Mission and History


Firebird Ensemble is a group of adventurous, young musicians who strive for artistic excellence and seek to attract and engage diverse audiences ranging from fans of avant-garde music to the novice new music listener. Firebird is deeply committed to creating high quality educational and outreach activities in order to bring the music and culture of our time to a broader range of young and especially underserved audiences. Firebird Ensemble is musically defined by rich, eclectic programming of contemporary classical works for chamber ensemble and frequently engages in multidisciplinary collaborations with artists and organizations specializing in other disciplines such as dance, poetry, acting, film and the visual arts. 


Founded in 2001 and directed by violist Kate Vincent, Firebird Ensemble has been described as “ambitious and eclectic” by the New York Times and has earned a reputation as one of the premier new music ensembles in the United States. Known for its highly varied contemporary repertoire, virtuosic performances and wide audience appeal, Firebird Ensemble’s repertoire spans a time period from the mid 20th century to the present day and includes music originating from diverse sources and genres. Firebird Ensemble has completed over 40 multi-activity concert projects including interdisciplinary collaborations, microtonal music, contemporary/jazz/rock crossover, improvisation and also of course numerous programs featuring the cornerstones of contemporary music literature. Since its inception, Firebird Ensemble has performed 180+ works and commissioned and/or premiered almost 50 works including compositions by Luciano Berio, Lisa Bielawa, Donald Crockett, John Eaton, Eliot Gyger, Curtis Hughes, Derek Hurst, Lee Hyla, John McDonald, Joseph Maneri, John Mallia, Eric Moe, Donald Martino, Gerard Pape, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Nicholas Vines and Rolf Wallin. Firebird Ensemble’s contribution to contemporary music has been recognized with support from notable organizations such as the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Aaron Copland Fund - Performing Ensembles, Aaron Copland Fund - Recording, Amphion Foundation, Argosy Foundation, Harvard Musical Association, JFNMC, Meet The Composer and the St. Botolph Foundation among others. Firebird Ensemble is also deeply committed to education and outreach in at a community level. In the past few years Firebird Ensemble has completed several highly successful educational residencies with activities including performances, masterclasses, workshops, discussions, lectures, and composer readings at the Longy School of Music, New England Conservatory, Fitchburg State College, The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Tufts University, Wellesley College and the Walden School. In July of 2011 Firebird Ensemble completed a highly successful residency at The Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and The Walden School for Young Musicians with support from Chamber Music America's residency partnership program. Firebird Ensemble is also the recipient of Chamber Music America’s 2011 CMAcclaim award in recognition for its contribution to the field of chamber music. 

Firebird Ensemble has performed in a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional concert venues including concert halls, science museums, BBQ restaurants, jazz clubs, mansions, schools, universities, libraries and community centers throughout Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and California. This coming season includes further touring plans in California and also Pennsylvania. 

Firebird Ensemble’s instrumentation expands and contracts according to the demands of each program, but usually features between 8 - 10 performers. Over the past few years Firebird has received a great deal of media attention including numerous enthusiastic reviews and articles in the Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Boston Phoenix, New York Times, Time Out New York, Sequenza 21, Musical Intelligencer, New Music Connoisseur as well as frequent coverage in local newspapers such as Somerville News and The Armenian Weekly. Firebird Ensemble also received a live feature interview on New England Cable News.

Copyright 2011 Firebird Ensemble Inc., All Rights Reserved

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Website development by Michael Hoy.
Photograph by Coelynn McIninch.