Now in its second year, the long-term ensemble residency program at UPenn seeks to enrich student life by bringing in professional ensembles multiple times throughout the year to work with students. Ensemble members engage in teaching and coaching activities, as well as working closely with graduate and select undergraduate composition students to create substantial musical works for performance and recording at the end of the academic year.

Support for the Ensemble-in-Residence has been provided by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.

TAK Ensemble (2022-2023)

Regarded as “one of the most prominent ensembles in the United States practicing truly experimental music” (I Care If You Listen), TAK delivers energetic performances "that combine crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex” (The WIRE), and “impresses with the organicity of their sound, their dynamism and virtuosity” (New Sounds, WQXR).  

Founded on the principles of curiosity, change, and caring communication, TAK is dedicated to the commissioning of new works and direct collaboration with composers and other artists and they have premiered hundreds of works to date. TAK is Laura Cocks, flute; Madison Greenstone, clarinet; Charlotte Mundy, voice; Marina Kifferstein, violin; Ellery Trafford, percussion.

2022-2023 marks TAK’s 10th anniversary season, celebrating a decade of cultivating creative programming at the highest level. Upcoming projects include a new commission from Tyshawn Sorey to be premiered at Lincoln Center in fall 2022, commissions from Michelle Lou and DM R with Joy Guidry to be premiered at TAK’s 10th anniversary celebration in May 2023, and new works from Eric Wubbels, Seth Cluett, Natacha Diels, Bryan Jacobs, Elaine Mitchener, Ann Cleare, Weston Olencki, and Jessie Cox. This season will also see the release of TAK's first collaboratively composed work on dinzu artefacts.

The quintet has released seven albums to critical acclaim; recent records have been described as “sublime art… a masterpiece,” (AnEarful), and “one of the most distinct and eclectic releases of the year” (I Care If You Listen). Their recorded output fosters a “deep sense of connection and communication” (Bandcamp Daily), and features collaborations with Mario Diaz de Leon, Taylor Brook, Erin Gee, Brandon López, Ann Cleare, Tyshawn Sorey, Natacha Diels, Scott L. Miller, David Bird, and Ashkan Behzadi. Their most recent release, Love, Crystal and Stone brought together composer Ashkan Behzadi, scholar Saharnaz Samaienejad, painter Mehrdad Jafari, and design-house Sonnenzimmer to fuse poetry, visual art, original essays, and music into an experience-based hybrid publication. The ensemble’s 2019 album Oor launched their in-house media label, TAK editions, that aims to support recorded musical endeavors from across the experimental music communities, highlighting direct conversations with artists through the TAK editions Podcast. Recent TAK editions releases have included those of Ensemble Interactivo de La Habana, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Nina Dante + Bethany Younge, and several of TAK’s own recordings.

Deeply committed to educational collaborations, TAK has conducted residencies at institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Oberlin Conservatory, Cornell University, Wesleyan University, New York University, The Delian Academy for New Music, and many others. The ensemble has also collaborated with the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program. TAK is currently the Long-term Visiting Ensemble in Residence at University of Pennsylvania.


Banner Image: sourced from the TAK Ensemble website

Ensemble Photo Credit: by Kaveh Kowsari