Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine musical, literary, and historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition as they create ingeniously designed programs, interweaving music with poetry and narrative.

In addition to their unmatched medieval repertoire, Anonymous 4 has often reached out into the realm of contemporary music, and has premiered works by Peter Maxwell Davies, John Tavener, Steve Reich, and Richard Einhorn. The group has most recently expanded their repertoire to include traditional music of the British Isles and America.

Anonymous 4 has performed in major venues and festivals throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. The ensemble has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion," "CBS Sunday Morning," A&E's "Breakfast With the Arts," and NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” Anonymous 4's award-winning recordings have attained unprecedented popularity, rising to the top of Billboard's classical chart, and selling almost 1.5 million copies worldwide.
 

ruth cunningham as a baby

RUTH CUNNINGHAM was raised in Millbrook, NY, but has spent most of her adult life in Manhattan. She received a B. Mus. in Performance of Early Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and is certified as a cross-cultural music and healing practitioner. She specializes in improvisational sacred music from varied spiritual traditions in both liturgical and concert settings. Her new solo program Light and Shadow, on which she accompanies herself on medieval harp, Renaissance flute, recorder, and piano, encompasses a mixture of music, including traditional chants from Western and Eastern traditions as well as her own compositions and improvisations. She also teaches classes and workshops on using the voice and music as tools for healing and transformation, Ruth was a member of Anonymous 4 until 1998; she rejoined the group in 2007. She has also performed with The Vox Vocal Ensemble, Early Music New York, Pomerium, and many other ensembles. For more information visit her website: www.ruthcunningham.com.

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MARSHA GENENSKY grew up in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, only two miles from the Pacific Ocean. After earning a B.A. in music and folklore from Scripps College, she traveled east in order to pursue an M.A. in folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to New York and helping to found Anonymous 4. Marsha handles Anonymous 4’s American music research and acted as music director for the group’s recordings American Angels and Gloryland. Language and other historical research have numbered among her other much-loved tasks for the ensemble. After moving back to California in 2004, she spent a year as a visiting assistant professor, followed by an additional year as a visiting scholar, at Stanford University. She has become a regular at Bay Area shape note sings and teaches workshops on Anglo-American sacred and secular song. Marsha is currently working on two new Anonymous 4 programs involving American tunes.


SUSAN HELLAUER is a native of the beautiful Bronx, New York, where she grew up rooting for the Yankees. While earning a B.A. in music as a trumpet player from Queens College (City University of New York), an increasing fascination with medieval and Renaissance vocal music led her to convert to singing, and to pursue advanced degrees in musicology from Queens College and Columbia University. Susan handles Anonymous 4's medieval music research, and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Music at Queens College, CUNY, where she directs the Collegium Musicum. She has appeared as a vocal soloist with the Harp Consort, Parthenia, and the 2006 U.S. Fés Festival of World Sacred Music. Susan leads Chant Camp workshops throughout the U.S., plays Baroque guitar and clawhammer banjo, and is proud to be a volunteer EMT with the Nyack Community Ambulance Corps.



JACQUELINE HORNER-KWIATEK comes from a little village called Monkstown, in Northern Ireland. After getting a joint honors degree in Music and English from Queens University Belfast, she moved to London and became a professional singer known for her willingness to sing all types of music, from baroque and classical opera and oratorio to the extremes of new music. (Her roles in contemporary opera included an 8-year-old girl, Jackie Kennedy and a sheep.) She then moved to New York, thanks to winning a Green Card in the U.S. visa lottery program. In addition to her recording and touring activities with Anonymous 4, she has a busy career as a soloist, appearing with such distinguished ensembles as the Washington Bach Consort, Carmel Bach Festival and Albany Symphony, singing everything from Bach to Babbitt. Her own recital program, “A Musical Journey,” features an eclectic mix of songs from the three places she has called home – Ireland, England, and the U.S., Jacqueline can also be found teaching voice and ensemble vocal technique in Manhattan and beyond and spending time with her new husband! For more information visit her website: www.jacquelinehorner.com.

JOHANNA MARIA ROSE spent her childhood in the village of Grand-View-on-Hudson (a stone’s throw away from New York City), reading lots of children’s books and fairy tales, putting pennies on the railroad tracks, and looking for sea glass and stones at the river’s edge.  While putting in her time as a Manhattanite, she earned a degree in voice from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as studying acting.  A long-standing love of early music then led her to an MFA in the Performance of Medieval and Renaissance Music from Sarah Lawrence College.  Her various hats in Anonymous 4 include sharing the work on language pronunciation research, adapting readings for the concert programs, and new music commissions. Having escaped from the city, she now lives in a house from the 1830s (in which there is not a single straight edge), not far from the scene of her childhood.  She spends happy hours in her little garden, trying to deter the woodchucks from eating all her flowers, the squirrels from demolishing the birdseed in her birdfeeder, and the woodpeckers from drilling holes in the eaves.
 




Susan's Pets:
 
 
 

Solomon

Natalie

Ruth's Pets:

Grigri and Anastasia

 


Marsha's pet:
 
 

Emma Rose


Jacqueline's Pets:

Elmo

Munchkin

 


Johanna's pets:
 
 

Chloë and Arabella