Acclaimed as an outstanding ensemble of distinguished virtuosi, performing widely diverse repertoire in creatively programmed concerts, the New York Chamber Soloists have maintained a unique niche in the chamber music world for over five decades. This twelve-member ensemble of strings, winds, and keyboard can increase to as many as twenty with the addition of guest artists, giving it the flexibility to offer many works that are seldom heard due to the unusual instrumental combinations for which they were written.
With more than 250 works in their repertoire, the Chamber Soloists have made a valuable contribution to the musical life of this country, and have helped to expand the audience for chamber music. Their programming innovations have included Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concerti in a single concert; “Paris in the ’20s”; an American Classics program; the complete Mozart horn concerti; and song cycles, cantatas, and operas from Monteverdi to Aitken. They have added substantially to the catalog of 20th century chamber works, with the more than 25 compositions written for them by such significant composers as Gunther Schuller, Mario Davidovsky, Ezra Laderman, and Mel Powell. The group has also commissioned works for children, including Ferdinand the Bull from noted American composer Hugh Aitken, and compositions based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Gerald Fried and Tania French.
The ensemble has compiled an impressive record of repeat engagements in North America and abroad, including eleven European tours, six Latin American tours, and numerous tours of the Far East and South Pacific. In the United States, the Chamber Soloists have appeared frequently in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, in Washington at the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, the Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery of Art, at major universities across the country from Boston to Berkeley, and at the Mostly Mozart, Sun Valley, and Caramoor Festivals. Recent performances include two at the Casals Festival, as well as the debut of the Chamber Soloists’ new initiative, a large-scale orchestral program featuring luminaries such as Richard Stoltzman, Menahem Pressler, and Anton Kuerti. These programs have been huge successes at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kravis Center, UCLA, and the University of Arizona. The New York Chamber Soloists were in residence at the Vermont Mozart Festival every summer from its inception in 1974 through its last year in 2010.