Partch is an American contemporary ensemble, which specializes in the music and instruments of Harry Partch. Formed in 1991 and originally known as Just Strings, they started performing music of Partch and Lou Harrison. The group has commissioned and premiered numerous works by Larry Polansky, Mamoru Fujieda, John Luther Adams, Mari Takano, Sasha Bogdanowitsch and other contemporary composers. In 1995, Just Strings toured Japan for three weeks, giving concerts and lectures on new music as part of the American Embassy's Interlink Festival.

In 2005, after completing 12th Partch instrument, the ensemble changed their name to Partch. The group had been appearing on Walt Disney Concert Hall stage annually since their debut premiere of Harry Partch's Bitter Music in 2004. Their performance of Castor & Pollux, choreographed by Liz Hoefner, was released on the DVD Harry Partch - Enclosure Eight (Innova Recordings). Partch is also a resident ensemble of MicroFest, annual festival of microtonal music in Los Angeles.

The ensemble received grants from the National Endowment For The Arts and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music in 2007 to record Partch's monumental Bitter Music for Bridge Records (4). In 2008, Partch staged world re-premiere of Plectra & Percussion Dances (1952), and also spent a week in Salt Lake City as residents of Repertory Dance Theater. The group gave LA premiere of 11 Intrusions, and traveled to Mexico to participate in Guadalajara International Book Fair in 2009. Partch performed at Los Angeles County Museum Of Art to celebrate the John Baldessari retropective Pure Beauty (2010), gave the SoCal premiere of Summer 1955 (2011), and were featured by The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra's 2012 American Mavericks Festival. Recent appearances include performances of Anne LeBaron's LSD: the Opera and concerts with PRISM Quartet in Philadelphia and New York (resulting in their collaborative CD Color Theory).

Partch received numerous awards and recognitions, including Grammy Awards: Bitter Music were nominated for Best Classical Compendium in 2012, and Plectra And Percussion Dances CD won an award for Best Classical Compendium of 2014 at 57th Annual Grammy Awards (their Castor & Pollux concert was also nominated as Best Chamber Music Performance).

The ensemble use self-built copies of over a dozen of instruments invented by Harry Partch: Adapted Viola (1930), Adapted Guitar I (1935), Kithara (1938), Chromelodeon (1941), Adapted Guitar II (1945), "Castor" and "Pollux" Harmonic Canons (1945), Diamond Marimba (1946), Adapted Guitar III (1950), Bass Marimba (1950), Cloud Chamber Bowls (1950), Marimba Eroica (1951), Surrogate Kithara (1953), Spoils of War (1955), and Boo III (1955).

Current Members:

John Schneider, director
Erin Barnes
Alison Bjorkedal
Matt Cook
Vicki Ray
Derek Stein
Nick Terry
TJ Troy
Alex Wand


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9432 Harry Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances — Partch Partch Harry Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances(CD) Bridge Records (4) 9432 US 2014 Sell This Version
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XAS 102 Color Theory — Partch PRISM Quartet With Sō Percussion*, Partch PRISM Quartet With Sō Percussion*, Partch - Color Theory(CD, Album) XAS Records XAS 102 US 2017 Sell This Version
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BRIDGE 9525 Sonata Dementia — Partch Partch, Harry Partch Partch, Harry Partch - Sonata Dementia(CD, Album) Bridge Records (4) BRIDGE 9525 US 2019 Sell This Version