Jordan Sramek, above, founded the Rose Ensemble in 1996. (Photo by Michael Haug)

The Rose Ensemble will cease operations, citing "a financial deficit too overwhelming to overcome."

The St. Paul-based classical music group announced that after 23 years, its 2018-2019 season would be its last. The organization attributed its deficit to "lower-than-expected ticket sales, stagnation in institutional funding, and significant legal expenses associated with a random audit by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development," according to a press release.

Founded in 1996 by artistic director Jordan Sramek, the Rose Ensemble has focused on deeply-researched early music spanning centuries -- performing works from medieval Ireland, for example, or 17th-century Mexico. It has won international competitions and, this month, received a lifetime achievement award from Early Music America for outreach and education. 

“The Rose Ensemble is grateful to its home community of Minnesota and to its international audience for 22 years of artistic fellowship,” Sramek said in a statement. “I have tried to bring beauty to a hurting world by programming historical music that is not only exquisite, but enlightening."

The ensemble has not announced its final concert, saying that the "scope and scale" of its last season will depend on fundraising.