The Northwestern University Cello Ensemble released its latest album “Shadow, Echo, Memory” on July 29, 2016 from Sono Luminus. Led by Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen, the ensemble is comprised of current and former cello students from the Bienen School of Music.

“[Jensen] has been sculpting world-class musicians (and competition slayers) for decades — and is now releasing a stunning album showcasing their collective artistic agility,” says Doyle Armbrust in a review for WQRX. Armbrust goes on to say that while the solo-led numbers are executed with “penetrating phrase contours and immaculate tone, what steals the proverbial show on this record is the musical empathy and artistic symbiosis across the collective.”

The album features a diverse collection of works from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries arranged for cello ensemble, including Bienen faculty member Hans Thomalla’s “Intermezzo” from his opera Fremd; “Ballad” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis, who received the Bienen School’s Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition in 2012; and Bienen alumnus and ensemble member Michael van der Sloot (G15), who wrote the album’s titular piece. Works by Zachary Wadsworth, György Ligeti, Fauré, Rachmaninov, and Mahler are also featured.

The Northwestern University Cello Ensemble received critical acclaim for its recording of “Canticles of the Sky” on John Luther Adams’ album “The Wind in High Places.” The ensemble appeared on The New York Times’ Top 25 Classical Recordings of 2015, and The New Yorker’s Top 10 Classical Recordings of 2015.

"Shadow, Echo, Memory" is available through multiple retailers, including Amazon and iTunes. 

Read an interview with Jensen about the making of this album


  • Hans Jensen
  • Hans Thomalla