Fascinated by unique cultures, Emileigh Brooke Vandiver has dedicated her life as a musician to exploring the world, cello in tow. Described by the New York Times as “an excellent performer” and by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as a musician bringing “a world of emotional meaning to the cello,” her vast experiences have earned her recognition as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher.
Ms. Vandiver earned the New England Conservatory’s (NEC) attention when she won the school- wide John Hsu Cello Competition as a youthful sophomore. She has given solo recitals throughout the US, Canada, Panamá, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, while her performances have also been broadcasted live via radio and television internationally.
As comfortable in front of an ensemble as within, Ms. Vandiver is a seasoned chamber and orchestral musician. Her larger ensemble experience includes being principal cellist of the Encounter’s Ensemble, at the Peabody Essex Museum. Additionally, she has toured with A Far Cry, and has performed with the Boston Lyric Opera, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Boston Philharmonic and the Bermuda Festival Orchestra.
A noted interpreter of contemporary music, Ms. Vandiver was recently in residence at Mass MoCA as a Bang on a Can fellow. She worked closely with Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe. In 2013, she was the principle cellist in the 21st Century Contemporary Ensemble, part of Carnegie Hall’s professional training workshops directed by John Adams and David Robertson. While at NEC, Ms. Vandiver was the principal cellist of the Contemporary Ensemble, directed by composer and flutist, John Heiss. She was featured in Jordan Hall performing the Carter Cello Sonata, George Crumb’s Black Angels, Pierre Boulez’s Messagesquisse, Gunther Schuller’s Aphorisms and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.
Ms. Vandiver is an active and in demand teacher. She is currently on the cello faculty at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. Additionally, she is on cello, solfege, and chamber music faculty for Project STEP at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Ms. Vandiver has traveled to Panamá multiple times in the past two years to perform, give masterclasses, repair instruments, and coach chamber music at The Panamá Jazz Festival. In the summer she teaches at the Four Strings Academy and Project STEP’s FOCUS II cello festival.
Ms. Vandiver has a particular interest in bridging her classical training with other members of the artistic community. She has collaborated with artists ranging from Savion Glover and Gloria Estefan to bands Pink Martini and The Fray. Her curiosity has sparked projects that include collaborating with architects at the Boston Architectural College and playing in a Weimar band for The Blue Flower at the American Repertoire Theatre.
Her festival performances include the Holland International Music Sessions, Ensemble Modern’s Klangspuren Festival in Austria, Orford Centre d’Arts, Aria International Summer Music Academy, and the Banff International Centre.
Ms. Vandiver was awarded the New England Conservatory’s coveted Gunther Schuller President’s Medal at graduation and was the recipient of the Lotta Crabtree Scholarship. She has completed a Graduate Diploma, Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music where she graduated with honors and studied with Paul Katz, Natasha Brofsky and John Heiss. Her former teachers include Christopher French and Ann Victor. For Ms. Vandiver’s concert schedule please visit her website.
She is currently learning Spanish and in her free time she loves gardening and cooking Tex-Mex. She couldn’t be more thrilled to be a MFF fellow!