Rebecca Hartka, cello

Cellist Rebecca Hartka has concertized for over a decade in venues throughout the United States with international appearances in Italy, Vietnam and Thailand. In demand as a performer, Hartka's playing was described by the Hanoi Times as "... magical and eloquent." Committed to building bridges through performance and transcending classical music stereotypes, Hartka has performed in non traditional venues such as Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, the Hampshire County Jail, numerous coffee houses and private homes, as well as prestigious venues like the American Embassy in Hanoi.

In 2014-15 Hartka appeared as a solo recitalist in the Frederick Historical Piano Collection Concert Series, Classics in the Woods, Columbia Universities St Lukes Concert Series, the 1794 Meeting House Concert Series, The French Cultural Center of Boston, Classics in the Woods and the Interharmony Internaional Festival Concert Series. Recently she has performed on the Wistaria Chamber Music Society Concerts at 7, the Community Connections Concert Series, and the Valley Classic Concerts Series, at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, the Exploring the Arts series, the 88 Keys series, and the Jazz and More series, the Newton Free Library series, and the SAPAS performing arts series. In 2014 she was artist faculty in Arcidosso, Italy for the Interharmony International Music Festival collaborating with pianists Inesa Sinkevych and Svetlana Gorokhovich, Aurelius Gori, baritone and Laurel Zucker, flute.

In 2014 Hartka released here second CD Light & Shadow: Sonatas of Rachmaninov and Poulenc with pianist Alys Terrien-Queen. According to the Boston Musical Intelligencer they “ take this rich Russian music to new heights”, stating that their performance “ranks comfortably alongside several impressive readings by other major cellists.” Hartka released her debut CD "Folkfire" with pianist Azusa Komiyama in October 2010, receiving critical acclaim as well as radio play on both WFCR and WAMC Performance Place. The Daily Hampshire Gazette remarked of the CD that Hartka "emotes a passion worthy of a symphony orchestra" while the Greenfield Recorder praised her for having "a passion for precision that never imposes itself upon the music". Hartka was the recipient of the 1993 Henriette Reiss Award for Outstanding Artistic Merit.

A devoted chamber musician, Hartka enjoys collaborating with a wide range of colleagues. She performs regularly with the Reve d’Amour Ensemble, with pianists Inesa Sinkevych, Barbara Lysakowski, and Alys Terrien-Queen. She collaborated in spring 2013 with faculty and quartet members violinist Sarah Briggs and violist Delores Thayer at Amherst College as part of the Copeland Colloquium Faculty Collaborations performance. Other recent notable collaborations have been with soprano Maria Ferrente, violist Michelle Lacourse, violinist Colleen Jennings and the Slapin-Solomon viola duo, and with clarinetist Julianne Kirk Doyle and the Eastman Trianna. As a founding member of Trio Lumiere, Hartka performed from Boston to NY during 2011-2012 and competed as a semifinalist in the New England International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition. In 2007 she explored Baroque cello with violinist Carrie Krause of Apollo's Fire, and was a guest artist in a concert tour with the Meritage Quartet across Montana in 2007. As one of the founding members of the Phoenix Trio, she gave regular concert tours throughout the country from 2006-09. The Trio was also a recipient of a 2005 Brookline Tercentennial Fund Grant and Fellows in the Brevard Advanced Chamber Music Festival in 2004. She founded and acted as artistic director of the Valley Classics Concert series from 2011-2013, receiving critical acclaim for her unique programming, set in the casual atmosphere of the Arts Block in Greenfield, MA.

An active freelance performer for over a decade, Hartka has been a guest musician for numerous large and small ensembles. She currently performs with the Springfield Symphony and the Berkshire Choral Society, among others. From 2007-2009 she was the assistant principal for the Bozeman Symphony and the Intermountain Opera Company.

Hartka completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello performance at Boston University College of Fine Arts (BU CFA) in May 2007, as a four-year recipient of the Deans Scholar Award, and an elected member of Phi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honors Society. Hartka completed a Master of Music Degree at BU CFA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cello Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory and College, also participating in chamber festivals including the Oberlin in Cassalmaggiore Chamber music festival in Italy, the Lydian String Quartet Chamber Music Workshop, the Music from Salem Chamber Music Festival, and the Hampden-Sydney Chamber Music Festival. Hartka's teachers have included Leslie Parnas, Michael Reynolds, Rhonda Rider, Clive Greensmith, Andor Toth, Peter Rejto, Douglas Moore and Justin Kagan.