New Music on the Cutting Edge

"an essential source of adventurous new music"
—Alex Ross

Founded in 2000, The Argento Chamber Ensemble is a virtuoso ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers, as well as framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue.

Premieres and Microbrews

Argento's three weekends of concerts at the Austrian Cultural Forum showcase creativity through juxtapositions of emerging American composers and Viennese masters. After each concert, join the lively conversations with composers and performers over free samples of custom ales and lagers by Brooklyn-based BrewHeister (Weeks 2 and 3).


Spring is Argento Concert Season!

Argento takes its signature clarinet chamber concerto—Brian Ferneyhough's La Chute d'Icare—to the West Coast! The concert at Sonoma State University on March 12 will feature clarinet soloist Carol McGonnell, as well as vocalist Sharom Harms in Gustav Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer.

Back to the East Coast, Argento will again feature vocalist Sharon Harms in two performances of Sebastian Currier's Deep-Sky Objects, love songs of longing and desire for lovers galaxies apart. On the same program, Sharon Harms will be joined by Jennifer Beattie in The Song of the Earth, which Leonard Berstein described as Gustav Mahler's greatest work.

On April 25, Argento takes Mozart's Requiem and Georg Friedrich Haas's Sieben Klangräume (Seven Soundspaces) to Cornell University. Joined by the Cornell Chorus and Glee Club, Argento will perform, side-by-side with Cornell student musicians, these seven evocative and haunting episodes of the lost worlds between the fragments of Mozart’s unfinished Requiem.

For three weeks in May, Argento will host back-to-back concerts every Friday and Saturday to celebrate emerging American composers. For more details, visit our Concert Season's page.

Argento premieres new production of Michael Jarrell's opera Cassandra

The Argento Chamber Ensemble and soprano Anna Clementi perform the U.S. premiere of the Nimrod Opera Zurich production of Michael Jarrell’s Cassandra, a monodrama about the Trojan priestess, with a libretto based on the 1984 epic monologue by East German author Christa Wolf.

Nimrod Opera Zurich developed this production in 2009 in collaboration with Czech musician and video artist Dalibor Pyš of Vox MultiMedia from Ostrava. The actress recitates the monodrama to music as her image is superimposed, in real time, onto pre-filmed sequences of the prophetess facing her impending death.


Argento's recording of Fred Lerdahl's Imbrications released

Argento's recording of Fred Lerdahl's Imbrication has been released by Bridge Records on the album Fred Lerdahl, Volume Four. Based on the tunes of "Happy Birthday" and "Auld Lang Syne," Imbrications was composed in 2001 in honor of Andrew Imbrie's 80th birthday, and has since been a staple of Argento's repertoire.

Argento premieres New Chamber Ballet choreographies

Quiet, delicate miniatures alternating with fast, raucous movements and boldly dramatic gestures ... Argento performs music by Anton Webern, Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Nina C. Young, Michel Galante, and Arthur Kampela, with world premiere choreographies by Miro Magloire of the New Chamber Ballet, Friday, September 20, 7:30 PM at the Czech Center, admission free. Tickets...

Moving Sounds
Festival, September 19-22, 2013

For the fifth year, Argento co-curates with the Austrian Cultura Forum this annual festival of music, visual media, and aesthetic dialogue. On Friday, September 20, Argento teams up with New Chamber Ballet for an evening of new choreographies—quiet, delicate miniatures alternating with fast, raucous movement and boldly dramatic gestures.

Festival programs are posted as they become available. Check back often for the latest! More...

On the Radio: Michel Galante conducts world premiere of Haas's opera Thomas

Thomas's friend Matthias is moribund in the hospital bed. Time stands still. Music and poetry sweep them far, far away and back inside their imaginations. More details

Conducted by Michel Galante, Central German Broadcasting MDR Figaro Radio will broadcast the opera's world premiere recorded on May 24 at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele.

Tune in to the live stream on Saturday, August 17, at 8:05 pm CEST / 2:05 pm Eastern Time. (Music player is on the left.)