top of page

Nov. 11-12: Emerald City Music Presents EVOLUTION: The CELLO An Evening Dedicated to the Cello

Emerald City Music Presents EVOLUTION: The CELLO An Evening Dedicated to the Wild Historical Development of the Cello

with Music by Bach, Gabrielli, Kaija Saariaho, Boccherini, Marais, John Zorn, and Brahms

Violinist Kristin Lee, Artistic Director

Friday, November 11, 2022 at 8pm 415 Westlake 415 Westlake Avenue N | Seattle, WA

Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 7:30pm The Washington Center for the Arts 512 Washington St. SE | Olympia, WA

Tickets and Information:

“[Emerald City Music is] providing what artistic director Kristin Lee calls a ‘Friday date-night vibe’,”– The Seattle Times

Seattle & Olympia, WA – Emerald City Music (ECM) presents EVOLUTION: The CELLO on Friday, November 11, 2022 at 8pm in Seattle at 415 Westlake (415 Westlake Avenue N) and Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 7:30pm in Olympia in The Washington Center for the Arts (512 Washington St. SE). These chamber concerts are dedicated to revealing the wild, historical development of the cello – from the Baroque period to the present day. For the performance at 415 Westlake, the evening will feature a myriad of historical cellos, an open bar, and a “wander-around” concert setting with no stage dividing the audience from the musicians. The second performance of the program in Olympia will take place in the newly renovated Washington Center for the Arts.

Emerald City Music (ECM) is the Pacific Northwest home for eclectic, intimate, and vibrant classical chamber music experiences. Known for their casual environment combined with award winning artists, ECM has gained recognition from several high-profile publications like Seattle Times, The City Arts deemed ECM "the beacon for the casual-classical movement". Unique to only ECM attendees are encouraged to wear casual clothes, enjoy the open bar and walk around in order to increase the satisfaction of each of the ECM concerts.

November’s chamber concerts will feature a thrilling assortment of instruments and musicians: co-curator Nathan Whittaker on baroque cello, Caroline Nicolas on piccolo cello and viola da gamba, Mihai Marica on modern cello, and Henry Kramer on piano. Together they will perform Bach’s Prelude To Suite No. 6 In D Major for piccolo cello; Domenico Gabrielli’s Ricercar No. 7, for Baroque cello; Kaija Saariaho’s Sept Papillons; Luigi Boccherini’s Sonata In G Major, G. 5, For Baroque and piccolo cello; Marin Marais’s Les Folies D'espagne for viola da gamba; John Zorn’s Babel; and Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 1 In E Minor, Op. 38.

Artistic Director Kristin Lee shares her inspiration behind this program:

“After the thrilling success of the Evolution of the Keyboard last season, I’m excited to cement the ‘Evolution Series’ moving forward as part of the ECM programming oeuvre. I’m joined by co-curator Nathan Whittaker – baroque cello specialist – as we explore the fascinating history of the cello. From what was a five-stringed instrument that only functioned as a ‘bass line’ in an ensemble during the 16th century, the cello evolved to become one of the most celebrated solo instruments of today. Throughout the evening, you will witness rarely seen instruments that were created and experimented with before the cello became what we recognize now as the modern cello. Along the way, you will hear a variety of eclectic and historical works composed at each phase of the cello’s evolution.

Co-curator Nathan Whittaker shares:

“In today’s popular culture, the cello itself is a ubiquitous image - found anywhere from haute couture advertisements to location symbols in parking garages. Simply put, today the cello is a celebrated, beloved, and treasured symbol of artistic society, but it was not always that way. The origins of the cello are one of a lowly accompanimental instrument in the shadow of its flashier sibling, the violin. But over time, developments in techniques, compositional styles, and even in the instrument itself allowed the cello to evolve into its present form. This program attempts a brief, yet thorough, tour into the stages of this evolution. Like any good origin story, one cannot help but further love and appreciate this beautiful instrument once experiencing its journey.

This performance, and all of ECM’s Mainstage performances this season, will be recorded live and then made available on Emerald TV, ECM’s subscription-based streaming platform for performances and additional video content.

About the Musicians:

Nathan Whittaker: Nathan Whittaker enjoys a unique and diverse career as a concert soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, teacher, and historical cello specialist with concert stops ranging from New York to Seattle to Dubai. He is the Artistic Director of Gallery Concerts (Seattle), a concert series of chamber music on period instruments. Dr. Whittaker holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Washington and Bachelors and Masters degrees from Indiana University. He performs on a cello of Mario Gadda from 1957, and a baroque cello of Johann Christian Ficker II from c. 1770.

Caroline Nicolas: Caroline Nicolas enjoys an active and multifaceted career as one of the outstanding performers in her field. She has been praised for her unique ability to combine emotionally rich interpretations with a historically inquisitive spirit. She regularly appears with leading ensembles as a soloist, chamber musician, and music director. Ensembles she has worked with include the English Concert, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Mercury Baroque Orchestra, Ars Lyrica, Juilliard Baroque, Philharmonia Baroque, Pacific MusicWorks, Kammerorchester Basel, New World Symphony, and Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein.

Mihai Marica: Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a First Prize winner of the “Dr. Luis Sigall” International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile and the Irving M. Klein International Competition, and is a recipient of Charlotte White’s Salon de Virtuosi Fellowship Grant. He was a founding member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet and is currently the cellist of the acclaimed Apollo Trio. Mihai studied with Gabriela Todor in his native Romania and with Aldo Parisot at the Yale School of Music where he was awarded master's and artist diploma degrees. He is an alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two).

Henry Kramer: Pianist Henry Kramer is establishing himself as one of the most exciting American musicians of his generation. He has soloed under the batons of preeminent conductors Marin Alsop, Jan Pascal Tortelier, and Stéphane Dénève. Henry holds both a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School, where he received the 2015 William Petschek Recital Debut Award, and an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music, where he received the Charles S. Miller Prize for the most outstanding first-year pianist. In 2018, he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music. Dr. Kramer currently holds the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.

About Kristin Lee, ECM Artistic Director

A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis PostDispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.

In addition to her dynamic performing career, Lee was recently appointed to the faculty of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. She is the artistic director of Emerald City Music in Seattle, a chamber music series she co-founded in 2015. Also an accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season, as well as a member of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair.

Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery.

Born in Seoul, Lee began studying violin at age five and within one year won First Prize at the Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the US to continue her studies under Sonja Foster and in 1997 entered The Juilliard School’s Pre-College. In 2000, Lee was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform with the Pre-College Symphony. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. For more information, visit

About ECM

Emerald City Music (ECM) is the Pacific Northwest home for eclectic, intimate, and vibrant classical chamber music experiences. Deemed "the beacon for the casual-classical movement" (CityArts), ECM hosts world-renowned musicians in unique concert experiences in its South Lake Union home venue, 415 Westlake. Catch them on tour also in residence in Olympia, Bellingham, and New York City.

Founded in 2015, Emerald City Music produces and tours seven productions annually, with each tour visiting Seattle’s South Lake Union (415 Westlake, a chic contemporary venue with an open bar), Olympia’s Minnaert Center (a 495 seat modern concert hall), a once annual concert at the Bellingham Music Festival, and an annual concert in New York City.

ECM gained recognition regionally and nationally as a major player in the chamber music scene. Artistic Director Kristin Lee –– a touring violinist awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant and who is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center –– is regarded for her innovative programming that both honors the tradition of chamber music while expanding the genre’s boundary past common limits. Emerald City Music made a name for itself beginning in its second season with a national collaborative commission with Grammy-winning composer John Luther Adams, and has continued to press the boundary of chamber music with accolades like a tour of Steve Reich’s iconic and rare Music for 18 Musicians, a pitch-black performance of Georg Haas’s “In the Dark” quartet, and the West Coast debut of the Danish folk group The Dreamers’ Circus.

Follow ECM on Social Media

Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Recent Posts
bottom of page