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String Orchestra of New York City

Photo by: Arthur Moeller

No conductor, no bow ties, just strings.

SONYC, founded in 1999, comprises some of this nation’s extraordinary string players in a critically acclaimed tour de force ensemble. A conductorless chamber group, SONYC’s members rehearse in a collaborative effort that allows each musician to have an impact on the artistic process. The flexibility and intimacy of a string quartet are thus fused with the power and scope of an orchestra.

SONYC is composed of a group of dedicated musicians who are also winners of international competitions, members of renowned chamber ensembles, and highly regarded soloists. SONYC is a pioneer of the concert hall, as well as the classroom, having given over 350 performances and hundreds of master classes for children of all ages and backgrounds, nationally as well as in NYC's public schools.

A herald of new music from around the world, SONYC has given over 50 world and US premieres. Pulitzer Prize-winning composers Paul Moravec and Aaron Jay Kernis have made the following statements about the group:

-"SONYC is a composer's dream" (Moravec).

-"[SONYC is] opening up the world again for the audience to become more emotionally and experientially involved" (Kernis).

SONYC has won Harvard University’s Fromm Foundation Grant with composer Keyla Orozco, the Meet the Composers Residency Grant, as well as the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Grant. Most recently, SONYC is the recipient of Columbia’s Alice M. Ditson Fund Award, for a new “music and text” project, premiered in the 18/19 season; works include a new piece by Mexican composer, Cristobal MarYan, as well as Randy Woolf’s “Blues for Black Hoodies,” based on rap texts. The group released an all-American world premieres CD entitled first takes, showcasing the works of brilliant composers Paul Moravec, Lisa Bielawa, Michael Gatonska and Christopher Theofanidis. Additionally, SONYC is featured in the award-winning documentary by William McKenna, Breathing Together. The 19/20 season includes the premiere of a new Global Encounters program at Symphony Space in New York City, which will showcase Swiss music, as well as national touring.

Whether performing new music or the cherished string orchestra repertoire, SONYC strives to inspire and educate its audiences.