Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson is highly acclaimed for her performances of a wide range of repertoire, from early eras to the most current creations. In demand as a soloist and chamber musician, she leads a busily active life as a performer in major concert venues, as well as at universities, galleries and informal spaces. She performs at such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall (Stern, Zankel and Weill Halls), the Library of Congress, Miller Theatre, the 92nd Street Y, Guggenheim Museum, Austrian Cultural Forum, Bargemusic, Museum of Modern Art, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, and the Marlboro, Bard, Lincoln Center, Bridgehampton, Portland and Bodensee festivals.
She has made lauded appearances as soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Her first CD recording was a disk of concertos by Erich Korngold and Manuel Ponce with the Czech National Symphony, on Centaur Records. She subsequently made four recital CDs of 20th-century American music for Centaur: disks of music by Ralph Shapey (a two-CD set), Donald Martino and Ross Lee Finney. These projects were awarded grants from the Copland Fund for Music and the Ditson Fund. In 2010, Vanguard Classics released her CD “the wreckage of flowers”, comprising violin and violin/piano music by Michael Hersch, with pianist Blair McMillen. Upcoming releases include solo and duo works by Anna Weesner (Albany Records); a disk of new and recent solo violin pieces by Iannis Xenakis, Georg Friedrich Haas, Oscar Bianchi and others ; a disk of new and recent works for violin/viola with electronics; and a CD comprising Elliott Carter’s Duo, Roger Sessions’ Sonata for Solo Violin and a newly commissioned duo by Jason Eckardt (Urlicht AudioVisual). Her recently released recording of Luigi Nono’s ”La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” for violin and electronics (Urlicht AudioVisual), with sound artist Christopher Burns, was named a Best Classical Recording of 2012 by the New York Times.
She is the director of the not-for-profit music organization nunc, (previously called Transit Circle), which she founded in 2007 in order to explore and illuminate music of both current and older eras, and to share and enjoy the talents of an array of artists. (Please check out nunc‘s website here, at www.nuncmusic.org.) Miranda has in recent years earned a reputation as one of the foremost performer-interpreters of contemporary music. She has given numerous premieres of solo and chamber pieces, and has worked with composers such as Henri Dutilleux, Elliott Carter, Salvatore Sciarrino, John Adams, Lee Hyla, George Crumb, Helmut Lachenmann, Kaija Saariaho, Mario Davidovsky and Georg Friedrich Haas. In 2012, she performed a new work by Harold Meltzer that was commissioned for her by the McKim Fund, at the Library of Congress in honor of Fritz Kreisler. A particular champion of Ralph Shapey’s music, she curated and performed in a concert of Ralph Shapey’s music on Miller Theatre’s Composer Portraits series, and has organized another such concert for the Contempo series at the University of Chicago for 2013. She is active with many ensembles and organizations including counter)induction, Philipps Camerata, Sequitur, ACME, Talea Ensemble, Astoria Music Society, ISCM, and others, and was a founder and former member of Argento Chamber Ensemble.
Miranda Cuckson’s diverse, recent and current projects include performing Walter Piston’s Violin Concerto No. 1 at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra; a three-concert traversal of the Sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven with pianist Thomas Bagwell; solo recitals juxtaposing works by Bach and Ysaÿe with contemporary pieces; the world premiere of “through a stillness brightening”, a work for violin and ensemble written for her by Jeffrey Mumford; and performing Dai Fujikura’s work “prism spectra” for viola and live surround electronics.
At the age of nine, Miranda Cuckson began her studies at The Juilliard School, and went on at Juilliard to receive her BM, MM and DMA degrees. As winner of Juilliard’s Presser Music Award, she made her recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. She graduated with the Richard F. French Prize for best doctoral dissertation. Her teachers included Felix Galimir, Dorothy DeLay, Shirley Givens, Robert Mann, and for chamber music, Fred Sherry and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. She was recently appointed to the violin faculty at Mannes College the New School for Music.
A United States citizen, she was born to musician parents in Sydney, Australia, and is of Austrian/Jewish, English and Taiwanese descent. Cuckson, an old English name originally found in Yorkshire, is pronounced “Cookson” – as in the words “cook”, “look”, “book”.