Explore Bio

Matthew Murphy


Praised by The New York Times as “an ensemble that plays by its own rules” and “a trustworthy purveyor of new sounds,” Either/Or has been at the forefront of New York’s contemporary music scene since 2004. Winner of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, Either/Or focuses on new, recently composed, and rare works for various and often times unconventional instrumentations. Programmed by director Richard Carrick and guest curator Christopher McIntyre, the group’s projects are brought to life by its roster of 17 world-class musicians and special guests.

Either/Or has performed throughout the Northeast at venues including Philadelphia Museum of Art, ICA Boston, Miller Theatre at Columbia University, The Kitchen, as well as California and Swedish tours, and frequent appearances at local experimental music venues such as The Stone, Roulette, and ISSUE Project Room.

Either/Or’s programming is aesthetically inclusive, ranging from the American Experimental tradition (Cage, Feldman, Lucier, Ashley) to the historical and contemporary European avant-garde, with a special emphasis on composers working outside the institutional mainstream. The group has premiered more than 200 works since its inception, not including dozens of student compositions. They have worked closely with many leaders in contemporary composition including George Lewis, Zeena Parkins, Beat Furrer, John Zorn, Miya Masaoka, Elliott Sharp, Helmut Lachenmann, Anthony Coleman, and Thomas Meadowcroft. Either/Or has received great acclaim for its numerous career-spanning portrait concerts, all of which were firsts in the U.S. Portrait composers include Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana Maria Avram, Chaya Czernowin, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Horatiu Radulescu, Karin Rehnqvist, Rebecca Saunders, Hans Thomalla, and Raphaël Cendo. The group brought many of these composers to New York City for public lectures and teaching engagements.

Either/Or has released ten full-length recordings of works commissioned or premiered by them on New World Records, Edition Moderne, Starkland, and Sterling labels.