Praised by The New York Times as "an ensemble that plays by its own rules" (2009) and "a trustworthy purveyor of new sounds" (2013), Either/Or has been at the forefront of New York's contemporary music scene since 2004. Winner of the 2015 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming, Either/Or focuses on new and recent works for unconventional ensembles rarely heard elsewhere. Co-directors Richard Carrick and David Shively curate its programming, drawing on the Either/Or roster of 17 regular musicians alongside special guests. Performances throughout the Northeast, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, ICA Boston, Miller Theatre, The Kitchen, as well as a recent Swedish tour and frequent appearances at experimental music venues such as The Stone, Roulette, and Issue Project Room.
Aesthetically, the Either/Or programming explores equally the products of an American Experimental tradition (as traceable via artists such as Cage, Feldman, Lucier, Ashley) and of a European avant-garde, with a special emphasis on composers working outside the institutional mainstream. Either/Or has presented the first US portrait concerts for composers such as Chaya Czernowin, Horatiu Radulescu, Karin Rehnqvist, Rebecca Saunders, Hans Thomalla, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, bringing most of these composers to New York City for public lectures and teaching engagements.
Either/Or has premiered more than 100 new works in past seasons, not including dozens of student compositions. Artists commissioned by Either/Or include Anthony Coleman, George Lewis, Keeril Makan, Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, and Elliott Sharp. Either/Or has released CD recordings of composers Keeril Makan (Starkland, 2011), Richard Carrick (New World, 2011, 2015), Karin Rehnqvist (Sterling, 2013), and Anthony Coleman (New World, 2014) as well as having further titles in preparation from Makan, Elliott Sharp, and Morton Feldman.
Either/Or and its directors have been Artists in Residence at MIT (2014), SUNY-Buffalo (2013), the New School for Social Research (2010) and New York University (2008-9). Educational activities have included course instruction, master classes, open rehearsals, readings, and premieres of student works.