Welcome to the Cygnus Ensemble
With its pairs of plucked strings, bowed strings and woodwinds, Cygnus has a precedent in the Elizabethan “broken consort”.
The members--Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Robert Ingliss, oboe; William Anderson and Oren Fader, classical and electric guitars/mandolin/banjo; Calvin Wiersma, violin; Susannah Chapman, violoncello--are all virtuoso players with a great wealth of experience with some of our most cherished musical institutions, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Players.
Cygnus has given a concert series in New York City since 1994. Concert tours include Russia, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Mexico, and the U.S. Recent honors include a Pulitzer Prize finalist (“Brion,” by Harold Meltzer, written for Cygnus), and a commissioning award from Chamber Music America (Akemi Naito’s “Mindscape; Four Poetic Images”. Cygnus has had two works featured on Art of the States, presently, Wuorinen's Sonata for Guitar and Piano--http://artofthestates.org Art of the States broadcasts outstanding American music in 50 countries around the world.
--Milton Babbitt's Swan Song No. 1 is a major capstone of American modernism that is astonishing for both its originality and its precision and clarity.
--Cygnus gave two sold-out performances of a new chamber opera at the Guggenheim Museum's Works and Process series: Jonathan Dawe's “Prometheus”.
--Matthew Greenbaum’s “Nameless” (Cygnus, Momenta String Quartet and 3 singers), is a monumental work of Jewish sacrad music.
--In February and March of 2012, Cygnus was in residence at the Library of Congress, initiating a collaboration with Theater Director Joy Zinoman, leading to some very unique collaborations where music and theater complement one another. The residency offered the opportunity to showcase important Cygnus repertoire, including the premiere of Mario Davidovsky's Ladino Songs.
Cygnus has 4 recordings on Bridge, CRi, and Furious Artisans, and appears on other recordings on Naxos, Albany, and other labels.
Dedicated to helping the next generation of composers, Cygnus is in residence at Sarah Lawrence College, and at the City University of New York's Graduate Center. In 2005 Cygnus expanded its Sarah Lawrence residency through the Chamber Music America residency program.
Alanna Maharajh Stone
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