New Music on the Cutting Edge

About Argento

Performers and Staff Biographies
Creative Advisory Group
Intern Profiles
The Organization

Argento Chamber Ensemble

Argento is New York City’s premiere virtuoso chamber ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and the discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing contemporary cutting-edge composers and framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through artistic collaboration and education.

Argento has built an international reputation since its founding in 2000. With a firm commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretations, the nine-member ensemble regularly expands to thirty musicians to deliver technically demanding performances. The ensemble collaborates with leading and emerging composers, produces internationally acclaimed recordings, and brings pressing concerns of contemporary music to the forefront.

Argento has forged long-term artistic relationships with ground-breaking composers such as Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy. The fruit of these collaborations include recording music of Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui. Argento’s debut album Winter Fragments with music of Tristan Murail was awarded Japan’s Record Geijutsu Academy Award in 2010.

In conjunction with its prolific concert seasons and recording engagements, Argento nurtures the next generation of music professionals through university residencies, composer workshops, artist development programs, research library and archives, and student internships. Collaborating institutions include Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and New York Universities, Bennington College, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.

Argento's reputation builds on its cohesion as a chamber ensemble, demanding technical preparation, and a probing interpretive commitment to the music. Independent of commercial endeavors, the Ensemble relies on the hard work of its musicians, volunteers, board members, and your generous support.


Michel Galante, conductor

Michel Galante has performed as principal, guest, and assistant conductor with orchestras and ensembles in the US, Canada, and Europe. His composition awards include Hertz, Fulbright, and Mellon fellowships, and prizes from ASCAP and the Composer's Guild. He holds a DMA in composition from Columbia University, and is the director of the orchestra program at The College of New Jersey.

Erin Lesser, flute

Erin Lesser performs as soloist and chamber musician throughout Canada, Europe, and the US. Actively involved in contemporary music, she has given the American premieres of works by Murail, Hurel, and Holliger, and worked with Boulez, Crumb, and Mackey, and her performances have been broadcast on CBC's "Jeunes Artistes" series and New York's WQXR. She holds a DMA from the Manhattan School of Music, and is an assistant professor at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Erin is a Pearl Flute Performing Artist.

Carol McGonnell, clarinet

Dublin-born clarinetist Carol McGonnell is known for her expressive power and fearless exploration of cutting-edge new music. Her involvement in new music has brought her work with leading composers such as Elliott Carter, Oliver Knussen, Lukas Foss, and Tristan Murail for over 100 commissions. She has been broadcast on RTE, Lyric FM, BBC, WQXR, and NPR, and is awaiting the release of her latest recording of a new concerto by Phillipe Hurel.

Tim Albright, trombone

Originally from the Napa Valley, Tim Albright moved to New York in 1999 where he enjoys a diverse freelance career on the trombone. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1998 with degrees in classical and jazz performance. In addition to performing with Argento, he tours regularly with alto saxophonist Steve Coleman.

Joanna Chao, piano

Joanna Chao has appeared in concerts across the Americas, France, Switzerland, Spain, and Turkey, performed as soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and New Britain Symphony Orchestra, and featured on radio stations KKHI, KQED, and the cable TV program "Grand Piano." She received her BM and MM from The Juilliard School and DMA from the Peabody Institute. Ms. Chao teaches at Juilliard Pre-College, The College of New Jersey and the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, and is the director of the Young Artist Program at the Rutgers University.

Matt Ward, percussion

Matt Ward is a principal member of the American Modern Ensemble, the percussion group Talujon and one of the co-founders of the percussion trio TimeTable. Mr. Ward has received a bachelor of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, a masters degree from the State University at Stony Brook and is currently enrolled in the school's DMA program. Mr. Ward is also on faculty at Queens College and the Bloomingdale School of Music. He can be heard on the recording labels Aeon, Argo, Capstone Records, Newport Classics, Soundspell, and Albany Records.

Ken Hamao, violin

Described by the New York Times as having “especially eloquent playing,” Ken Hamao is a dynamic musician renowned for his sensitive interpretation. In addition to the violin, he performs on the viola and mandolin, and is an avid proponent of contemporary music. He was specially invited to perform with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the Aspen Music Festival, and has also worked with Gil Shaham and John Zorn. His mentors include Masao Kawasaki, Ronald Copes, Mark Steinberg, Robert Lipsett, and Zakhar Bron.

Stephanie Griffin, viola

Canadian violist Stephanie Griffin has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician, and as a champion of Indonesian composer Tony Prabowo. Reflecting her wide-ranging musical interests, performances have led her across the globe to Belgium, Estonia, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Turkey, as well as recordings on Siam, Aeon, Koch, Arte Nova, Harmolodic, Aksara, and Firehouse 12. Ms. Griffin holds a DMA from the Juilliard School.

Jay Campbell, cello

Armed with a diverse spectrum of repertoire and eclectic musical interests, cellist Jay Campbell won first prize at the 2012 Concert Artist Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and BMI Commissioning Prize recipient. Committed to the music of our time, Jay has collaborated with some of today’s most significant musicians and composers, ranging from Elliott Carter and Kaija Saariaho to members of Radiohead, Einstürzende Neubauten. He has appeared as soloist in major venues including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Kongresszentrum Luzern under conductors including Pierre Boulez and is a participant at the Marlboro Music Festival.

Sharon Harms, voice

Young soprano Sharon Harms is known for fearless performances and expressive interpretations of new works. She has premiered the music of some of today's leading and up-and-coming composers and her repertoire spans a versatile spectrum of periods and styles. Sharon has appeared as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and as a guest artist at June in Buffalo, Los Angeles International New Music Festival, Wellesley Composer's Conference & Chamber Music Workshops, American Academy in Rome, and Resonant Bodies Festival. She shares a Latin Grammy nomination for Gabriela Ortiz' Elegía, and is featured on forthcoming recordings on the Bridge and Innova labels.

David Fulmer, composer

Composer, violinist, and conductor David Fulmer is the first American ever to receive Grand Prize in the International Edvard Grieg Competition for Composers. The success of his Violin Concerto at Lincoln Center in 2010 earned international attention and resulted in immediate engagement to perform the work with major orchestras and at festivals in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Scandinavia, and Australia. A surge in his compositional activity has resulted from a series of distinctive commissions from major international orchestras, a new violin concerto for virtuoso Stefan Jackiw, and several new works for notable contemporary ensembles. He received his DMA in composition from The Juilliard School.

Michael Klingbeil, electronics

Michael Klingbeil is a composer actively involved with concert music and computer music research. His work has been recorded on ICMC and has been played by ensemble include the Oberlin CME, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Orchestre Lyrique de Région Avignon-Provence. Honors and awards have come from First Music, the Concorso Internazionale "Luigi Russolo," and ASCAP. He holds a DMA in composition from Columbia University and teaches composition and music technology at Yale University.

Kimmy Szeto, general manager and ensemble librarian

Kimmy Szeto has managed the Columbia University Music Performance Program and the University Orchestra, as well as a number of summer festivals in the U.S. and Europe. Kimmy holds licentiate diplomas in piano and violin performance from the Royal Schools of Music, and is active in the community performing as a vocal accompanist and arranging music for chamber ensembles and musical theater. Currently, he is an assistant professor at Baruch College and on the music faculty at Columbia University.

Vanessa Cravotta, production

Vanessa Cravotta is a multi-instrumental composer fusing her classical training with contemporary music. She recently completed her undergraduate studies the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Her interests include electronic music, audio engineering, and arts administration. She is currently a faculty member of Belle Arti Center for the Arts where she specializes in piano instruction and early childhood education.

Katie Salmon, public relations and marketing

Katie Salmon is a Booking Associate at IMG Artists, where she works on the calendars of Renee Fleming, Audra McDonald and Eric Owens, among others. She frequently hosts radio shows at WKCR 89.9 FM-NY focusing on either opera or modern classical music, and has conducted interviews with Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, and Meredith Monk. She recently graduated from Barnard College where she completed her studies in Urban Planning and Ethnomusicology with a focus on integrating sonic spaces into the planning of the built environment.

Ryan Beppel, audio engineering

Ryan Beppel is a composer with interests in microtonal and spatial composition as well as electronic mediums. He completed undergraduate studies at Columbia University with Fabien Lévy, Tristan Murail and Arthur Kampela, and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the Hochschüle für Musik in Basel, Switzerland. His work has been performed in and around New York City with recognition from MATA and the Philadelphia Composers Forum.

Christopher Prodoehl, development

Christopher Prodoehl joined Argento's research team in 2011 while completing his doctorate in philosophy at New York University. His work focuses on aesthetics, including the philosophy of music, ethics, and the history of philosophy. Chris studies piano privately with Molly Morkoski, and is interested in a wide spectrum of electronic music and multimedia works.

Creative Advisory Group

The Creative Advisory Group is a community of Argento supporters who provide a broad range of industry expertise and creative input on issues and projects critical to our mission. Argento's Creative Advisors

  • serve as ambassadors for the organization
  • advise Argento’s artistic and administrative management
  • take part in the broader conversion on new music, programming, and inter-arts collaboration
  • gather at the annual CAG meeting

Join the growing roster of the Creative Advisors community! Show your talents; connect with new music fans! We are working on launching a web space exclusively for our CAG members.

Contact General Manager Kimmy Szeto to join the CAG or for more information.


Carl Bettendorf
Composer; Music Faculty, Columbia University

Elesse Eddy
AVP, RBS Citizens Financial Group

Benjamin Goldmintz
Random House Publishing Group

Kathryn Graham
Manhattan School of Music

Iuri Câmara Gusmão Gama
Student, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Kathy Halvorson

Alexandra Krawetz
Student, Rice University

Claudia Lopez

Matt Mendez
Composer; Blogger

Miro Magloire
Artistic Director, New Chamber Ballet

Kimberly Nucci
Multimedia Artist

Anne Lovering Rounds
Assistant Professor, Hostos Community College, CUNY

Andrey Stolyarov
Composer; Singer; Music Notator; Student, Hartt School

Margaret Szeto
User Experience Designer, Visa

Justin Urcis
Executive & Artistic Director, Monday Evening Concerts

Yvonne Wang
Music Educator

Kathleen T. Watson
Neuropsychopharmacology, Stanford University

Natasha Maki Yamane
Founder, Project Sunshine

Jonathan Yates
Music Director, Camerata Notturna and Norwalk Youth Symphony

Ananda Alves Brandão
Student, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil

Vanessa Cravotta
Composer; Pianist, Belle Arti Center for the Arts

Abby Fisher
Graduate student, Stony Brook University

Argento New Music Project

Argento New Music Project (ANMP) is a tax-exempt, non-profit music organization. Our mission is to confront important issues in contemporary Western music through production and education. Argento New Music Project engages in the production of concerts, music festivals, recordings, educational events, and instructional materials. Argento has, since 2001, been committed to sharing our music with the community, both local and global. ANMP has:

  • Independently produced critically acclaimed concerts at leading concert venues in New York: Carnegie Hall, Miller Theatre, and Merkin Concert Hall.
  • Collaborated closely with foreign cultural organizations, including the Austrian Cultural Forum, the French Consulate, and the Italian Academy.
  • Coordinated student internships for potential arts administrators.
  • Produced audio and video recordings for Columbia University’s educational interactive website, which has been used by more than 3,000 students.
  • Organized free performances with post-concert talks in New York public schools, including underserved areas in Harlem and Brooklyn.
  • Collaborated with and performed in a disaster relief concert to raise funds for effected families immediately after 9/11.
  • Produced, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert in February, 2005. Argento raised thousands of dollars for UNICEF's relief efforts in Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka.
  • Produced, in collaboration with Octaeva, LLC an international consulting firm, CD recordings and visual artworks which were given to teachers and schools in Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka for use as positive, creative tools.
  • Produced recordings for prominent labels including Plus Loin, Gravina Musica and Aeon.
  • Organized lectures and master classes for students in Turkey and China about the latest developments in new Western music.
Board of Directors Michel Galante, Nari Matsuura, C.F. Pan, Abner Greene
Advisory Committee Michael Klingbeil, Erin Lesser, Carol McGonnell
General Manager Kimmy Szeto

Organization Documents
Certificate of Incorporation
Bylaws ; MWBE Statement
New York State Incorporation Filing
Section 501(c)(3) Exemption Advance Ruling
Section 501(c)(3) Exemption Final Ruling - status change to public charity