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Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis

Cellist and Artistic Director

Artistic Director Kate Ellis has been playing cello with Crash since 2002 and in the role of Co-Artistic Director since 2012. Kate is a visionary and creative maverick, never afraid of combining multi-disciplinary artists to see where the sounds may grow. Welcoming artists from around the world to write for and play with Crash has seen Kate Moore, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Sam Amidon, Bryce Dessner, Michael Gordon, Dawn Upshaw, Nico Muhly, David Lang and Julia Wolfe compose new works for the group.

Kate is a versatile musician dedicated to the performance and exploration of all new music and is also a member of Martin Hayes’ Common Ground Ensemble, Francesco Turrissi’s Taquin experiments, Yurodny, Ergodos Musicians and the electro-folk group Fovea Hex.

Current projects include a creative documentation of 2021 with UK based musician and composer Laura Cannell. Laura and Kate will release new music monthly alongside a commissioned bespoke film. Supported by the Arts Council of England.

Kate has collaborated with, commissioned, premiered and recorded works by numerous Irish and International composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Nico Muhly and Donnacha Dennehy and continues to push musical boundaries performing with a diverse range of musicians including Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon Giddens, Martin Hayes, Iarla O Lionaird, Gavin Friday and Karan Casey to name but a few.

In 2009, Kate co-founded the highly successful ‘Kaleidoscope Night’ series. A monthly event taking classical and experimental music out of its typical setting and transplanting it into an informal and intimate alternative, a sociable evening of lesser-heard, rarely-heard or never-heard small-ensemble music.

From 2011-2014 Kate was musician in residence at the Cork Opera House and co-curated a festival marking the 75th birthday year of Steve Reich, who said of Kate’s playing ‘she has my unbounded admiration’.

In August 2014 Kate released Jump – an album of specially commissioned works by Irish composers for solo cello and electronics. The album was recorded as part of Diatribe Records musical project Solo Series Phase II, intended as a wide-lens portrait of Ireland’s new musical terrain.


Photo credit: Ros Kavanagh