Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine musical, literary, and historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition as they create ingeniously designed programs, interweaving music with poetry and narrative.
In addition to their unmatched medieval repertoire, Anonymous 4 has often reached out into the realm of contemporary music, and has premiered works by Peter Maxwell Davies, John Tavener, Steve Reich, and Richard Einhorn. The group has most recently expanded their repertoire to include traditional music of the British Isles and America.
Anonymous 4 has performed in major venues and festivals throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. The ensemble has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion," "CBS Sunday Morning," A&E's "Breakfast With the Arts," and NPR’s “Weekend Edition.” Anonymous 4's award-winning recordings have attained unprecedented popularity, rising to the top of Billboard's classical chart, and selling almost 1.5 million copies worldwide.
MARSHA GENENSKY grew up in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, only a two-mile walk from the Pacific Ocean. She moved a little bit farther east to pursue a B.A. in music and folklore from Scripps College, and a lot farther east to pursue an M.A. in folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, before moving to New York and helping to found Anonymous 4. With Johanna, she has handled language and other historical research and has adapted narrative and poetry for A4’s many medieval programs. She has also acted as music director for the group’s runaway hit, American Angels, and as music director and associate producer for Gloryland, their sequel recording featuring guest instrumentalists, Darol Anger and Mike Marshall. She has finally returned to California, after having spent nearly half a lifetime 3,000 miles away from her native home.
SUSAN HELLAUER was born and raised in the beautiful Bronx, New York, where she rooted for the Yankees, played knock hockey, and brought various minor forms of disgrace to her Catholic school uniform. She earned a B.A. in music from Queens College (CUNY) as a trumpet player, but an increasing fascination with medieval and Renaissance vocal music led her to convert to singing, and to pursue degrees in musicology from Queens College and Columbia University. Susan has performed with numerous early music and other ensembles, including Pomerium, Lionheart, The Harp Consort, Apollo's Fire, and the Fes International Festival of Sacred Music. She has done the bulk of Anonymous 4's medieval music research, and works as a singer, voice teacher and choral coach, and is an adjunct professor at Queens College of the City University of New York. Susan also plays sackbut and Baroque guitar, and is a volunteer EMT and driver with the Nyack Community Ambulance Corps.
JACQUELINE HORNER comes from a little village called Monkstown, in Northern Ireland, but she always had dreams of living in the big city. After getting a Joint Honors degree in Music and English from Queens University Belfast she moved to London and became a professional singer known for her willingness to sing all types of contemporary music, especially. Her roles iincluded an 8-year-old girl, Jackie Kennedy and a sheep.
She then moved to New York thanks to winning a Green Card in the U.S. lottery and is delighted to be living in the greatest city in the world (in her humble opinion.). In addition to her A4 activities Jacqueline has resumed a successful solo career and also teaches voice and ensemble vocal technique in NYC and beyond. For more information see her website, jacquelinehorner.com
JOHANNA MARIA ROSE spent her childhood in the village of Grand-View-on-Hudson (a stone’s throw away from New York City), reading lots of children’s books and fairy tales, putting pennies on the railroad tracks, and looking for sea glass and stones at the river’s edge. While putting in her time as a Manhattanite, she earned a degree in voice from the Manhattan School of Music, as well as studying acting. A long-standing love of early music then led her to an MFA in the Performance of Medieval and Renaissance Music from Sarah Lawrence College. Her various hats in Anonymous 4 include sharing the work on language pronunciation research, adapting readings for the concert programs, and new music commissions. Having escaped from the city, she now lives in a house from the 1830s (in which there is not a single straight edge), not far from the scene of her childhood. She spends happy hours in her little garden, trying to deter the woodchucks from eating all her flowers, the squirrels from demolishing the birdseed in her birdfeeder, and the woodpeckers from drilling holes in the eaves.