Musicians – Cello

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Ruth Berry
cello, Artistic Director of In Praise of Music

Ruth Berry, cello

Ruth is cellist and founding member of several chamber ensembles, incuding the Fenimore String Quartet, the Magellan String Quartet, the Continuo Collective of the South, Trio d’Esprit, and Ensemble Sonaris. She gives recitals of popular classics with Ensembles Intermezzo, and designs entertaining educational programs for various chamber ensembles, including her Tin Pail Tales interactive performances which are popular with early childhood learning centers and other literacy development programs. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the musician-run chamber orchestra, Lyra Vivace, and a unique musician collective, In Praise of Music (

Ruth has recently moved to her home town of Hamilton, NY after living in Augusta, GA for many years (where she worked as principal cello of the Augusta Opera and Symphony and served as an artist in residence with the Magellan String Quartet at Georgia Southern University). Since 1986, Ruth performs during the summers with the Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra (specializing in solo continuo accompaniment on baroque or modern cello when the programming calls for it)–and, when not in the orchestra pit, lives in her historic and award-winning Kitt Shipman Memorial Chapel in Springfield Center, NY. During the “off summer” months, Ruth travels regularly to perform for arts organizations throughout the North and SouthEastern USA.

Ruth attributes her rewarding journey as a musician largely to the opportunities offered by Colgate University during her childhood: she first studied cello with Hamilton resident Cathy McLelland (who moved to Hamilton with her husband, Colgate professor emeritus Jim McLelland, following studies with the famed cellist Aldo Parisot). As a member of the Colgate Orchestra during her youth, Ruth also was mentored by string quartet members then in residence (The Amici/Madison and Manhattan Quartet), especially Stephen Stalker with whom she studied.

Ruth went to college at Boston University (where she studied cello with Leslie Parnas and received the Edwin E. Stein Award for Excellence in the Arts). Her graduate degree and studies at Cornell University were in musicology, analytical techniques and performance practice. Ruth is currently working on a certificate in Labor Studies from the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations.

  • Young Scots Christian Curnyn leads a modern band that incorporates baroque continuo. Michael Leopold’s theorbo pokes its long neck up from the pit like a periscope. Leopold also plays baroque arch lute and there are the pleasures of Ruth Berry’s baroque cello and David Moody’s harpsichord.-Notes from Philly (review of Tolomeo 8/06/2010)
  • The musical proceedings were masterfully helmed by conductor Christian Curnyn … He was ably abetted by the sensitive playing from Ruth Berry (Continuo), Michael Leopold (Theorbo) …-Opera Today 24 Aug 2010

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