Since its founding in 2007, the Grammy-nominated string orchestra A Far Cry has developed a distinct approach to music-making, with playing and programming that encourage risk-taking and exploration for both player and audience. This year, A Far Cry was selected as Boston’s 2018 best classical ensemble by The Improper Bostonian, with one of its albums ranking at the top of Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart. The self-conducted orchestra is a democracy in which decisions are made collectively and leadership rotates among the players (“Criers”). This structure has led to consistently thoughtful, innovative, and unpredictable programming — and impactful collaborations with celebrated performers and composers. Boston Musical Intelligencer sums up the group: “In its first decade, this conductor-free ensemble has earned and sustained a reputation for top-drawer playing, engrossing programming, and outstanding guest artists.”
A Far Cry’s omnivorous approach has led to collaborations with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Simone Dinnerstein, Roomful of Teeth, the Silk Road Ensemble, Vijay Iyer, and David Krakauer. A Far Cry’s twelfth season in 2018-19 includes nine Boston-area concerts as part of the group’s own series, and three pairs of concerts as part of A Far Cry’s long-standing residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. New projects include commissions from composers Jessica Meyer and Grammy- nominated oudist/composer Mehmet Ali Sanlikol. A Far Cry will also collaborate with Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble in a new work by Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom focusing on the women of the Odyssey.
A Far Cry’s Crier Records launched auspiciously in 2014 with the Grammy-nominated album Dreams and Prayers. In September 2018, Crier Records released A Far Cry’s Visions and Variations, which recently received two Grammy nominations in the categories of Best Engineered Album (Classical) and Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance (Classical). Dreams and Prayers and Visions and Variations are available from the NativeDSD Music store.
Committed to maintaining their strong roots in the community, the Criers live and work in Boston, rehearsing at their storefront office in Jamaica Plain and fulfilling the role of Chamber Orchestra- in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A Far Cry is dedicated to passing on the spirit of collaboratively-empowered music to the next generation, and works closely with local students through educational partnerships with the New England Conservatory and Project STEP.
Megumi Stohs, one of the Criers and also the label manager, of Crier Records, explains: “Crier Records was born from the desire to take A Far Cry’s concert programming to the next level. Having our own label provides the utmost flexibility to create and release our musical experience to the world in a way that is beautiful inside and out, and to find a unique expression for every project. We are thrilled now to share our whole process – from the spark of a Crier’s idea, to the creation of a program, through the rehearsing, the concert, the recording process, and finally the completed realization of that initial spark: something you can hold in your hand and share with the world.”
Audiophile quality is a hallmark of Crier Records; every release will be made using DSD technology, and released in both standard and high resolution versions.
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