Kathryn Bates


2015 kathryn bates wall 2 rj muna .jpg

Cellist Kathryn Bates’ boundless energy for sharing musical experiences has shaped a career that continues to explore the intersections of tradition and innovation. Praised for her “beautifully rounded sound” by the New York Times, Kathryn’s performances are hailed as “electrifying” (Boston Globe), characterized by a dancer’s sense of rhythm and captivating theatricality.  As the New Fromm cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center from 2008-2010, she was called the “revelation” (Sequenza 21) of the Elliott Carter 100th Birthday anniversary celebration.  In 2010, Kathryn joined the renowned San Francisco-based Del Sol String Quartet.

Fascinated by the feedback loop between social change, technology, and artistic innovation, Del Sol is a leading force in 21st century chamber music, whether introducing Ben Johnston’s microtonal Americana at the Library of Congress, deconstructing Ruth Crawford’s radical experimental processes with East Bay schoolchildren, or rocking Mason Bates’ techno grooves in his Ruby Skye dance party. Actively committed to the creation of new work, Del Sol has premiered over 100 pieces by a diverse range of composers including Terry Riley, Mason Bates, Frederic Rzewski, Gabriela Lena Frank, Chinary Ung, Peter Sculthorpe, and Reza Vali.




The quartet has performed at prestigious venues around the world, including the Kennedy Center and Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC; Symphony Space, New York City; Other Minds Festival of New Music, San Francisco; Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Santa Cruz, CA; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston; Santa Fe Opera; Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY; Davos and Hirzenberg Music Festivals in Switzerland; and the Chengdu Festival of Contemporary Music in China.

The New York Times praised Del Sol’s most recent recording, Scrapyard Exotica: “See if your foot can stay still once you put on this funky disc of rhythmically infectious… music played by the adventurous Del Sol String Quartet.”  As part of the its 25th anniversary celebrations, Del Sol will release “Dark Queen Mantra” in August 2017, the quartet’s ninth album featuring world premiere recordings of Terry Riley and Stefano Scodanibbio.  With its deep commitment to education, Del Sol has reached thousands of K-12 students through inventive school performances, workshops, coaching and residencies, including recent lectures at Georgetown University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Dartmouth University, and the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University.  

A native of historic Concord, Massachusetts, Kathryn graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  www.delsolquartet.com

Mercury Soul

Photograph: Mason Bates' Mercury Soul (2016) at Ruby Skye

photo credit: RJ Muna


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