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Full Biography 2015-2016

As The New York Times aptly stated, “Unlike most chamber music enterprises, the Mirror Visions Ensemble is run by singers rather than instrumentalists, and its programs are shaped with an ear to the poetry of song texts rather than to overarching notions of musical style.” Mirror Visions Ensemble’s work, presenting concerts for Soprano, Tenor, Baritone and piano, has figured prominently around performing and commissioning musical ‘mirror visions’ – multiple settings of the same text by one or more composers.  What began with programs focusing on poets such as Dickinson, Heine, Shakespeare and Verlaine has since expanded to include the commissioning of over 80 works from 24 composers. Rooted in commissioned works for vocal chamber music ensemble, founder and artistic director Tobé Malawista, along with the musicians, curates each concert; composers, poets and historical figures are explored not only through their published works, but also through correspondence and other anecdotes.

Mirror Visions’ 2015-16 season begins with two West Coast performances of its acclaimed program, Journeys, where five MVE commissions share the ride with travel songs from Barber, Berlioz, Duparc and Hayden, among others. Journeys will be performed in San Francisco and Sacramento, and in Ann Arbor, MI during the spring. In January, the Mirror Visions Ensemble debuts a new program, Myths and Legends, featuring deities, beasts, charms and lullabies in works by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Cole Porter, Zden─Ľk Fibich, Hahn and Charles Griffes, among others. It brings the program to New York City’s Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, as well as to Hillsdale, NY and Newton, MA. The ensemble premieres a second new program this season, Holidays Around the Globe, in Milford, PA in December.

Two recent projects devoted entirely to creating new works for vocal chamber music represent Ms. Malawista’s passion for commissioning and the discovery of new talent. In October, the Mirror Visions Ensemble announces the winners of its inaugural Young Composers Competition. Last season, seven Swedish composers were commissioned to set Swedish poems for the ensemble, all receiving their world premieres in May 2015 in Paris.

In past seasons, the ensemble has presented its unique programs and residencies both in the U.S. and abroad, including New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, New York University, Le Poisson Rouge, SubCulture and Bargemusic, California State University at Fullerton, University of Southern California, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Yale University, Northwestern University, Mt. Kisco’s Copland House, South County Concerts Chamber Music Series and on tour in Montana. Museums in France have become a home for Mirror Visions, with many performances at the Musée Carnavalet, Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Musée Nissim de Camondo, as well as at the American University of Paris.

The Mirror Visions Ensemble was founded by Tobé Malawista, Richard Lalli and Scott Murphree. The generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation has been vital to Mirror Visions’ success in France. In recognition of her work with Mirror Visions Ensemble, artistic director Tobé Malawista was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for her contributions to the culture of France.   

“Charm is a quality that this ensemble of three engaging singers has in spades.” -- The New Yorker  

“Warm tone, witty interpretive style…vital theatrical performances with histrionic touches that suited the score perfectly.” -- The New York Times  

Vira Slywotzky, Soprano
Scott Murphree, Tenor
Jesse Blumberg, Baritone
Mischa Bouvier, Baritone


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