For the past three summers, NYC-based ensemble Decoda has been the Ensemble-in-Residence at the Við Djúpið Music Festival in Ísafjörður, Iceland. This concert presents a program of new music and recent compositions from the festival.
This includes Daníel Bjarnason’s Bow to String (2010), Benjamin Britten’s Phantasy Quartet (1932), Dear and Blackbirds by Ellis Ludwig Leone (2014), Grunnavík by Halldór Smárason (2011), and Anton Svanberg’s Quartet (2011).
Supported in part by Icelandic Music Export and The American Scandinavian Society of New York.
Decoda is a chamber ensemble comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts. Based in New York City, Decoda creates innovative performances and engaging projects with partners around the world. The ensemble features Meena Bhasin, viola; Owen Dalby, violin; James Austin Smith, oboe; and former ASF Fellow Sæunn Þorsteinsdóttir, cello.
The artists of Decoda have a background of shared training and experience as fellows in the two-year program known as Ensemble ACJW – The Academy, a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Since its inception in 2011, Decoda’s residencies have reached audiences in schools, hospitals, and prisons, as well as in renowned concert halls across the globe.
Recent travels have taken Decoda to Abu Dhabi, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Hong Kong, and Switzerland, and in the 2013-14 season, Decoda will present residencies in the United Kingdom and Denmark, along with return engagements in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
While in residence at the Við Djúpið Music Festival, they presented concerts, master classes, and seminars, as well as worked with young composers chosen through an international competition, who wrote new works specifically for the group. During the festival, the chosen composers worked on these pieces with Decoda, along with Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason, culminating each year in a concert premiering these works on Icelandic National Radio.
Decoda is the resident ensemble at Greenwich House Music School in NYC’s historic West Village and its first season included engagements at the Mainly Mozart Festival (San Diego), Bay Chamber Concerts (Maine), Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Chelsea Music Festival (NYC), Carnegie Kids @ Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Festival (UAE), Við Djúpið Festival (Iceland), Programa de Educación Musical Fomento Cultural Banamex & Carnegie Hall (Mexico), and the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase. Since 2011, Decoda has participated in Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Program, undertaking creative projects at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Beth Abraham Hospital, and Valley Lodge Shelter.
Decoda’s NYC offerings this season include a four-concert series at Trinity Wall Street, the Bulgarian Concert Evenings, the Kosciuszko Foundation, Lyrica Chamber Music Series, DROM, and a debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to return engagements in Abu Dhabi and Mexico, new international partnerships bring Decoda to Copenhagen to collaborate with the Danish String Quartet, as well as to the United Kingdom for residencies at the Southbank Centre, the Barbican, the Guildhall School of Music, and in Cornwall.
Decoda was recently awarded grants from Chamber Music America and the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation for an extended residency in Camden, South Carolina, presenting Interactive Performances at eleven middle and high schools and a creative songwriting workshop with members of the Better Living Incentive Community at Lee Correctional Institute.