The Teares of the Muses in front of a projection of Ilian Rachov’s Lamb
The Teares of the Muses in front of a projection of Ilian Rachov’s Lamb

The Teares of the Muses, a consort of viols, is a versatile New York University performing arts ensemble directed by Margaret Panofsky, the well-known professional viol player and renowned teacher. Made up of proficient musicians from the student body, faculty, and N.Y.U. community, The Teares of the Muses is a part of the Faculty of Arts and Science Music Department Collegium Musicum Viol Program.

The Teares of the Muses performs elegant and lively renaissance and baroque repertory for viols, often adding favorite guest artists to expand the compass of its concerts. It delights in reviving great music which has all but vanished in the present day.

The Teares of the Muses presents its concerts at New York University, St. Bartholomew’s Church and at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where it has been in residence since 2007.

Teares of the Muses News


New Recording


Joel Rust, born in 1989 in London, wrote Flock for the Teares of the Muses. The piece is for soprano and three viols. It was premiered on December 15, 2017. Now the Teares of the Muses plans to record Flock in February, 2019.

Flock’s text is from Luke 2:10-14 in John Wycliffe’s translation, the order of the words changing for every performance. The Christmas Eve text dwells on the shepherds’ fear and awe as the sheep, ever present, rustle about within the flock.

Joel Rust describes his own compositions as encompassing “kaleidoscopic textures, disintegrating mechanical systems, and a rich harmonic language that draws on spectralism, jazz, and the English pastoral school.”

New Concert: Friday, December 15, 2017, at 5:00 pm. Nazorení Pána Krista: Christmas from Three Lands. Margaret Panofsky, director, treble and bass viols; Christina Brandt-Young, tenor and bass viols; Joel Rust, bass viol; with Kathleen Cantrell, soprano; John Cantrell, organ and percussion. New York University, Bobst Library Gallery, 70 Washington Square South, New York City. Admission Free

Winter landscape, Dutch School, first half of the 17th century

Our concert, “Narození Pána Krista” (The birth of the Lord Christ), is a bit of a potpourri, offering mainly seasonal music from three lands, England, Bohemia, and Germany. The title comes from one of the Czech songs on the program, Opět jiná o Narození Pána Krista. All of the pieces, by Matthew Locke, Orlando Gibbons, John Dowland, Adam Michna, Samuel Capricornus, and others, were composed during the16th and 17th centuries with one notable exception, a 21st-century piece in debut by the English composer, Joel Rust, presently at NYU and a member of the Teares! In our world of multiple crises, we invite you to enjoy a brief respite listening to music written by men no less stressed by the stark realities that pressed in on them as they created works of great beauty. Perhaps for an hour the music will bring us closer to understanding the meaning of “peace on earth.”

Download the program and program notes.

Virgin and Child: Moravian Gothic wood sculpture

Virgin and Child: Moravian Gothic wood sculpture


Narození Pána Krista
Christmas Music, 17th-Century Bohemia

Available in time for Christmas on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes!

Release Date, December 2, 2013

Margaret Panofsky, Director and Viols
Kathleen Cantrell, Soprano
John Cantrell, Organ and Percussion
GHOSTLIGHT Vocal Quartet

The Teares of the Muses, the New York University viol consort, is pleased to announce the release on December 2 of the new CD Narození Pána Krista: Christmas Music, 17th-Century Bohemia. Directed by Margaret Panofsky, The Teares of the Muses is joined by Kathleen Cantrell, soprano, John Cantrell, organist and percussionist, and the GHOSTLIGHT Vocal Quartet.

The CD’s featured works—most of them recorded here for the first time—are by the marvelous, rarely heard Adam Michna. Other Bohemian composers include Capricornus, Funck, Rovenský and Jan Josef Bozan. From the first track to the last, the vocal music explores the most cheerful portion of the church year—Advent and Christmas—with interspersed viol consort pieces.

Available for purchase online (CD or download)

Album Cover, Ein Laemmlein -- The Sacrificial Lamb, Josefa de Ayala, Portuguese, ca. 1670-1684, detail. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

"From the first, the singers captivate with an expressive, open, and wonderfully blended sound. The continuo team is also very fine.... The viol consort functions impressively as a single entity, coordinated at repeats and moments of heightened emotion, yet each individual voice is clear."

—Viola da Gamba Society of America Newsletter

NEW CD by The Teares of the Muses!

Ein Lämmlein
17th-Century German Passion Music

Release Date, October 12, 2011

Margaret Panofsky, Director
Kathleen Cantrell and Campbell Rightmyer, Sopranos
Morwaread Farbood, Organ

Ein Lämmlein: 17th-Century German Passion Music commemorates Holy Week and Good Friday with two works by the remarkable composer, Samuel Capricornus. It contains his lament O Traurigkeit, O Herzeleid, the five-movement meditation Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld der Welt, instrumental chorale settings and dances, and Franz Tunder’s mournful An Wasserflüßen Babylon.

Selected excerpts:

Available for purchase online (CD or download)

Album Cover, The Lord’s Prayer, Vater unser im Himmelreich -- Medusa, (detail), Ilian Rachov

Medusa, (detail), Ilian Rachov

"These two German Baroque settings of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ are a fine fit. Altenburg’s—with voice—encloses Scheidt’s instrumental version to create a 4-minute gem. Well played and well sung. A pleasure to hear."

—CD Baby review

New Single by The Teares of the Muses!

The Lord’s Prayer
Vater unser im Himmelreich

Release Date, February 16, 2012

Margaret Panofsky, Director
Kathleen Cantrell and Campbell Rightmyer, Sopranos
John Cantrell, Organ

Many early baroque compositions were based on the soaring melody of the Lutheran hymn "Vater unser im Himmelreich" (The Lord’s Prayer). In Michael Altenburg’s Vater unser im Himmelreich, the vocal tune is nestled within a vigorous viol accompaniment. The instrumental harmonization of the same tune by Altenburg’s well-known contemporary Samuel Scheidt is from his monumental Tabulatura nova. In this Vater unser im Himmelreich, the tenor melody is surrounded by exquisitely beautiful contrapuntal lines.

Available for purchase online (download only)

Publication News!

The recording The Lord’s Prayer, Vater unser im Himmelreich will appear on a CD anthology for a soon-to-be published book and CD set: Notre Père à travers les âges, dans les trois traditions chrétiennes by Jean-Paul Lécot of Lourdes, France.

David Fenton, viola da gambist and organist

Sad News

The Teares of the Muses mourns the passing of fellow consort member and friend, David W. Fenton. David loved performing with The Teares of the Muses. He played all sizes of viol as well as keyboard, and was a consummate musician. We are comforted that he saw the release of the CD, Ein Lämmlein. He was a driving force behind the project; he created the performing edition from the facsimile of Samuel Capricornus’s Ein Lämmlein. David had earned a B.Mus. in piano performance from the Oberlin Conservatory and an M.A. in musicology from New York University. He wrote Grove articles on the piano quartet and piano quintet.