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.

fter taking 2020 off due to Covid, and under the direction of our new director, Jeremy Harman and our new assistant director, Phaedre Sassano, they held an online festival in 2021 and then in 2022 they hosted the first hybrid New Directions Cello Festival at Smith College in Northampton, MA, June 24-26, 2022, so that people could be there in person or online from around the world. Please join us for New Directions 2023 again at Smith College this June 23-25! There will be an online component as well.

Take some time to peruse this website. You’ll find our current newsletter and lots of past newsletters chock full of new directions information and lots of pictures from past festivals.

Also keep up on the latest New Directions news and member posts by joining over 1.7 K members on our Facebook group page and check out our YouTube channel

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