Rebecca Fischer, first-violinist in the “truly breathtaking” (Washington Post) Chiara Quartet for eighteen years until the quartet’s final season in 2018, tours regularly in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Known for their deeply committed by heart performances and recordings, the Chiara Quartet held residencies at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harvard University, won top prizes in national and international chamber music competitions, premiered over 30 new works by composers such as Philip Glass, Gabriela Lena Frank and Nico Muhly, and were awarded the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Performance highlights include the complete Bartók Quartets by heart at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and the complete Beethoven quartet cycle at Harvard University, playing Steve Reich’s “Different Trains” in Munich with the composer at the sound board, and collaborations with such artists as The Juilliard and Saint Lawrence Quartets, Paul Katz, Simone Dinnerstein, Robert Levin, Roger Tapping, and the electronic duo Matmos. Ms. Fischer has recorded for Azica Records (the complete string quartets of Brahms and Bartók) and New Amsterdam Records (the string quartets of Jefferson Friedman, a Grammy-nominated album).
Praised for her “beautiful tone and nuanced phrasing” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Ms. Fischer is a member of The Afield, a multidisciplinary collaboration with visual artist Anthony Hawley combining new and original compositions for violin, voice, and electronics with video and other media. The Afield has performed at venues such as the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, KANEKO Gallery in Omaha, Boston University, and Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine, and they have commissioned composers Augusta Read Thomas, Lisa Bielawa, Mathew Fuerst, Paola Prestini, Pierre Jalbert, and Byron Au Yong, among others. The Afield has been in residence at DesignInquiry in Vinalhaven, ME, Arte Studio Ginistrelle in Assisi, Italy, and with the Aster Montessori School in Cambridge, MA. They are currently developing The Afield School, an organization pioneering interdisciplinary art and performance in mobile, pop-up settings.
Ms. Fischer is in demand as a violin pedagogue, chamber music coach, arts advocate, and teaching artist around the United States. She has given masterclasses and run workshops at the Eastman School, Rice University, Seoul National University, the University of Michigan and San Francisco Conservatory, among others, and she has served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Greenwood Music Camp. Ms. Fischer holds degrees from Columbia University and The Juilliard School, and her mentors include Kathleen Winkler, Joel Smirnoff, Masao Kawasaki, and members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Concord and Takacs Quartets. Ms.
Fischer’s writing on artistry and creativity has been published in Strings Magazine, on the SHAR Music blog, and on her own website blog: rebeccafischerviolin.com. She plays on a Neopolitan violin made by Giuseppe, Antonio and Giovanni Gagliano.
Photos by Ben Semisch