Hailed by Performance Today’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 Paul Simon to Ben Folds to Jose Gonzalez—and inspired an expanding repertoire of original works by some of today’s foremost composers, including Nico Muhly and Andrew Norman.
Their 2016-17 season was the most high-profile to date, featuring yMusic’s Carnegie Hall debut, a groundbreaking new collaborative album with composer Son Lux and producer Thomas (Doveman) Bartlett, and premieres of a half-dozen newly-commissioned works, including a major new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, and MacArthur grantee Chris Thile’s first instrumental work written without his own performative element. In a particularly noteworthy week, the group performed a set with Paul Simon at the Eaux Claires Festival, became the first chamber music guests in the 50+ year history of the Sarasota Music Festival, and joined Bruce Hornsby at his Funhouse Festival. Additionally, yMusic joined producer Blake Mills in recording a cover of “God Only Knows” with John Legend for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards’ “In Memoriam” segment.
Other season highlights included an Elbphilharmonie performance in collaboration with Anohni (formerly Antony & the Johnsons), the gut-wrenching, transgendered chanteuse, and further work on the development film project in collaboration with choreographer Bill T. Jones and composer Marcos Balter; part documentary and part concert DVD, the film will trace the events which saw Bill T. Jones coming out of retirement to dance for the first time in public in 9 years.
Finally, capping off a little more than a season of touring with famed songwriter Ben Folds, yMusic and Ben released a 10-inch live concert record, featuring collaboratively-written songs, favorite live improvisations, and chamber music. To date, yMusic has released three full-length solo albums, 2017’s First, 2014’s Balance Problems and 2011’s Beautiful Mechanical, Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of that Year.
In addition to performing their own repertoire, yMusic serves as a ready-made collaborative unit for bands and songwriters, and have lent their distinctive sound to dozens of albums, most recently The Tallest Man on Earth with yMusic.