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 recitalist, chamber musician, teacher and soloist.
Vandiver is an active and in demand teacher. She is currently on the cello faculty at the New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. She also teaches cello lessons, solfege, and chamber music at Boston’s Symphony Hall for Project STEP. She is also the director and founder of Project STEP’s cello choir. Vandiver has traveled Panamá multiple times in the past year and a half to perform, give masterclasses, coach chamber music, and teach cello lessons at The Panamá Jazz Festival. In the summer she teaches at the Four Strings Academy and Project STEP’s FOCUS II cello camp.
Vandiver earned New England Conservatory’s (NEC) attention when she won the school- wide John Hsu Cello Competition as a youthful sophomore. Her momentum as a soloist continues, as she’s appeared with numerous ensembles including the Fort Bend Symphony, the Clear Lake Symphony, the Virtuosi of Houston Chamber Orchestra, and the Houston Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and Bach Ensemble on some of the world’s most prestigious stages. She has given solo recitals throughout the US, Canada, Panama, 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, Vandiver is a seasoned chamber and orchestral musician. She is currently a member of The NorthSouth Duo with harpist Amanda Romano. From 2007 – 2013 she was the principal cellist of NEC’s Contemporary Ensemble, directed by composer, mentor, and flutist John Heiss. Vandiver has also been featured in Jordan Hall performing works including the Carter Cello Sonata, George Crumb’s Black Angels, Pierre Boulez’s Messagesquisse, Gunther Schuller’s Aphorisms and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. In 2013, she was chosen as principle cellist in the 21st Century Contemporary Ensemble, part of Carnegie Hall’s professional training workshops directed by John Adams and David Robertson. Her larger ensemble experience includes being principal cellist of the Siena Music Festival Orchestra and the Encounter’s Ensemble, at the Peabody Essex Museum. Additionally, she has toured with A Far Cry, and performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic, and Bermuda Festival Orchestra.
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 Harvard University’sAmerican Repertoire Theatre.
Her festival performances include the Holland International Music Sessions, Ensemble Modern in Austria, Orford Centre d’Arts, Aria International Summer Music Academy, the Banff International Centre, the Siena Music Festival in Italy, Encore School for Strings, Music from Salem Contemporary Cello Masterclasses, and the Meadowmount School. She was also a fellow at the Perlman Music Program.
Vandiver was awarded the New England Conservatory’s Gunther Schuller 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 studied with Paul Katz, Natasha Brofsky and John Heiss. Her former teachers include Christopher French and Ann Victor. For Vandiver’s concert schedule please visit, www.EmileighVandiver.com.