Instrument / Position: Cellist
Bio: "Yet another wonderful example of the tremendous versatility of the cello in the right hands, which Natalie Spehar’s clearly are." - Susan Scheid, Prufrock's Dilemma
An accomplished classical, rock, and folk cellist, Natalie has performed as a member of several ensembles, including most recently the Great Noise Ensemble, Écouter, the Low End String Quartet and the Washington, D.C. based cello rock ensemble, Primitivity. With a strong interest in contemporary music, Natalie has enjoyed mastering and premiering new and experimental works for cello, including several recent projects with live electronics and tape.
Natalie has performed as a soloist with Graham Reynolds in The Kennedy Center’s presentation of The Difference Engine, with the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and University of Maryland Percussion Ensembles, and with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and has presented world premiere performances in venues including Ravinia, Severance Hall, and the National Gallery of Art. She has also been awarded several scholarships, among them a USA Projects grant, the Canton MacDowell Club Scholarship and the Howard Hanson Scholarship toward her studies at the Eastman School of Music. In the summer of 2009, Natalie was one of five American performers selected to participate in Northeastern University’s Fusion Arts Exchange, a program and concert tour funded by the U.S. Department of State that featured young musicians from six countries, and in 2011-12 she participated in the inaugural New Music on the Point contemporary music festival as well as the inaugural Fresh Inc. Festival led by Chicago’s esteemed Fifth House Ensemble. An enthusiastic presenter of new music, Natalie has premiered new cello works by composers Tomek Regulski, Finola Merivale, Orie Sato, Keane Southard, Andrew Watts, famed Syrian recording artist Malek Jandali, and her 2011-12 season featured her in premieres of works by renowned composers Zoe Keating, Sarah Lipstate, Cornelius Dufallo and Hannah Lash. Natalie also recorded an original soundtrack for the television documentary Through the Eye of the Needle, as well as composed and recorded the solo cello original soundtrack for the award-winning animated film Test Anxiety.
Natalie holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance as well as a Certificate in Arts Leadership from Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Alan Harris. An avid supporter of music outreach, Natalie has recently served as an Arts & Learning Intern for Young Audiences, Inc., an educator with Music For Life, and a performing member of the MacDowell Music Club, all national organizations dedicated to encouraging and providing community music education. She currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and looks forward to the upcoming season, in which she will present several solo cello premieres in the Washington, D.C., Ohio, and New York City areas, as well as record her solo debut CD.