Formed in August, 2007 by cellist Suzanne Mueller and pianist Elinor Abrams Zayas, CROSS ISLAND’s foundation is a shared love of programming that brings together music from diverse periods, genres, and styles. Our goal is to share music we love with our audiences, and those audiences have responded enthusiastically and affirmatively, specifically praising the variety of music and the way it is combined and presented. Our programming presents to listeners a mixture of well-loved, familiar composers and works blended with quality music that is unfamiliar, often resulting from collaborations with composers and arrangers. 

From 2008 through 2011, we were pleased to be joined by clarinetist Joseph Rutkowski. Since then, we've worked with several collaborators, including clarinetists Thomas Piercy and Sandy Tepper and violinists Yeou-Cheng Ma, Beryl Diamond Chacon, and clarinetist Josh Redman. In 2023, we were thrilled to welcome back Joseph Rutkowski.

Our second CD, Quiet Strength, was released in November 2011 with a concert celebrating the occasion at New York's famed Saint Peter's Church. Quiet Strength, along with our first album,  Explorations, is available for download or purchase as a CD at CDBaby, as well as on Amazon and on iTunes You can also order both directly from us by e-mail.

CROSS ISLAND concerts often include a free improvisation—a spontaneous work created on-the-spot for that performance only. Again, audiences have expressed their appreciation of these works, saying that they enjoy seeing the creative process at work and hearing the result. 

CROSS ISLAND performs primarily as a trio but also offers duo programs. Regardless of the configuration, audiences will find old musical friends and exciting new discoveries, including a growing collection of works written or arranged especially for CROSS ISLAND. We welcome collaboration with composers, vocalists, instrumentalists, choreographers, and other adventurous collaborators.