Cellist: Seth Parker Woods

I had of course heard about Seth’s work but really started to explore his recordings and work when he and ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel shared residencies at the Seattle Symphony Orchestra during the 2019/2020 season.  Props to my colleagues Elena Dubinets (now at the Atlanta Symphony), Ludovic Morlot (past Music Director) and Simon Woods (about to become CEO of the League of American Orchestras) for putting together such an amazing team at the Seattle Symphony!  In listening to Seth play works  by Alvin Singleton and George Lewis – composers ACO knows well – and also playing that Everest of the cello repertoire- the Bach Cello suites – makes me excited for the next opportunity I can find to hear him live.  His musical appetite is eclectic and contemporary, his playing has grit and beauty, and his impressive and provocative list of projects and collaborators are evidence of a significant artist of our time. – Ed Yim, ACO President

Artist website: https://sethparkerwoods.com


Hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” cellist Seth Parker Woods has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), New York City Ballet, Ensemble LPR, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s (US). A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang, and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey, and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton, and Aldo Tambellini.

In the 2019-20 concert season, Woods will make debuts at EMPAC, Walt Disney Hall, the National Gallery in Washington, the Moss Arts Center and the Spoleto Festival. This season of performances will also include premiere performances of concertos by Tyshawn Sorey with Thomas Dausgaard and the Seattle Symphony and the late Fausto Romitelli with John Kennedy and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. Additionally, his performance installation, Iced Bodies, will receive its international premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the West Coast premiere at the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Power to the People! Festival, curated by Herbie Hancock.

In recent years, Woods has appeared in concert at the Royal Albert Hall—BBC Proms, Snape Maltings Festival, the Ghent Festival, Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Le Poisson Rouge and the Bohemian National Hall, Cafe OTO, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Klang Festival-Durham, INTER/ actions Symposium, ICMC-SMS Conference (Athens, GR), NIME-London, Sound and Body Festival, Instalakcje Festival, Virginia Tech, La Salle College (Singapore), and FINDARS (Malaysia), among others. Recent awards include a DCASE artist grant, Earle Brown/ Morton Feldman Foundation Grant, McGill University-CIRMMT/IDMIL Visiting Researcher Residency, Centre Intermondes Artist Residency, Francis Chagrin Award, Concours [Re]connaissance-Premiere Prix, and the Paul Sacher Stiftung Research Scholarship.

His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough (Confront Recordings-London), has garnered great acclaim since its release in November 2016 and has been profiled in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, The Guardian, 5against4, I Care If You Listen, Musical America, Seattle Times, and Strings Magazine, amongst others.

Woods serves on the performance faculty at the University of Chicago as a Lecturer/Artist in Residence for Cello and Chamber Music. He previously served on the music faculties of Dartmouth College and the Chicago Academy of the Arts, and holds degrees from Brooklyn College, Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, and a PhD from the University of Huddersfield. At present, he is the Artist in Residence with the Seattle Symphony and the interactive concert hall, Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center.

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