Mirror Visions Ensemble
Mirror Visions Ensemble (MVE) was founded from a desire to explore the relationship between music and text, initially through the creation of “mirror visions” — settings of the same text to music by different composers. The group's passion for storytelling has produced thematic concerts on surprising subjects, based on scholarly research and laced with humor, leading to the revitalization of art song programming. Featuring soprano, tenor, baritone and piano, often joined by other instrumentalists, MVE’s programs take audiences on an imaginative journey through song, showcasing well-known and often-neglected pieces by composers both familiar and new, set to texts by poets and historical figures that encompass published works, correspondence and other anecdotes.
Now in its 28th season, Mirror Visions Ensemble has championed and fostered the work of new composers, providing a platform for their works to be showcased through the commissioning and performance of nearly 100 works by more than 30 composers, including Tom Cipullo, Scott Wheeler, and Pulitzer Prize recipient Yehudi Wyner. Dedicated to developing the future catalogue of vocal chamber music, the ensemble launched its first-ever Young Composers Competition in the 2015-2016 season, awarding four commissions to early-career composers.
The ensemble has presented its programs, residencies, and masterclasses both in the U.S. and abroad at concert halls, schools, libraries, and museums. MVE’s concerts are often free and open to the public, continuing the ensemble’s commitment to education and its tradition of providing access to the arts. Mirror Visions Ensemble has appeared at such venues as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center, the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, Le Poisson Rouge, SubCulture, and Mt. Kisco’s Copland House, and at educational institutions including California State University at Fullerton, University of Southern California, New York University, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Northwestern University, Williams College, and Yale University. Museums in France have become a home for MVE, 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.
In recognition of strengthening cultural relationships between the U.S. and France, bringing to life forgotten texts and music from both French and American traditions, and sharing these works through commissions and performances by Mirror Visions Ensemble, Artistic Director Tobé Malawista was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2008.
MVE’s discography includes Américain à Paris (Albany 2003), Secrets (Albany 2004), Cosmic and Domestic Matters (Albany 2008), and The Three-Paneled Mirror (Centaur 2015). Mirror Visions Ensemble was founded by Tobé Malawista, Richard Lalli and Scott Murphree in 1992.