American cellist Katie Tertell resides in the UK and enjoys a rich and varied experience as a freelance artist in Europe and America. She is Artistic Director and Founder of the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival, headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. A former member of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Katie now curates several of her own projects and collaborations alongside performance and recording work with numerous European symphony and chamber orchestras. She enjoys performing internationally at chamber music festivals and series and working with composers on creative projects and commissions. Katie is a recipient of several honours and awards including an “Exceptional Talent” visa awarded by Arts Council England and teaches cello at Durham University (UK).
Katie performs in live and recorded broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and RTÉ Lyric FM on a regular basis, and enjoys reaching audiences both near and far through various broadcasts and recordings including a number of films and award-winning discs. She has performed live on BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune” program, appeared as principal cello of the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms and guest principal with the English Symphony Orchestra and Welsh National Opera. In addition to symphonic work, she freelances with a variety of internationally-acclaimed chamber orchestras, some of which include the Scottish Chamber, Irish Chamber, London Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Royal Northern Sinfonia. She is a member and acting Chair of the groundbreaking female-led chamber music collective Musici Ireland, based in Wexford, Ireland.
Katie is passionate about collaboration with other artists, creatives, composers and academics. As part of a 'Developing Your Creative Practice' Grant from Arts Council England, Katie has developed several creative projects working together with a vast array of people and organizations in order to make classical music relevant to wider society. Her performance-research project exploring the life and legacy of cellist-composer Gaspar Cassado in conjunction with Dr. Rosi Song and Durham University brings together colleagues from various countries and leads to chamber music performances in Germany, Ireland, Japan and across the UK in 2022. In another project, “Winter’s Journey Reimagined”, Katie works with composer Mark Boden to create a chamber music reimagination of Schubert’s song-cycle Die Winterreise, which involves dance, movement and lighting. The work will see its initial performances and workshops starting in Aug, 2022 in the U.S.
Katie is the co-creator of Cello Power, a project whose ethos is centered around the idea that learning and improvement is something that happens for a lifetime and can be fun, supportive and empowering. The ambitious project launched in 2021 with exploration the Popper “High School of Cello Playing” studies. Katie, along with her colleague Ailbhe McDonagh (RIAM) learned, performed, and explored a Popper study each week, including with elite guests including principal players of several major orchestras and soloists. Katie is excited to present her work on Cello Power at the Perform_Live conference in Dublin, Ireland in Mar, 2022.
Katie is a member and curator of the Semibreve Collective. Based in Northumberland, Semibreve is an exciting and innovative group that uses influences such as local folk and history, jazz and South American dance forms to influence original arrangements and works. October, 2020, Semibreve completed an outdoor tour of North East England, which received critical acclaim and media attention due to the ambitious nature of the project and its relevance during the pandemic. They have gone on to become a strong local influence at various venues and events in the community of Northumberland and wider Newcastle. In 2022, Semibreve received a grant from the Community Foundation for their “Howay the Lasses” project, which will celebrate the contribution of historic working women of North East England through original composition and song.
Katie received a Leverhulme Bursary through the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme (2014), and has won numerous scholarships and competition prizes during her studies in the US and UK, including a full-tuition scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. She has appeared as a concerto soloist on several occasions and looks forward to performing the Brahms Double Concerto in 2023.
Katie has performed at the Galway International Jazz Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Whittington International, Wye International Chamber Festival, Kilkenny Festival, Endellion, Spike Cello Festival, Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, John Lynch Chamber Music Series, National Concert Hall Chamber Series (Ireland), Bowie Festival (Dublin) and Kaleidoscope among several others. A highlight of her year is performing annually at the Torrey Chamber Music Festival in Utah, USA.
Katie grew up outside of Washington D.C. in McLean, Virginia. She holds degrees in performance from Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, as well as a Second Masters degree in Suzuki Pedagogy from the Sato Center at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her teachers and mentors include among many Janos Starker, Emilio Colon, Joely Koos, Peter Dixon and Ralph Kirschbaum. She plays on an 1888 Colin-Mezin cello.