The Ambrosia Ensemble, April 2012

What is the Ambrosia Ensemble?

The Ambrosia Ensemble is a mixed vocal/instrumental chamber ensemble dedicated to exploring spiritual themes through the works of contemporary composers. The Ambrosia Ensemble approaches sacred music in its broadest sense by requesting and interpreting original works inspired by nature (the environment, the beauty of the natural world, etc.), mysticism (personal initiation, divine love, etc.), mythical and psychological archetypes (exploration of the deep psyche through mythology, etc.) and spirituality (sacred texts, ceremonial music, etc.). In this sense, while the Ambrosia Ensemble welcomes works based on the texts and scriptures of the world’s sacred traditions, it is most especially dedicated to discovering and communicating a more personal and modern sense of spirituality which is uniquely embodied in each composer, always focusing on the subjective experience of the individual artist before the liturgical texts of a particular religion.

The Ambrosia Ensemble, February, 2011

How does the Ambrosia Ensemble operate?

The Ambrosia ensemble has a flexible membership, generally centering around 8-12 singers, 4-6 string players, and a rotating roster of wind players and period instrumentalists, allowing flexibility for a different configuration for each piece of music. Instrumentalists who also sing (or vice versa) or those who play multiple instruments add to the general flexibility of the ensemble. The ensemble aims to perform approximately two concerts per year. Although the group has the essential configuration of an “early music consort,” and lends itself well to early music styles, there is no requirement that compositions for this group imitate early music per se. Rather, the inclusion of early music elements emphasizes the Ambrosia Ensemble’s commitment to combining the magic and gravitas of the ancient world with the social relevance of contemporary art.

Ambrosia Men's Choir Photo

The Ambrosia Ensemble Men’s Choir, April 2010

How did the Ambrosia Ensemble begin?

In the spring of 2010, The Ambrosia Men’s Choir performed its debut concert, premiering seven original works for men’s choir, with texts ranging from Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost to the Kyrie of the Requiem Mass. The success of this concert inspired founder and director Ethan Gans-Morse to expand both the membership and the vision of the ensemble in order to realize his dream of providing composers with an opportunity to explore what the idea of sacred music means to them while offering early music and chamber musicians a wealth of new repertoire written specifically for them.

Can I hear the Ambrosia Ensemble?

Many of our recordings can be heard on our Multimedia Page.