Anonymous 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anonymous 4
Anonymous 4 in October, 2012
Background information
GenresA cappella, Medieval
Years active1992 (1992)–2016 (2016)
LabelsHarmonia Mundi, Sony Classical Records
MembersMarsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Ruth Cunningham, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek
Past membersJohanna Maria Rose

Anonymous 4 was an American female a cappella quartet, founded in 1986[1] and based in New York City. Their main performance genre was medieval music, although later they also premiered works by recent composers such as John Tavener and Steve Reich.

The name of the group is a pun on the name used to refer to an anonymous English music theorist of the late 13th century, Anonymous IV, who is the principal source on the two famous composers of the Notre Dame school, Léonin and Pérotin.

Anonymous 4 performed in cities throughout North America, and were regulars at major international festivals. The 2003–2004 season was their last as a full-time recording and touring ensemble, but they continued to tour and make recordings while pursuing individual projects.

The group collaborated with the Chilingirian Quartet on their 2003 album Darkness Into Light and The Mountain Goats on their 2012 album Transcendental Youth as well as with Christopher Tin in 2009 on his album Calling All Dawns, and in 2014 on The Drop That Contained the Sea.

The CD 1865, which features songs from the Civil War with Bruce Molsky on guitar, fiddle, banjo, and vocals was their final recording. The ensemble disbanded at the end of the 2015–2016 season.[2]


The original lineup included Johanna Maria Rose, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, and Ruth Cunningham. In 1998, Cunningham left and was replaced by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek. In 2008, Cunningham returned to the group in place of Johanna Maria Rose until their 2016 disbanding. Genensky grew up in California in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains; Hellauer was born and raised in the Bronx, New York; Cunningham was brought up in Millbrook, New York; Rose grew up in the village of Grand View-on-Hudson, New York; and Horner-Kwiatek is from Monkstown, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland (she won her Green Card in the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, commonly known as the "Green Card Lottery").


Name Date Label Format
An English Ladymass: Medieval Chant and Polyphony 1993 Harmonia Mundi CD
On Yoolis Night: Medieval Carols and Motets for Christmas 1993 Harmonia Mundi CD
Love's Illusion: Music From The Montpellier Codex 13th Century 1994 Harmonia Mundi CD
The Lily and the Lamb: Chant & Polyphony from Medieval England 1994 Harmonia Mundi CD
Voices of Light 1995 Sony Classical Records CD
Ancient Voices 1995 Harmonia Mundi CD
Miracles of Sant'Iago 1996 Harmonia Mundi CD
A Star in the East – Medieval Hungarian Christmas Music 1996 Harmonia Mundi CD
Portrait of Anonymous 4 1997 Harmonia Mundi CD
Hildegard von Bingen – 11,000 Virgins: Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula 1997 Harmonia Mundi CD
A Lammas Ladymass: 13th and 14th Century English Chant and Polyphony 1998 Harmonia Mundi CD
Legends of St. Nicholas 1999 Harmonia Mundi CD
1000: A Mass for the End of Time 1999 Harmonia Mundi CD
The Second Circle: Love Songs of Francesco Landini 2001 Harmonia Mundi CD
La bele Marie: Songs to the Virgin from 13th-Century France 2002 Harmonia Mundi CD
Darkness into Light – John Tavener 2003 Harmonia Mundi CD
Wolcum Yule 2003 Harmonia Mundi CD
American Angels 2004 Harmonia Mundi CD
The Origin of Fire: Hildegard von Bingen 2005 Harmonia Mundi CD
Carols and Chants for Christmas 2005 Harmonia Mundi CD
Gloryland 2006 Harmonia Mundi CD
Miracles of Compostela 2008 Harmonia Mundi CD
Four Centuries of Chant 2009 Harmonia Mundi CD
The Cherry Tree 2010 Harmonia Mundi CD
Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex, c. 1300 2011 Harmonia Mundi CD
Marie et Marion 2014 Harmonia Mundi CD
love fail 2014 Cantaloupe CD (A work composed for the group by David Lang using texts by such writers as Lydia Davis)
1865 2015 Harmonia Mundi CD
Three Decades Of Anonymous 4: 1986–2016 2016 Harmonia Mundi CD (A retrospective collection of highlights from the 30-year collaboration with Harmonia Mundi, with repertoire ranging from 12th-century ecstatic chant to American roots music.)


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ "Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)". National Public Radio. 2014. Retrieved 2012-11-06.

External links[edit]