The Craft Ensemble came together to play Schubert's great C-major Cello Quintet in an Interpretations Masterclass with Ben Zander in early 2016. Since then, we have performed all over New England, as trio, string- and clarinet-quartet, piano- and cello-quintet, and string sextet. The Craft Ensemble comprises a core string quartet of Colleen Brannen and Amy Sims on violin, violist Amelia Hollander Ames, and Velleda Miragias on cello. We are all busy freelancers in the Boston area, with engagements at A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Philharmonic, Handel & Haydn Society, Odyssey Opera, Orchestra of Indian Hill, the Portland Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as frequent "away" projects.
Cellists Eleanor Hilly Blake, Kate Kayaian and Rebecca Thornblade, violists Anna Griffin and Emily Rome, pianist Elaine Rombola Aveni, and oboist Nancy Dimock are favorite collaborators and members of the Craft sphere.
Our programs include music by Henry Purcell (which we played at the 350th Anniversary Celebration for Salem’s House of Seven Gables) and by young composers such as Elliot Cole, Jessie Montgomery, Paul Moravec, and Osnat Netzer. We relish discovering rarely performed gems, such as the quartet works of Imogen Holst and Elizabeth Maconchy. In 2017 we gave the US premier of Oscar-winning film composer Gabriel Yared's luscious "Camille Claudel" String Sextets. We also have set off on a journey to learn one Beethoven Quartet every season. So far we have performed his "Serioso," Op. 95 and his first quartet, Op. 18 #3.
The 2019-20 season will bring us to the Wilson Series in Newburyport, Indian Hill Music’s “Bach’s Lunch” Series, and the 2020 Women’s Composers Festival in Hartford, where we are so excited to be ensemble-in-residence.
We hope you will join us on our musical adventures. Chamber music feeds our souls, and there's nothing we love more than sharing it with each other, and with you!