About Us

Deviant Septet has been hailed as “exciting” (New York Times), a “stylish new ensemble” (New York Magazine), “superb” (Washington Post), “exceedingly fun”, “led by new music veterans” (Time Out New York), “lively and accomplished” (Classical TV: The Drift), and “boisterously entertaining” (Lucid Culture).  WNYC called it “a brand new ensemble with a high concept... made up of top classical and avant garde musicians”, and ran a feature on its premiere concert in May 2011.  Deviant Septet’s commission of David Liptak’s “Focusing” received a 2013 Serge Koussevitzky Foundation commissioning grant.


Deviant Septet’s members are Bill Kalinkos (clarinet, Executive Director), Mike Gurfield (trumpet, Artistic Director), Karen Kim (violin), Brad Balliett (bassoon), Doug Balliett (double bass), Mike Lormand (trombone), and Jared Soldiviero (percussion).  In addition to the Septet, players perform with various contemporary groups like Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Signal, International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble ACJW, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Talea Ensemble, and they collaborate with artists such as The National, David Byrne, The Dirty Projectors, Tyondai Braxton, St. Vincent, and John Zorn in addition to many others.  For more about our members, see our members page.


…a high-powered new-music ensemble called the Deviant Septet—which mirrors the stripped-down chamber orchestra Igor Stravinsky devised for his iconic “l’Histoire” —showed that music for small groups can still pack an outsize punch… Superb playing by all the Deviants added to the general happiness...
— Stephen Brookes, Washington Post

More of what people are saying about Deviant Septet

  • Delarue, Lucid Culture

    “…the group shifted amiably from martial bounce, to plaintive austerity, to the bracing astringencies of the final theme where it seems that the composer decided to dig in and get serious.  It was the most intense passage, it was worth the wait, and the ensemble took it out on a high note…  It was a good way to bring the arc of the concert up as high as it would go— and the crowd screamed for more.”

  • Jake Cohen, Consequence of Sound

    Deviant Septet handled the music with virtuosity and drive, playing exceedingly complex melodic lines in polyrhythmic jumbles, while still able to handle more restrained moments tenderness and delicacy… the group was not only precise but highly entertaining…credit the groupthink virtuosity of Deviant Septet, able to ping-pong seamlessly between styles of playing and composition.”