Hailed by NPR’s Fred Child as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” yMusic is a group of six New York City instrumentalists flourishing in the overlap between the pop and classical worlds. Their virtuosic execution and unique configuration (string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet) has attracted the attention of high profile collaborators—from Ben Folds to Dirty Projectors to Jose Gonzalez—and more recently inspired an expanding repertoire of original works by some of today’s foremost composers.
In 2014, yMusic released Balance Problems, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s Beautiful Mechanical (Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of the Year). The record features stunning new compositions from Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Norman, Mark Dancigers, Jeremy Turner, Marcos Balter, and Timo Andres, all realized through the ensemble’s striking performances.
In addition to performing its own repertoire, yMusic serves as a ready-made collaborative unit for bands and songwriters. Their most recent collaboration is with Ben Folds, with whom they co-arranged and recorded “So there,” available September 11, 2015. Recent joint performances include The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and CBS Saturday Sessions. At the inaugural Eaux Claires Festival, curated by Justin Vernon and Aaron Dessner, the group performed with The Tallest Man on Earth, S Carey and The Staves in the afternoon, then joined Bon Iver for three songs in its evening set. Other recent collaborations include a recording with Antony & the Johnsons for the Red Hot Organization, opening for and performing with Blake Mills, and upcoming shows with José González including Los Angeles’ Disney Hall.
Since their inception in 2008, yMusic has striven to bring a classical chamber music aesthetic to venues outside the traditional concert hall. Its members have individually toured and recorded with artists such as Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Bjork, The National, Meredith Monk, Antony & the Johnsons, David Byrne, The New York Philharmonic and Sufjan Stevens.