Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson delights audiences in the US and abroad with her exciting playing of a range of repertoire, from older works to the newest creations. From a thorough grounding in the classical repertoire, she has become one of the most acclaimed, probing and adventurous performers of contemporary music. She is passionate about the creative role of the performer/interpreter in the artistic process and in communicating the music. According to Downbeat magazine, “violinist Miranda Cuckson reaffirms her standing as one of the most sensitive and electric interpreters of new music.” 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 September 2017, she premiered a new violin concerto by Georg Friedrich Haas at the Suntory Festival with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov. In 2018 she performs it with the Staatsorchester Stuttgart and the Orchestra of Casa da Musica in Porto. She will also give the New York premiere of Michael Hersch’s Violin Concerto.

Miranda appears in concert halls large and small, schools and universities, galleries and informal spaces. 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, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series, and the Marlboro, Bard, Lincoln Center, West Cork, 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. 

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 has recently collaborated in performance with composers Huang Ruo, Michael Hersch, Vijay Iyer, Nina C. Young, and Philip Glass. She has 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 prolific recording artist, she has released ten enthusiastically received albums. Her 2017 album of 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, German label ECM Records released her widely praised album of Bartók, Schnittke and Lutoslawski duos with pianist Blair McMillen. The first CD recording in her discography is of the violin concertos of 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 to make several recital albums on Centaur 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. 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 violin, Carter’s Duo and a commissioned duo by Jason Eckardt with pianist Blair McMillen. Her discography also features music by Jeffrey Mumford, Anna Weesner, Philip Glass, Dai Fujikura and more.

She is the founder/director of Nunc (with which she programs or organizes concerts, on a sporadic basis), a member of new repertory company AMOC, and a member of counter)induction. As a curator and artistic advisor at Brooklyn venue National Sawdust, she programs emerging artists and premieres of new works and performs solo and with ensembles. As a performer she has collaborated with many 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 of the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), Lost Dog Ensemble and Momenta Quartet.

Miranda enjoys 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