Helen Newby continually seeks ways to expand the technical and expressive boundaries of her instrument through close collaboration with other innovative performers and composers. She received her Bachelor’s in Music from the Oberlin Conservatory and her Master’s in Cello Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her principal cello teachers have included Darrett Adkins, Jennifer Culp and Rachael Lonergan. Helen was a two-time recipient of Oberlin’s Creativity and Leadership Fund, traveling to and touring Norway in January 2013 and touring the northeastern United States in June 2013. She has performed across North America and Europe in venues that range from Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall and The Fillmore to jazz clubs, dive bars and art galleries. This past summer, Helen was the cello fellow of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, a 7-piece ensemble committed to the performance of new and contemporary compositions at the Aspen Music Festival.
Helen is a founding member of string trio Chartreuse, string quartet Amaranth, jazz sextet deturtle, and experimental noise quartet HK&tCS. Charteuse's upcoming season includes a collaboration with Christopher Preissing and NON:op in Chicago, on his immersive opera installation, Thunder Perfect Mind; a double set with Triple Point Trio featuring a new sextet by Thomas Kotcheff; east- and west-coast premieres of works by Bethany Younge, Aaron Holloway-Nahum, and Scott Rubin; concerts with Gregory Uhlmann and Elise Roy in LA; a concert of Carolyn O'Brien's work in Chicago; and the release of their debut EP, on water, featuring recent works of Peter Swendsen, Luke Carlson, Matthew Chamberlain, and Theophilus Chandler. Amaranth's upcoming projects include a residency and performance with the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and appearances on Switchboard Presents and SF Presidio Sessions.
When not cello-ing, Helen can be found exploring Bay Area nature, working on her beer connoisseurship, and looking for new ways to include peanut butter in all the meals.