Anonymous 4

It's been said that when you hear the vocal group Anonymous 4 perform, you're listening to the music of angels or something that can't possibly come from our world. In a word, unearthly. Unfortunately, that sound won't be around much longer, as the group has decided to retire their angelic vocal cords with the 2015-2016 season.  

In 1986, four women gathered in a casual setting to sing through a bit of medieval chant. Little did they know they were launching Anonymous 4, an a cappella ensemble that has spanned nearly 30 years, 20 albums, countless concerts and more than a millenium of music.

Today the group announced that the 2015-16 season will be its last together. But this isn't the first time Anonymous 4 has thought about calling it quits. The group bid a similar farewell in 2004.

As of this year, the vocal group Anonymous 4 has been introducing modern audiences to medieval music for a quarter century. When the all-female quartet asked David Lang to help mark the occasion by writing them some music, he didn't need any convincing. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer was already a big fan.

Jim Cotter speaks with composer Behzad Ranjbaran. Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs his piano concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra in concerts on December 10, 11, and 12, 2010.

David Patrick Stearns profiles the female a capella group Anonymous 4, who perform in Philadelphia and Elizabethtown, PA as part of their Noel tour.

We speak with composer Bill Cunliffe. He's been nominated for a Grammy for his "fourth stream?la banda" - a work commissioned for the Temple University Symphony Orchestra and trumpet soloist Terell Stafford.

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Join Jill Pasternak when she brings you the ethereal sounds of Anonymous 4. Dedicated to the performance of medieval chant and polyphony, the ensemble is renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing. Their recordings are a fixture on the shelves of early music collectors. The four women of Anonymous 4 combine musical, literary, and historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition as they create ingeniously designed programs, interweaving music with poetry and narrative.