremost vocal chamber ensembles active today. Their innovative programming spans Gregorian chant to contemporary commissions, and their focus on familiar and rare works of the 12-17th centuries has helped bring early music to modern audiences.
“New York Polyphony has gained a thoroughly deserved place at the top of the U.S. vocal tree.”
Early Music Today
Founded in 2006, the quartet’s growing discography includes two GRAMMY-nominated albums, and many of their releases have topped the “best of” lists of The New Yorker, Gramophone, and The New York Times. Their release And the sun darkened (2021, BIS) received accolades from publications worldwide: BBC Music Magazine hailed it as “imaginatively programmed” and “immaculately sung,” Early Music America called the disc “radiant,” and Klassik Heute applauded the album’s “flawlessly pure sound that amazes the listener.” Lamentationes (2019, BIS) was a finalist in the 2020 Gramophone Awards and praised by Classics Today as “perfect ensemble singing, ideally recorded.” It features Francisco de Peñalosa’s Lamentationes Jeremiae Feria V, which was used as part of Aleph Earth, a groundbreaking audiovisual piece developed in collaboration with the University of Oregon’s Artificial Intelligence Creative Practice Research Group.
Missa Charles Darwin (2017, Navona Records) features American composer Gregory W. Brown’s innovative setting of the writings of Charles Darwin; New York Polyphony has twice performed the work at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin underneath the largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world. Roma Æterna (2016, BIS) debuted at #4 on the Billboard Classical chart and was hailed as “resplendent and elegant” by the San Francisco Chronicle. 2014’s Sing thee Nowell (BIS) earned the group a second GRAMMY nomination in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category, having earned their first GRAMMY nomination in 2018 for Times go by Turns (BIS) in the same category.
New York Polyphony tours extensively, performing in some of the world’s finest concert halls and participating in major festivals at home and abroad. Engagements have included Wigmore and Cadogan Halls (London), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Stavanger Kammermusikkfestival (Norway) in 2018 and 2023, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston) in 2017 and 2022, Taipei International Choral Festival, Heidelberger Frühling (Germany), Tage Alter Musik Regensburg (Germany), Festival Internacional de Música Abvlensis (Spain), Cartagena Festival International de Música (Colombia), and Early Music Vancouver. They presented Jonathan Berger’s opera Visitations at Bing Concert Hall as part of their 2013 residency at Stanford University. As of 2023, the quartet has performed in all but eight US states.
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New York Polyphony is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts service organization.
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