The New Directions Cello Festival is an international forum for the exchange of music and ideas. For over a quarter century, we have fostered the growth of the cello in all styles beyond classical music. The cello can now be seen and heard in countless genres of music around the globe.

Over the years, starting in 1995, over 100 guest artist cellists and their groups performed and gave workshops at the festival. They are a who’s-who of new directions cellists including David Darling, Stephan Braun, Eugene Freisen, Jami Sieber, Ernst Reijseger, Mark Summer, Zoe Keating, Vincent Segal, Stephen Katz, Akua Dixon, Rufus Cappodocia, Erik Friedlander and many more. Groups included Turtle Island Quartet, Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio and Rasputina.

During the first 25 years, under the direction of founder Chris White, the cello saw great growth in its use outside of classical music. Things like singer songwriters who accompany themselves on cello, chopping, beat boxing cellists, playing the cello standing and walking around, the use of electric cellos with effects and many more advancements came into use and became more common around the world.

After taking 2020 off due to Covid, we are now back in business with a new director, Jeremy Harman and a new assistant director, Phaedre Sassano. They held an online festival in 2021 and this year will see our first hybrid festival in Northampton, MA, June 24-26, 2022. Please join us! Find out more and register at

If you have any questions, please contact us at and also consider becoming a member to help support us at

Take some time to peruse this website. There you’ll find our current newsletter and lots of past newsletters chock full of new directions information, lots of pictures from past festivals, loads of CDs and sheet music in our shop, videos, links to new directions cellists and lots more!

Also keep up on the latest New Directions news by joining over 1.7 K members on our Facebook group page