New York Polyphony
Praised for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts,” (National Public Radio) New York Polyphony is regarded as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world. The four men, “singers of superb musicianship and vocal allure,” (The New Yorker) apply a modern touch to repertoire that ranges from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary compositions. Their dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered Renaissance and medieval works, has not only earned New York Polyphony critical acclaim, but also helped to move early music into the classical mainstream.
Commissioning new works has been central to the mission of New York Polyphony since their founding in 2006. Both in performance and on recording, the ensemble has demonstrated a commitment to presenting contemporary compositions that explore the boundaries between ancient and modern music. They have forged relationships with numerous composers, including established artists such as Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Berger and Jackson Hill, emerging talents Bora Yoon and Gregory Brown, and prominent figures such as Gabriel Jackson and Ivan Moody. Most recently, New York Polyphony premiered “Amid a crowd of stars” composed for the ensemble and the Trinity University Chamber Singers by Norwegian composer Andrew Smith.
The ensemble’s growing discography includes two GRAMMY®-nominated releases and albums that have topped the “best of” lists of The New Yorker, Gramophone, and BBC Music Magazine. Called a “spacious, radiant retreat” by The New York Times, their current release, Sing thee Nowell, scored New York Polyphony its second GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance category.
With the 2013 release of Times go by Turns, the ensemble’s fourth album, New York Polyphony continued “to claim a spot as one of the finest small vocal groups performing today.” (Audiophile Audition) Commended as “a complex, clear-eyed yet still painfully beautiful tapestry,” (Gramophone) Times go by Turns amassed substantial critical acclaim. In addition to being named one of iTunes 10 Best Classical Releases of 2013, the album garnered a GRAMMY® nomination.
New York Polyphony released endBeginning on BIS Records in early 2012. Featuring rare and never-before recorded works from the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, the album was hailed as a “gorgeous, reflective program” by National Public Radio and selected as one of the ‘Top Ten Notable Classical Music Recordings of 2012′ by The New Yorker.
“A stunning tour through chant, polyphony and renaissance harmonies,” (Minnesota Public Radio) New York Polyphony’s 2010 effort Tudor City spent three weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard classical album chart. It has been featured on Danish Public Radio, American Public Radio and NPR’s All Things Considered.
New York Polyphony’s debut album I sing the birth was released in 2007. An intimate meditation on the Christmas season, the disc garnered unanimous praise. Gramophone named it “one of the season’s best,” BBC Music Magazine selected it as ‘Editor’s Christmas Choice’, and Classic FM Magazine (UK) deemed it “a disc for all seasons.”
New York Polyphony has toured extensively, participating in major concert series and festivals around the world. Highlights include Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series; Rheingau Musik Festival, Thüringer Bachwochen (Germany); Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (Netherlands); Stiftskonzerte Oberösterreich (Austria); Festival de Música de Morelia (Mexico); Elora Festival (Canada); and Choral at Cadogan Hall in London. They have been featured on Performance Today for American Public Media, Footprints to Paradise: A Medieval Christmas for Public Radio International, and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. In December 2011, New York Polyphony made its national television debut on The Martha Stewart Show.
Recent engagements include debut performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, residencies at Dartmouth College and Stanford University, and appearances under the aegis of the Utrecht Early Music Festival.
NEW YORK POLYPHONY is:
Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
Craig Phillips, bass