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Students, Faculty + Alumni

Canata Profana honored by Chamber Music America

Cantata ProfanaCantata Profana, the New York-based vocal chamber ensemble founded by YSM alumnus Jacob Ashworth '13 MM, '14 MMA, was honored at this year's Chamber Music America Conference Awards with a prize for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

In addition to Ashworth, the theatrical and versatile ensemble is also home to several other YSM alumni, including Hannah Collins, cello; Arash Noori, guitar; Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet; Lee Dionne, keyboard; Doug Perry, percussion; Annie Rosen, voice; Daniel Schlosberg, piano; and John Taylor Ward, voice, as well as Ethan Heard, a graduate of Yale School of Drama.

Cantata Profana is one of three ensemble and four presenters that have been selected to receive the prestigious award, which will be presented by Cia Toscanini, vice president of concert music for ASCAP, at the Chamber Music America National Conference on Sunday, January 10, 2016.

Established jointly by Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the annual awards recognize U.S.-based professional ensembles and presenters for distinctive programming of music composed within the past 25 years. The recipients, chosen by an independent panel of classical and jazz chamber music professionals, were evaluated on the basis of their programming and innovations in attracting audiences to performances of new music.

About Cantata Profana

As the New York Time recently wrote, “While its theatrical bent is a constant, Cantata Profana’s approach to the repertory is admirably varied and indefinable.” As a vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble, Cantata Profana brings a wide range of baroque and contemporary music to its uniquely narrative programming style.  The ensemble is devoted to new music, old music, vocal music, “to most anything, so long as the mixture is put together thoughtfully and put across persuasively” (New York Times).

Toggling between Mainstage productions, smaller Spotlight Series concerts by core artists, and collaborations with their sister company Heartbeat Opera, Cantata Profana presents an almost gluttonous range of music each season. Cantata Profana’s fourth season will include a staging of Hans Werner Henze’s epic masterwork Kammermusik 1958, as well as a mainstage collaboration with Kettle Corn New Music, programs of Italian modernism, French baroque, cabaret songs, and Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas with Heartbeat Opera.

At home in New York and New Haven, Conn., Cantata Profana has recently traveled to Avaloch Farm Music Institute in New Hampshire, the Banff Centre in Canada, Connecticut’s Music Mountain, and Boston’s Goethe-Institut. WEBSITE

About Chamber Music America

Chamber Music America was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen the chamber music community. With a membership of over 6,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artist managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes members representing a wide range of musical styles and traditions. In addition to its funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine, and a website,


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is a membership association of more than 555,000 composers, songwriters, and publishers of every music genre. Founded in 1914, ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and governed by its members. ASCAP licenses non-dramatic public performances, and distributes royalties to its members. ASCAP makes obtaining permission to perform music simple and economical for all who wish to perform copyrighted music publicly.

This post was updated December 21, 2015.