Ferneyhough+ album

Ferneyhough email

My album called “Invisible Colors” was released a few months ago in the USA by Urlicht Audiovisual, the label that previously released my Luigi Nono recording, and “Melting the Darkness” and Carter/Sessions/Eckardt albums. On “Invisible Colors”, I play several violin works by Carter, Wolpe and Ferneyhough.  There hasn’t been much official attention on it yet but I loved making it and it’s gotten some wonderful feedback from people whose reactions are important to me, both artists and listeners. Recently I received this email out of the blue (posted above) which had me very excited, … Continue Reading

Haas Violin Concerto premiere

I just returned from Japan, where I gave the world premiere of a new violin concerto by the Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas. Georg is one of the great artists of our time and a wonderful warm person and friend. His music has meant so much to me since meeting him eight years ago and performing his music for him – his solo violin piece “de terrae fine” and several of his chamber works. I’ve since played “de terrae fine” many times, and others of his pieces. I was beyond thrilled when he said, after hearing the release concert for my … Continue Reading

“people, org’s, projects” pick on 21CM!

Thanks to great mandolinist and collaborator Joseph Brent for choosing me as one of his “people, organizations, projects” curatorial picks on the website “21st Century Musician”.  Click on my photo and you can see the lovely things he said, including reference to my upcoming premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto.


Performing at the West Cork Festival in Ireland

Some time ago I was delighted to get an email from the West Cork Chamber Music Festival inviting me to come perform this July. I didn’t know anyone there yet and hadn’t been to that part of Ireland before. It was a great joy to visit, to make some new friends and colleagues, and to connect with a new and wonderful audience.

I played six pieces on concerts spread throughout the week, and went to as many of the festival’s fantastic events as I had time for. I also did a Continue Reading

Interview with Ethan Iverson

Thanks to Ethan Iverson for interviewing me for his great blog, which is a tremendous resource and repository of thoughts from some really fascinating and distinguished musicians. I’ve read many of his interviews over the years and I’m honored to be among them. Read here

Read his posts too. I like that Ethan is knowledgeable from genuinely exploring his own interests, usually firsthand. Also that he thinks for himself and that he is often open to revising his thoughts and views on things.

Premieres and pieces this March and April

Thought I’d write something here about the music on the programs I’m performing soon.

On March 7 at Miller Theatre, I’m happy to share two pieces that were written very recently for me by Steve Lehman and Michael Hersch. Steve, who is an acclaimed jazz composer, bandleader and saxophonist, did his doctorate in composition at Columbia University, working with the great French spectral composer Tristan Murail. Steve and I were working a lot in the same circles of musicians and … Continue Reading

“Invisible Colors”: Ferneyhough, Carter, Wolpe

Invisible Colors cover







My new album on Urlicht Audiovisual is titled “Invisible Colors” after Brian Ferneyhough’s piece “Unsichtbare Farben”. (Sounds more evocative than titling the album “Piece in Two Parts” or “Intermedio”.) If you google “unsichtbare farben”, you’ll see websites of German companies selling glow-in-the-dark paint. I applied some photo filters to the album cover to give the picture that sort of effect.

The album features five solo violin pieces by three composers: Ferneyhough, Elliott Carter and Stefan Wolpe. It will be released digitally on March 31, and available as CD. I’m playing a concert to … Continue Reading

Interview in April Magazine

Thank you to April Magazine and Jill Marshall for interviewing and featuring me in this article about “embracing the world with violin and viola”:

I am happy with how this article turned out but thought it would be nice to also share some “outtakes” from our (Oct 23) email interview:

— Do you prefer playing solo or as part of an ensemble?

I love to play both solo and with others. I would not want to do just one or the other. Violinists are lucky to have some great solo repertoire but it’s been very interesting to me to further explore what the instrument … Continue Reading

Recital at Festival Integrales at Teatro Colón


I just returned from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I spent five days and performed a solo concert on the CETC’s Festival Integrales at the Teatro Colón. This festival has been in existence for a few years and each concert involves an immersion in a particular composer’s or group of composers’ works. The three concerts in this year’s festival focused on the flute music of Salvatore Sciarrino, the piano music of Tristan Murail, and for my concert, violin music by great American modernists of the last half-century or so. My program: Stefan Wolpe’s “Piece in … Continue Reading

Hersch’s music

I have performed eleven works by Michael Hersch so far. He has a grippingly expressive language and sense of harmony, evident throughout his oeuvre.
The solo violin piece titled “the weather and landscape are on our side” conveys serious emotional substance through particularly delicate and subtle means. There are a few loud outbursts but it is mostly very eerie and sometimes whispers on the verge of silence. In this piece, he used certain non-pitched extended techniques for the first time and, also for the first time, has the violinist briefly sing softly while playing, rather like in the Luigi … Continue Reading

ECM album release Bartok/Schnittke/Lutoslawski

Excited that my new album on ECM Records with pianist Blair McMillen was released in May, with a release concert at Le Poisson Rouge.  Hope you’ll listen to the album! We play sonatas by Bartók and Schnittke and the Partita of Lutoslawski.
Buy the ECM album here









In deciding to record these works together, I had a few personal motivations. Recently I learned that the ancestors of my Viennese grandfather had in fact come from Slovakia. I have always been drawn to the … Continue Reading

A response to comment on Nono’s music

I was just in Boston for a remarkable conference (website here) on the music of Luigi Nono, co-presented by Tufts and Harvard universities. I attended most of the talks, roundtables, workshops and concerts and I had a marvelous time. Met wonderful people (including Nuria Schoenberg Nono), and had great conversations and the opportunity to hear performances of a number of Nono’s works with electronics. Chris Burns and I performed “La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” (1988-89) two nights in a row: a great chance to explore different uses of space, time and sound. (These were our 7th … Continue Reading

Desenne Violin Concerto with the Alabama Symphony

I was thrilled to perform as soloist with the Alabama Symphony and conductor Carlos Izcaray at the Alys Stephens Center earlier this month in Paul Desenne’s imaginative violin concerto “The Two Seasons of the Caribbean Tropics”. I was asked on three weeks notice to learn the piece and come perform it on a concert of Desenne works. The concerto is in six movements, three for the rainy season and three for the dry season, replete with sounds of crickets and frogs, rain on tin roofs and windshield wipers, mudslides, Vivaldi references and vivacious Latin rhythms. Paul, who is French and American and grew … Continue Reading

On programming the Jan 24 Nunc concert at National Sawdust

Next Sunday night, January 24 at 8:00, I’m playing a concert at National Sawdust with a group of musicians I put together with my non-profit organization Nunc. Bigger is not necessarily better – I like small concerts (small number of performers and listeners, intimate venue) too – but this is the largest number of artists I’ve assembled for an event with Nunc so far. When the opportunity came up to do a concert at National Sawdust, my first thought was that I wanted to do something festive. Fun, with a lot of people! Something that would gather people together to … Continue Reading

American Composers Forum/Liquid Music interview

I’m tremendously excited to perform on the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series on November 14. In anticipation of it, I was recently interviewed by the Minneapolis-based American Composers Forum. Chris Campbell asked some terrific questions – check out the interview HERE ! On this program, I play six works by Ileana Perez-Velasquez, Richard Barrett, Nina C. Young, Kaija Saariaho and Dai Fujikura, on violin, viola, and a detuned violin (borrowed for the day from the SPCO).

Nono conference March 23-26

I am delighted to participate in a conference next March 23-26 on the music of Luigi Nono. Presented by Tufts and Harvard Universities, it will involve notable scholars and performers. Chris Burns and I will be performing Nono’s “La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura”.  The call for papers has apparently drawn strong submissions – meanwhile the deadline is extended until Sept 1. Info is below.

Also regarding Nono: we are also excited to perform “La lontananza” at the new Brooklyn venue National Sawdust next February 17. Illuminating the vocal element of the piece and Nono’s longtime interest in Renaissance polyphony, our performance … Continue Reading

in the LA Times

I’m delighted to be mentioned in this article in wonderful company. The article is a tribute to Itzhak Perlman. A huge talent and an entertainer’s rapport with a global audience (pre-internet!) In my NewMusicBox interview this year, I mentioned Perlman as one of the “ideals” or “heroes” that mean a lot to me. I know most of the recordings in this article. I loved his Glazunov, Lalo, Bruch Scottish Fantasy. I was fond of the film of his Beethoven concerto with Giulini, and his playing on Schindler’s List. I went to many recitals he … Continue Reading

NewMusicBox interview/feature

I enjoyed very much talking with Molly Sheridan recently for this interview which has been published on New Music USA’s web magazine New Music Box.  For more than 15 years, I’ve turned to New Music USA in order to research music, seek out grants and learn about the music community around me. So I’m very touched to have been asked to do this interview, and I appreciate the article that goes with it. 

About the performer’s role, I’ll just add more strongly that the interpreter can drastically affect the impression a piece of music makes on audiences. … Continue Reading

recent reviews

Here’s the review from the New York Times of my January 25 concert of Mario Davidovsky’s and Donald Martino’s music: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/27/arts/music/miranda-cuckson-at-spectrum-and-paul-huang-at-lincoln-center.html

photo xn











And this one in the newspaper of my alma mater, the Juilliard Journal, of my Carter/Sessions/Eckardt disk:http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/1502/CD-reviews 

And in the March 2015 issue of Downbeat magazine:

Downbeat rev


SoundNotion interview

I was a guest this week on Sound Notion and it was fun being interviewed by Patrick, David, Sam and Nate!

Listen to our conversation here:  http://www.soundnotion.tv/2014/12/soundnotion-189/

I noticed that in the tumble of real-time discussion, a couple points were a bit unclear, so to offer a couple corrections:

Midori (whom I met in Pre-College when she first came to the US and who was also my high-school classmate) has indeed played and programmed a lot of contemporary music, particularly in the last 10-15 years.

Patrick states that he has never heard anyone say that they don’t like … Continue Reading

about new CD

A few people have asked me about my process and intentions with the pieces on my latest CD “Melting the Darkness” (CD available from the Store page, digital release by Urlicht on Nov. 11). So I thought I’d take a quick moment to write some more about these things.

Unlike most of my CDs, the programs of which were each recorded in one chunk of a couple consecutive days, this CD was recorded over three years. This was because a couple of the pieces were being written, and because I was seeking opportunities to perform the pieces before … Continue Reading

Interview with MusicaClasicaBA

I took a great trip this August to Buenos Aires with my organization Nunc to perform a couple concerts of Mario Davidovsky’s music at the Teatro Colón. You can see news from that adventure at Nunc’s website: http://nuncmusic.org/news/

The concerts had a wonderfully warm response and as follow-up, I did this interview on August 20 with MusicaClasicaBA. English version posted below:

BA logo




Last august 15th we went to the CETC (Experimentation Center of Teatro Colón) in regard of a two concert series and a conference dedicated to the music of argentinian … Continue Reading

Liner notes for Melting the Darkness CD

“Melting the Darkness”

Notes by MC (Nov. 6, 2013)

This album ventures into regions of the art of violin-playing the significance of which is now becoming clear. Devoted entirely to microtonal compositions for violin and pieces for violin with electronics, this CD explores works of seven composers who have been challenged by these areas of discovery to create intriguingly fresh and surprising sound worlds.

Like opera singing and ballet dancing, the violin-playing tradition as situated within the Western classical heritage is a tremendously rich vein of history and achievement. It has involved a collective cultivation of craft and technique, an establishing of certain … Continue Reading

Cultured Cleveland review

A very thoughtful review by Frank Kuznik of my April 1 solo concert at Cleveland’s Transformer Station was apparently not archived on Cultured Cleveland‘s website, so I am posting the full text below. While I feel well-appreciated by this reviewer, I should say that, given the many styles of composing and expression these days, I think there is new music that can be, and has been, described as stylish and/or charming. But it is true that some of the music I play is not usually perceived or played that way. Another great review of … Continue Reading

interview about Michael Hersch’s music

Mutations CD with Vijay Iyer


IyerLast September, I was delighted to play on Vijay Iyer’s new CD, his first for ECM Records. The central piece of the album is “Mutations I-X” for piano and string quartet. I had a marvelous time working with Vijay, a brilliant, inspiring and wonderfully warm person, and terrific colleagues Michi Wiancko, Kyle Armbrust and Kivie Cahn-Lipman. And it was a pleasure and honor to meet Manfred Eicher, with whom I’m happy to say I’ll be recording my next CD soon in Lugano, for the ECM label.

The release of Mutations is March … Continue Reading

Thoughts about music at the new year


Here’s to
– music as a lifelong endeavor and part of personal growth
– the passion of music
– the flow of music in time
– the mathematics and science of music
– music’s ability to express anything
– the physicality of playing music
– the physicality of the dance in music
– the disembodied selflessness of feeling in the moment that you are only in service of the music, of wanting that phrase or sound to express what it wants to express, of making the music “happy”
– the communality and liveliness of a concert and putting on a show
– the ephemerality and unpredictability … Continue Reading

Carter, Sessions, Eckardt to be released on this website in January (release by Urlicht AudioVisual March 3)

I am glad to be able to share with you soon my latest recording. I hope you will find it enjoyable, mind- and ear-opening, rewarding listening.  Following are my liner notes:

(December 3, 2013 by M.C.)

This CD presents three major works by American composers: Elliott Carter’s Duo (1973), Roger Sessions’ Sonata for Violin (1953) and Jason Eckardt’s Strömkarl (2012). The Carter and Sessions are landmark works in the violin repertoire and in American classical music, and I am truly delighted to bring them together on this recording. Sessions’ Sonata, the composer’s first piece using dodecaphonic … Continue Reading

Nunc concert on December 14

Nunc December 14, 2013, 8pm at Tenri Cultural Institute, 43 West 13 Street, NYCtickets $15/students $10

On Saturday, December 14, at 8:00pm, music organization Nunc (director, Miranda Cuckson) will present a concert of chamber music at Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City. The program:

 Sofia Gubaidulina:  Dancer on a Tightrope, for violin and piano (1995)

Cenk Ergün:  Dolce Far Niente, for violin and piano (2013)

Gilad Cohen:  Trio for a Spry Clarinet, Weeping Cello and Ruminating Harp (2010)

Alexander Goehr:  Manere, Op. 81 for clarinet and violin (2008)

Anton Arensky: Quartet Op. 35 for violin, viola and two cellos (1894)


Performers will be … Continue Reading

Recital at Mannes College, Oct. 24 at 8pm

I’m playing a recital this Thursday night, October 24 at 8pm, at Mannes College, where I am on the college faculty. I hope those of you who are in town can come and hear it! Here is the program, with program notes by me:


Miranda Cuckson, violin

with Yegor Shevtsov, piano 

Mannes Concert Hall, 150 West 85 street, NYCadmission freeOctober 24, 8pm


Sonate pour violon et piano (1917)     Claude Debussy (1862-1918)Sonata for violin and piano  (1996)    Steven Mackey (b. 1956)


 Fantasy-Variations for solo violin (1962) Donald Martino (1931-2005)Sonata … Continue Reading

Ralph Shapey’s Dotted Rhythms


Ralph Shapey’s Dotted Rhythms: a Violinist’s Point of View

by Miranda Cuckson  

            For the violinist, Ralph Shapey’s compositional output offers an abundance of challenges, and a wealth of strikingly expressive music, much of which has gone largely unheard. Shapey wrote for the violin throughout his life, producing a large catalogue of works for the instrument. These include eight solo pieces, most of them multi-movement; seven pieces for violin and piano; six works for violin with orchestra or ensemble, including the Invocation-Concerto (1959) and a concerto entitled The Legends (1999); and duos with viola, cello, and voice. He also … Continue Reading

My meeting with Henri Dutilleux

Henri Dutilleux was one of the great artists of the last century and a wonderful man, and I treasure my memories of meeting him and playing for him in Paris one summer. Following the very saddening news of his death, Sequenza21 asked me to write about my visit with him. My little essay is now posted here on the Sequenza 21 site, also here on Tumblr (with larger photos). (A note: M. Dutilleux wrote the date wrong in his dedication on my score. It was 2001.)

Continue Reading

Shapey concert at Contempo, University of Chicago

I am thrilled to perform and present, with my organization Nunc, a concert tribute to Ralph Shapey on March 1, on the Contempo series at the University of Chicago. There is info on Nunc’s website here.

Here is the note I sent them for the program book. If you’re in the Chicago area, I hope you’ll join us!


I was truly delighted when Shulamit Ran and Elsa Charlston asked me to put together this concert of Ralph Shapey’s music for the Contempo series. His work has been immensely satisfying to play and … Continue Reading

nunc concert January 18

Following a very lovely and successful benefit house concert for nunc yesterday, I’m looking forward to nunc’s concert this Friday, January 18 at 8pm. It’s a really interesting, fun, riveting program that I think you’ll enjoy greatly- and it’s FREE.  Do come!

I’d love to see you there! My program notes are below. 

nunc presents

“Got to be Modernistic”

a chamber music concert

with Miranda Cuckson, director, violin and viola


Joseph Brent, mandolin; Alex Lipowski, percussion; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano; Matei Varga, piano; Ning Yu, piano

at Mannes Concert Hall150 West 85th Street 


Quasi hoquetus (1984)  for … Continue Reading

Nono CD release JANUARY 4 and 5

The release events for my Nono CD were postponed because of hurricane Sandy. I’m glad to say we’ve rescheduled them for January 4 and 5. I am also very gratified and excited that the recording has been named one on the Best Classical Recordings of 2012 by the New York Times.

Hope you’ll join us! We’ll have CDs there for sale. Please see my previous blog posts for more info and thoughts.


CD release Event: January 4

Artists’ Event: January 5


Date and time: Friday, January 4, 2012, *7 PMPlace: Spectrum121 Ludlow Street, Second Floor, New York, NYTickets: $15 … Continue Reading

Nono CD release!

I am really thrilled that my CD of Nono “la lontananza” will be released early next month. It has been a truly great thing to work on. To any of you in New York City on Nov 2 and 3, I hope you can join us for some really interesting and exciting performances and discussions to celebrate the release. Please see my blog posts from last year to read some thoughts on this very moving and multi-layered piece.

From the press release:

“la lontananza nostalgica utopica futura” distills Nono’s manifold lifelong preoccupations – philosophy, politics, history, theater, text, spatialization, improvisation, real-world sounds, … Continue Reading

July 13 Bargemusic “Here and Now”!

Hi Everyone,

New and recent violin music, coming up!  On Friday, July 13, I am going to perform a solo violin recital at NYC’s Bargemusic. I hope you’ll come and enjoy it! It is such a great pleasure to play at this unique venue by the Brooklyn Bridge and I particularly love it there in the summer. I’m playing on the “Here and Now” series, which features contemporary works. I’m pleased about the program I am presenting, as the pieces are all by composer friends (or family) with whom I’ve worked. In most cases, I have known them for some years and … Continue Reading

program notes for Phillips Collection recital April 15

Hello, everyone. Happy Spring.

I am performing a recital with Aaron Wunsch at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC on April 15 at 3pm. Here are program notes I wrote for it. Hope you enjoy! Come and hear if you are in the area!

Phillips Collection link



This recital program, consisting of the Violin Sonatas of Leos Janácek and Richard Strauss and a suite of transcriptions by Ross Lee Finney, presents two streams of commonalities among the works to be performed. One is the composers’ nationalistic use of folkloric material, and the other is the flowering of an ornate, stylistically individual … Continue Reading

c)i concert March 4: Nono’s string quartet and Schoenberg

My ensemble counter)induction is playing a program of three great works on Sunday March 4 at the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Called “Where Words Leave Off”, the concert comprises Lachenmann’s “Dal Niente”, Nono’s “Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima” and Schoenberg’s “Ode to Napoleon” for reciter and piano quintet, with Paula Robison narrating. These works explore the combining of text and music in unusual ways (ie. words not sung but spoken or thought), and music as a vehicle for political message. (Narration is used sometimes in musical works, but this is one of the most effective instances I know of.)

Hope you can come! … Continue Reading

new year…

Happy new year! A reminiscence: New Year’s Eve was the birthday of Nathan Milstein, whom I played for when I was 13. Around that time, he used to give a week of masterclasses in Zurich each year. Someone gave him a tape of me playing the Paganini concerto at a Juilliard concert and he invited me to come. Corey Cerovsek and I were there along with about a dozen college students. Over the week, I played movements of the Tchaikovsky concerto and Beethoven Op. 30 No. 3 sonata, Wieniawski D major Polonaise and Zigeunerweisen. (I brought Bach but didn’t get to play … Continue Reading