Originally from Denver, CO, cellist Mariel Roberts is currently pursuing a Masters of Music degree in Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where she studies with Fred Sherry. Mariel graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music, where she was a student of Alan Harris.
Mariel is a performer of international reach who has played throughout the US and Europe in such venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Lincoln Center in New York, Issue Project Room, Galapagos Art Space, the Tank, the Stone, and various other galleries, warehouses, and non-traditional performance venues. She has appeared as a guest with SIGNAL Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, TACTUS Ensemble, and has been featured on recordings of several ensembles for Albany Records, New World Records, and New Amsterdam Records. Recent appearances include playing as a featured member of the Eastman Broadband Ensemble, which has toured Mexico several times, visiting the Chihuahua International Festival, the International Cervantino Festival in Guanuajuato, and at the Silvestre Revueltas Theater in Mexico City. Also this year Mariel appeared as a soloist with the Manhattan School’s TACTUS ensemble at the Tank, and again as part of the Avant Music Festival at NYC’s Wild Project. Mariel has also played internationally in several festivals such as the Lucerne Festival Academy under the direction of Pierre Boulez and the Ensemble Intercontemperain, the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts, and a Creative Dialogue for contemporary cello performance led by renowned performer Anssi Karttunen in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
A dedicated advocate of contemporary music, at Eastman Mariel was regularly played with the Musica Nova ensemble and the Ossia new music ensemble, where she was able to work closely with composers such as Steve Reich, Chinary Ung, Lukas Ligeti, Michael Gordon, and Robert Morris. At Eastman Mariel was also the recepient of a Professional Studies Grant, which she used to commission a new piece for cello, percussion, and electronics from ASCAP composer Andy Akiho. She continues to work hard championing the music of living composers, and has premiered numerous works by both young and seasoned composers. Most recently she commissioned and premiered a new work for cello and marimba from New York composer and duo member Mike Perdue. Mariel is currently in the process of commissioning several more works for cello solo or cello and mixed ensemble. In addition to her love of contemporary classical music, Mariel has also remained a devoted student of ethnomusicology, and has played and performed with many diverse ensembles including Balinese Gamelan, Zimbabwean mbira ensemble, a Mariachi band, a Celtic Fiddle group, and several jazz groups.