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Ensemble Project Ars Nova, known popularly as Ensemble PAN, takes its name and its sense of spirit from Philippe de Vitry's 14th century musical treatise "Ars Nova" (The New Art). Founded at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, by young American artists Laurie Monahan (mezzo-soprano), Michael Collver (countertenor and corno muto) and Crawford Young (lute), the Ensemble debuted at the Festival Estival in Paris in 1982. At its American debut at the Castle Hill Festival in 1984, Shira Kammen (bowed strings) and John Fleagle (tenor and medieval harp) joined the group. The Ensemble's first widespread recognition came with acclaim at the Boston Early Music Festival in 1987, followed by appearances on prestigious early music and chamber music series in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

In recognition of Ensemble PAN's growing prominence in the field, Chamber Music America awarded the Ensemble a grant in 1989 to establish a three-year performance and teaching residency in Boston, co-sponsored by the Longy School of Music and National Public Radio affiliate WGBH-fm. For the 1993-94 season, its fourth in Boston, the Massachusetts Arts Council awarded the Ensemble a grant to continue its popular four-concert series, recorded and co-presented by WGBH and Longy. Arts Midwest has also awarded the Ensemble fee support for tours in eight states in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons.

With Crawford Young teaching at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Ensemble PAN has maintained its European ties and continues to appear at the best-known festivals and venues for early music in The Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. A program of "Music from the Great Papal Councils" two seasons ago was heard in an extensive tour of Switzerland. A regular at the Holland Festival in Utrecht and recently featured at the Como Festival in Italy, the group has also been invited for the summer of 1994 to the Musikfestspiele Potsdam at the Palace of Sanssouci and the Dartington Festival in England. The Ensemble has also recorded and broadcast for Radio Basel, Radio France and Westdeutsche Rundfunk, among others.

Highlights of recent seasons have included the Boston Early Music Festival (taped for public television and radio); the Berkeley Early Music Festival; premieres in Boston (Longy School) and New York (Columbia University) of new works by Robert Kyr commissioned by Chamber Music America; and performances for the Frick Collection and The Cloisters in New York, Rutgers University, Stanford University, the University of California at Davis, the Universities of Maryland and Connecticut, and appearances in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Seattle, to name a few.

For the Columbus Quincentenary in the 1992-93 season, the Ensemble performed programs featuring works from the cancionero in the collection of the navigator's son, Ferdinand Columbus. the Ensemble's tour that season included The Shrine to Music in Vermillion, South Dakota, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, The Frick, the Longy School and Brandeis University in Boston, Clayton State College near Atlanta, and Western Washington University in Bellingham. In addition, programs of Italian music were heard at Yale University, Wellesley College and at the 1992 Conference of the American Musicological Society in Pittsburgh.

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