New York Pro Musica

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New York Pro Musica was a vocal and instrumental ensemble that specialized in medieval and Renaissance music. It was co-founded in 1952, under the name Pro Musica Antiqua, by Noah Greenberg, a choral director, and Bernard Krainis, a recorder player who studied with Erich Katz. Other prominent musicians who joined included Russell Oberlin (the first American counter-tenor) and Martha Blackman (the first American gambist)[1] and Frederick Renz, who founded Early Music Foundation after Pro Musica disbanded. [2]

The ensemble is perhaps best known for reviving the medieval Play of Daniel in the 1950s, which has since become a popular liturgical drama among early music groups. The group gave its first concert at the New School for Social Research in New York City on April 26, 1953. The ensemble performed in 1960 for the Peabody Mason Concert series in Boston.[3] The group continued after Greenberg's death in 1966 and disbanded in 1974. Greenberg's successor, musicologist John Reeves White, took over the direction of the ensemble in 1966; the last director was George Houle, who tried to bring the group more in line with trends in Europe at a time when the United States was not ready for such changes. Houle went on to teach musicology at Stanford University.

Select discography[edit]

  • New York Pro Musica: An Anthology of Their Greatest Works, Noah Greenberg, conductor. 7 record set. Everest Records (1966, Everest 3145/7)


  1. ^ James Gollin, Pied Piper: the many lives of Noah Greenberg Pendragon Press (2001), p. 114-115. ISBN 1-57647-041-5. Retrieved November 2, 2011
  2. ^
  3. ^ Boston Globe, 17-Oct-1960, Cyrus Durgin, "New York Pro Musica heard in Mason series"
  • Paul C. Echols. "Early-music revival". The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, Volume II: E-K. pp. 2–6.

External links[edit]