Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson enjoys performing as a soloist and chamber musician and has delighted audiences in the US and abroad with her playing of a range of repertoire, from older works to the newest creations. From a deep background in the classical repertoire, she has in recent years become one of the most acclaimed performers of contemporary music. According to Downbeat magazine, “violinist Miranda Cuckson reaffirms her standing as one of the most sensitive and electric interpreters of new music.” 

She appears in concert halls large and small, schools and universities, galleries and informal spaces. Some of those venues include the Berlin Philharmonie, Teatro Colón, Carnegie Hall, Library of Congress, Miller Theatre, 92nd St Y, Guggenheim Museum, Bargemusic, Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Strathmore, Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series, and the Marlboro, Bard, Lincoln Center, Roaring Hooves, Bridgehampton, Portland, Music Mountain and Bodensee festivals.

She performs as soloist with orchestras internationally, including her Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium) debut in Walter Piston’s concerto with the American Symphony Orchestra and performances with the Alabama, Indianapolis, Virginia, Long Beach, Shanghai, Beijing and Jerusalem Symphony’s. She played the Elgar concerto at the Aspen Music Festival as winner of their concerto competition. Her upcoming performances include a new violin concerto by Georg Friedrich Haas to be premiered in September 2017 at the Suntory Festival with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and in 2018 in Stuttgart and Porto; the New York premiere of Michael Hersch’s violin concerto; and solo and chamber music at the West Cork Music Festival in Ireland. 

Among the substantial works recently written for Miranda are compositions by Georg Friedrich Haas, Michael Hersch, Jason Eckardt, George Lewis, Lu Wang, Steve Lehman, Harold Meltzer and Douglas Boyce. She recently collaborated in performance with composers Vijay Iyer, Nina C. Young, Huang Ruo and Philip Glass. She has also worked with an array of celebrated composers from around the world that includes Dutilleux, Carter, Adès, Sciarrino, Adams, Boulez, Hyla, Mackey, Crumb, Lachenmann, Saariaho, Davidovsky, Hurel, Bermel, Shaw, Lindberg, Wyner, Murail, Wuorinen, Currier and Rzewski. She curated and performed in concerts of Ralph Shapey’s music on Miller Theatre’s Composer Portraits series and at Contempo at the University of Chicago. The McKim Fund of the Library of Congress commissioned a piece for her by Harold Meltzer which she premiered on Fritz Kreisler’s Guarneri del Gesù violin, from the library’s instrument collection. Miranda considers her work with emerging composing talents an important ongoing aspect of her role as an artist, and she frequently works with young composers at universities, schools and summer programs.

A passionate recording artist, her 2017 album of violin music by Wolpe, Carter and Ferneyhough (on Urlicht Audiovisual) has been lauded by Brian Ferneyhough and adds to her varied and adventurous discography. In 2016, ECM Records released her album of music by Bartók, Schnittke and Lutoslawski. Her first recording was a disk of concertos by Korngold and Ponce, with the Czech National Symphony on Centaur Records. She subsequently was awarded grants from the Copland Fund (four times in a row) and the Ditson Fund for several recital albums in which she championed seminal 20th-century American music: music by Ross Lee Finney, Ralph Shapey (2-CD set) and Donald Martino. In 2010, Vanguard Classics released “the wreckage of flowers”, music by Michael Hersch for violin and violin/piano with pianist Blair McMillen. Her recording of Luigi Nono’s “La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” for violin and electronics with Christopher Burns (Urlicht AV) was named a Best Classical Recording of 2012 by the New York Times. In 2014, Urlicht released “Melting the Darkness” –  solo microtonal and electronics pieces by Xenakis, Haas, Bianchi, Rowe and more – and a disk comprising Sessions’ Sonata for solo violin, and Carter’s Duo and a commissioned duo by Jason Eckardt with Blair McMillen. Her discography also features music by Jeffrey Mumford, Anna Weesner, Philip Glass and Dai Fujikura.

She is the founder/director of non-profit Nunc (with which she programs or organizes concerts, on a sporadic basis), and a member of the collective counter)induction. As a curator at National Sawdust, she has programmed premieres of new works and performed solo and with various groups. She has collaborated with groups including Continuum, Sequitur, Talea Ensemble, ICE, Yarn/Wire, Horszowski Trio, JACK Quartet, Decoda, Loadbang, Da Capo Chamber Players, Locrian Chamber Players, Collide-o-Scope and Fonema Consort. She was the founding violinist of Argento Chamber Ensemble from 2003-2011, and for several years in ACME, the Lost Dog Ensemble and the Momenta Quartet.

Miranda enjoys engaging with all forms of art and has performed Barber’s Concerto with the New York City Ballet, the Stravinsky Concerto on the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works and Process” for the Balanchine centennial, Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant with the State Ballet of Georgia, and various works with New Chamber Ballet and the New York Choreographic Institute. With Nunc, she produced the world premiere of “On the Threshold of Winter”, a fully staged chamber opera by Michael Hersch.  

Miranda studied at The Juilliard School, starting at age nine in the Pre-College and onward for her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees (as a C.V. Starr Fellow). She won Juilliard’s Presser Music Award and the Richard F. French Prize for best doctoral dissertation (her topic was composer Ross Lee Finney’s violin music, his folksong background and the evolution of his style).  She studied with Shirley Givens from ages 9 to 13, with Dorothy DeLay from ages 14 to 21, and with Robert Mann for her graduate degrees. She also worked closely with Felix Galimir for ten years, and with Fred Sherry and the Juilliard String Quartet. She is on the faculty of the Mannes School of Music in New York and the Composers Conference/Contemporary Performance Institute. She has taught masterclasses and seminars at numerous conservatories and universities. 

A US citizen, she was born in Australia and grew up in New York. Her parents, a composer and a pianist, are Austrian/English and Taiwanese. Cuckson, an old English name originally found in Yorkshire, is pronounced “Cookson”, as in the word to “cook”.

Repertoire here