Rebecca Gilmore Phillips,
Rebecca Gilmore, solo, chamber and orchestral cellist, is currently Assistant Principal Cello with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 she was featured as soloist in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Associate Concertmaster, Yun Zhang, and Concerto Pianist, Prisca Benoit. Ms. Gilmore has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra. Previously she was Principal Cellist of the Greensboro Symphony where she made her solo debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Earlier in her career she soloed with the Charlotte Symphony and the Charlotte Repertory Orchestra, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D-major with the latter. Of note in Virginia, in 2010 Ms. Gilmore was broadcast live on NPR for a performance of Schubert’s Guitar Quartet with JoAnn Falletta and Virginia Symphony colleagues on a Virginia Arts Festival chamber series. Her cello career has taken her abroad to the Banff Centre for the Arts (Alberta, Canada), England, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, and China. Within the U.S. she has both taught and performed with numerous music festivals including the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, the Brevard Music Center, Garth Newel Chamber Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, the National Orchestra Institute, and the North Carolina School of the Arts’ International Music Program where she soloed in numerous halls and cathedrals with the orchestra throughout Europe. In Canada, she and pianist/composer Gabriele Frank performed Frank’s world premiere of Rios Profundos, followed by Capstone Records label release, titled It Won’t Be the Same River, a performance with the Mallarmé Chamber Players of Durham, North Carolina.
She is also founding member of Ambrosia Quartet, a professional performing chamber ensemble that came together in the fall of 2002 in order to perform a vast range of chamber music literature. Their first major debut was in 2005 where they performed for the Feldman Chamber Music Society Series where they entranced a full house with works by Shostakovich, Brahms, and Beethoven. In more than a decade of recitals both locally and abroad, Ambrosia Quartet has explored a vast array of chamber music, from Brahms to Shostakovich and Borodin to Hailstork. In the southern Virginia region, they have had repeat engagements by prestigious presenters such as The Feldman Chamber Society, Virginia Arts Festival, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Familiar Faces at Virginia Wesleyan and the Jewish Museum and Cultural Center (Portsmouth). Ambrosia has toured China, an early experience for the group, yet life-changing in terms of another culture’s music and music education. Continuously driven to forge new musical friends, Ambrosia Quartet has added instruments such as double bass or clarinet to vary their repertoire choices.
In February 2017, Ambrosia Quartet was honored to be chosen by Dr. Adolphus Hailstork to perform his piano quintet, “Detroit Rising”, at the “Legends of Music Walk of Fame” at the TCC Performing Arts Center in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was recognized for contributions of international significance to the world of music. Ambrosia Quartet has also recorded string quartets and string trios by Dr. Hailstork which are set to be released by Albany Records in 2017.
Adding the desire to share and to educate, Ambrosia Quartet has added to their palette, ‘Quartet in Residence’ with the Suzuki Program at the Academy of Music in Norfolk. Here, they are performing for group classes and working on projects as editors and recording artists for compositions by local composer, John S. Dixon, that specifically enrich music for the Suzuki community all over the globe.
Ms. Gilmore holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in cello performance from Indiana and Rice Universities. Her teachers include Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Norman Fischer, and Desmond Hoebig. Ms. Gilmore currently teaches both Traditional and Suzuki Cello lessons from her home studio. Through the Virginia Symphony’s Community Engagement Program she teaches middle and high school string students. In the summers, she is cello artist faculty at “New England Music Camp” in Maine where she teaches and performs. Ms. Gilmore is incredibly proud to continue the charge once given her by her teacher, the late master cellist and pedagogue, Janos Starker, to “carry the torch”.