Firebird Ensemble, directed by violist Kate Vincent, has been described as "ambitious and eclectic" by The New York Times and is fast gaining a reputation as being one of the premier new music ensembles in the United States. Known for its highly varied contemporary repertoire, virtuosic performances, and wide audience appeal, Firebird Ensemble's repertoire spans a time period from the mid 1900s to the present day and includes music originating from diverse sources and genres. Firebird Ensemble has embarked on projects featuring interdisciplinary collaborations, microtonal music, contemporary/rock crossover, improvisation, and also performances presenting the cornerstones of contemporary music literature. Firebird Ensemble's contribution to contemporary music has been recognized with support from notable organizations such as the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Aaron Copland Foundation, Argosy Foundation, Jebediah Fund and the St. Botolph Foundation.
Since its inception in 2001, Firebird Ensemble has commissioned and premiered a wide array of compositions including works by Luciano Berio, Lisa Bielawa, John Eaton, Curtis Hughes, Derek Hurst, Lee Hyla, John McDonald, Joseph Maneri, John Mallia, Donald Martino, Gerard Pape, Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, and Rolf Wallin. In March 2008, as part of the MATA Festival in New York, Firebird Ensemble soloed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in a Fromm Foundation commission by Derek Hurst. Currently, Firebird Ensemble is undertaking two CD recording projects featuring the music of Lee Hyla and Curtis Hughes in addition to commissions from Donald Crockett, Jonathan Holland, Eric Moe, and Nicholas Vines. In 2010, Firebird Ensemble will perform the world premiere of Donald Crockett's chamber opera, The Face, with libretto by David St. John.
In addition to its concert activities, Firebird Ensemble has undertaken educational residencies at several prominent institutions in the North East including the New England Conservatory and has upcoming residencies at Tufts University, Amherst College, and Fitchburg State College. Firebird Ensemble is also active in providing concerts for under-served school aged audiences with annual performances of The Passion of Scrooge by Jon Deak featuring the acclaimed baritone, Aaron Engebreth.
"In the free-spirited Firebird Ensemble, Boston has its equivalent to such prominent, genre busting new-music ensembles as Eighth Blackbird or Alarm Will Sound"..."they have the chops, the energy, the style". - The Boston Globe