Esther Rogers Baker is a classically trained cellist who plays experimental and contemporary music, has a passion for Bach and traditional chamber music, and enjoys improvising with musicians and artists from different backgrounds and genres. In addition to traditional performance, Esther is an innovative leader who asks questions about process, intent, and progress.
As a student Esther has been fortunate to have the extraordinary opportunity to work and perform alongside professional musicians including the Miami String Quartet, Laura Bossert, Scott Kluksdahl, Jodi Levitz, Jean-Michele Fonteneau, Manahem Pressler and Axel Strauss. Esther has participated in master classes with Laurence Dutton, Pamela Frank, Bonnie Hampton, Ani Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt, the Lionsgate Trio, Lee trio, Ives Quartet, and the Ying Quartet. Esther received her Masters in Chamber Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is interested in sharing the historical tradition of the classical chamber music repertoire while developing her own style of chamber music guidance. Often beginning her sessions with improvisation on foundational group principles such as balancing sound and setting group dynamics, Esther believes in addressing issues of group performance both within and away from the context of the composition at hand. Coaching chamber music is one of Esther’s favorite things to do.
( I have a little solo at 1:25: )
Esther enjoys the challenge of working in the studio and has recorded both composed and improvised tracks for composers/songwriters/arrangers.
"I enjoy the unique collaboration between composers and performers and the process of learning a piece which has little or no historical precedent. Working on a piece which is still “wet” and learning how a composer thinks about their work has developed my approach to older music and continues to expand on what I have to offer as a musician."
Esther has worked with student and well established composers learning and performing their works for solo cello, string quartet, orchestra, and contemporary band. Some of Esther's favorite composer collaboration projects have included the following:
2007 Performance of Kurt Rhode's String trio which won first place for chamber composition and was awarded a sponsored performance at the International Society of Bassists, Kalamazoo MI.
2007 Coaching and Performance of String Quartet No.1 by Robert Carl
2009 Alphonse Izzo commission exploring the role and stereotypes of the cello resulting in the piece 'A Madcap Laughed'.
2011 Electronically modified cello tracks for 'Kreuz und Krone' by Mathew King. Premiered at the Southbank Center, London, UK with the Britten Sinfonia.
2011 Kazoo and vocals for 'Central Market' by Tyondai Braxton, Barbican Centre with the BBC symphony and Tyondai Braxton Band.
Composers with whom Esther has worked:
Click on the underlined composers to visit their websites.