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New York Polyphony
Chris Owyoung

New York Polyphony

Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
Craig Phillips, bass

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 one of the foremost vocal chamber ensembles active today. The four men, “singers of superb musicianship and vocal allure,” (The New Yorker) give vibrant, modern voice to repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to cutting-edge 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 two GRAMMY nominations and wide acclaim but also helped to move early music into the classical mainstream.

Since their founding in 2006, commissioning new works has also been central to the mission of New York Polyphony. 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. In January 2017, as part of Miller Theatre at Columbia University’s Early Music Series, New York Polyphony premiered The Vespers Sequence, a multi-movement setting of the Byzantine evening prayer service composed for the ensemble by Ivan Moody. Future projects include The Bitter Good by American composer Gregory Spears, for which the quartet was awarded a 2016 Commissioning Grant from Chamber Music America.

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. Times go by Turns (2013), the ensemble’s fourth album, was named one of iTunes 10 Best Classical Releases of the year and garnered a GRAMMY nomination.

Sing thee Nowell (2014) scored New York Polyphony its second GRAMMY nomination and was selected as a “must have” in their Holiday Gift Guide. Their seventh recording Roma aeterna (2016) debuted at #4 on Billboard magazine’s Traditional Classical Album chart and was hailed as “blissfully confident and beautiful” (BBC Radio 3 – Record Review), “resplendent and elegant” (San Francisco Chronicle), and “nothing short of revelatory” (AllMusic).

New York Polyphony tours extensively, participating in major concert series and festivals around the world. Noteworthy engagements include debut performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, residencies at Dartmouth College and Stanford University, concerts under the aegis of the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (Netherlands), and the European premiere of the Missa Charles Darwin—a newly commissioned secular Mass setting based on texts of Charles Darwin by composer Gregory Brown—at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Elsewhere New York Polyphony has performed as part of the Tage Alter Musik Regensburg; Rheingau Musik Festival, Thüringer Bachwochen (Germany); Abvlensis International Music Festival (Spain); Stiftskonzerte Oberösterreich (Austria); Festival de Música de Morelia (Mexico); and the Elora Festival (Canada), among others. 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.