Explore Bio

Matthew Murphy


Winner of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming, and praised by The New York Times as “an ensemble that plays by its own rules” and “a trustworthy purveyor of new sounds”, Either/Or is a flexible chamber ensemble based in New York City that presents a repertoire of new and recent chamber music informed equally by American Experimentalism and European avant-garde practice, with special emphasis on artists outside the institutional mainstream and on works exploring nontraditional ensemble formations. Directors Richard Carrick (conductor/piano) and David Shively (percussion/cimbalom) curate its programming, drawing on a broader collective of 17 regular soloists (and guests) to realize the unique requirements of each project. Since its founding in 2004, Either/Or has premiered more than 300 works (as well as dozens of student compositions), toured throughout the US and Sweden, and recorded for labels such as New Focus, New World Records, Starkland, and Sterling Classics.

Either/Or has nurtured close collaborations with composers on portrait concerts including Iancu Dumitrescu, Beat Furrer, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Chaya Czernowin, Horatiu Radulescu, Karin Rehnqvist, Rebecca Saunders, and Hans Thomalla, bringing most of these composers to New York City for public lectures and teaching engagements in parallel with the performances.

Artists commissioned by Either/Or include Anthony Coleman, George Lewis, Keeril Makan, Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, Elliott Sharp, and Thomas Medowcroft. Either/Or has released CD recordings of composers Keeril Makan (Starkland, 2011, 2016), Richard Carrick (New World, 2011, 2015), Karin Rehnqvist (Sterling, 2013), Anthony Coleman (New World, 2014) Iancu Dumitrescu (2016).

Either/Or’s 2017-18 Concert Season is made possible by the generous support of the BMI Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts (a New York State agency), New Music USA, and by our private donors. Either/Or is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.