“Trailblazing” cellist Mariel Roberts (Feast of Sounds) is quickly gaining recognition as a deeply dedicated interpreter and performer of contemporary music. Recent performances have garnered praise for her “technical flair and exquisite sensitivity” (American Composers Forum), as well as her ability to “couple youthful vision with startling maturity”. (InDigest Magazine). She holds degrees from both the Eastman School and the Manhattan School of Music, where she specialized in contemporary performance practice while studying with Alan Harris and Fred Sherry. Mariel performs internationally as a member of the Mivos String Quartet, and has performed with a variety of other ensembles in venues around the world as an advocate of living composers. 

As a performer, Mariel has been working to expand the technical and expressive possibilities of her instrument through close relationships with other innovative performers and composers. Her passion for collaboration and experimentation has led her to premiere a huge number of new works by both emerging and established composers. She has performed in such venues as the the Kennedy Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Zankel Hall, MoMA, The Stone, Issue Project Room, and Roulette,  and has appeared on many international concert series including Wien Modern (Vienna, Austria), Darmstadt Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt, Germany), Asphalt Festival (Düsseldorf, Germany), KLANG Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark) Cervantino Festival (Guanjuato, Mexico), HellHOT! New Music Festival (Hong Kong), Beijing Modern Festival (China) Shanghai New Music Week (China), and Aldeburgh Music (UK). Praised for her wide-ranging tastes and musical flexibility,  Outside Left writes: “To say Mariel Roberts is a good cello player is like saying your smartphone makes good calls; the statement is true but ignores the capabilities and implications of what's before you.”  She has appeared with SIGNAL Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Dal Niente, SEM Ensemble, and the Wordless Music Orchestra. Furthermore, she has been a resident artist at the Darmstadt New Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Aldeburgh Music Festival, and has participated in the Bang on a Can Festival, and the Lucerne Summer Festival led by Pierre Boulez.

In addition to frequent far-reaching international tours with the Mivos Quartet, Mariel has recently made appearences as a soloist at he newly formed Avant Music Festival, the Symphony Space “Music of Now Marathon”, as a guest artist at Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT), as a teaching and performing artist at the Unviersity of Denver, on the Gerswhin Hotel's “Contagious Sounds” series, the UnTied series in Baltimore, and the World Science Festival.   Mariel has been featured as a chamber musician on recordings for Innova Records, Albany Records, New World Records, New Amsterdam Records, and Urtext Records.   Upcoming recording projects include a release with Mivos Quartet on Carrier records, and a Xenakis retrospective CD to be released on Urlicht Records.

Mariel's premeire solo album, Nonextraneous Sounds, was recorded at the unrivaled EMPAC studio in Troy, NY, and released on Innova Records in September 2012. The record, consisting of brand new works commisioned by Mariel, received high accolades from sources such as TimeOut NY, TimeOut Chicago, the American Composers Forum, New Sounds with John Schaefer, and WQXR radio. New York's WQXR radio writes, “By playing a program this well-curated, with this much confidence, precision and good old-fashioned muscle, Roberts is not so much "making a statement," artistically speaking, as she is sounding an alarm. Listeners should come running.”

“There was some hand-wringing in recent years over the future of new music, going something like this: With no dominant musical paradigm to rebel against, will today's young composers lack a certain edge? Won't they lose focus, now that eclecticism is the order of the day?

Cellist Mariel Roberts's solo debut, "Nonextraneous Sounds," demonstrates that any such anxieties were, to put it mildly, misplaced. The music on this disc, by a range of rising young composers, is nothing short of gripping from the first note to the last, and it's thanks largely to the intense focus of these highly individual musicians.”



from the 2011 Avant Music Festival Photo: Tear-n Tan for Avant Media