Anonymous 4

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

Anonymous 4
Anonymous 4 in October, 2012
Background information
GenresA cappella, Medieval
Years active1992 (1992)–2016 (2016)
LabelsHarmonia Mundi, Sony Classical Records
Associated actsBruce Molsky, The Mountain Goats
MembersMarsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer, Ruth Cunningham, Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek
Past membersJohanna Maria Rose

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.[1]


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").


An English Ladymass: Medieval Chant and Polyphony1993Harmonia MundiCD
On Yoolis Night: Medieval Carols and Motets for Christmas1993Harmonia MundiCD
Love's Illusion: Music From The Montpellier Codex 13th Century1994Harmonia MundiCD
The Lily and the Lamb: Chant & Polyphony from Medieval England1994Harmonia MundiCD
Voices of Light1995Sony Classical RecordsCD
Ancient Voices 1995Harmonia MundiCD
Miracles of Sant'Iago1996Harmonia MundiCD
A Star in the East - Medieval Hungarian Christmas Music 1996Harmonia MundiCD
Portrait of Anonymous 41997Harmonia MundiCD
Hildegard von Bingen - 11,000 Virgins: Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula1997Harmonia MundiCD
A Lammas Ladymass: 13th and 14th Century English Chant and Polyphony1998Harmonia MundiCD
Legends of St. Nicholas1999Harmonia MundiCD
1000: A Mass for the End of Time1999Harmonia MundiCD
The Second Circle: Love Songs of Francesco Landini2001Harmonia MundiCD
La bele Marie: Songs to the Virgin from 13th-Century France2002Harmonia MundiCD
Darkness into Light - John Tavener2003Harmonia MundiCD
Wolcum Yule2003Harmonia MundiCD
American Angels2004Harmonia MundiCD
The Origin of Fire: Hildegard von Bingen2005Harmonia MundiCD
Carols and Chants for Christmas2005Harmonia MundiCD
Gloryland2006Harmonia MundiCD
Miracles of Compostela2008Harmonia MundiCD
Four Centuries of Chant2009Harmonia MundiCD
The Cherry Tree2010Harmonia MundiCD
Secret Voices: Chant & Polyphony from the Las Huelgas Codex, c. 13002011Harmonia MundiCD
Marie et Marion2014Harmonia MundiCD
love fail2014CanteloupeCD (A work composed for the group by David Lang using texts by such writers as Lydia Davis)
18652015Harmonia MundiCD
Three Decades Of Anonymous 4: 1986-20162016Harmonia MundiCD (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. "Anonymous 4: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But They're Doing It)". National Public Radio. 2014. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
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