Origin: Oxford, UK
Genre: Classical and Experimental
Years Active: 2000 - Present
British Cellist Dr. Sophie Webber is an internationally accomplished soloist, chamber musician, and educator. A former DM student of Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, she previously studied with Richard Markson at Trinity College of Music, London, from where she graduated with a First Class Honors degree, as well as the Sir John Barbirolli memorial prize for cello.
She has been the recipient of many awards for her playing, including the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Graduate Strings Prize, Zumaia International Chamber Music Festival First and Public Prize, Finalist for Oxfordshire Young Musician of the Year, and most recently two Global Music Awards.
Sophie has been faculty at Lake Forest College (Illinois), Southeast Missouri State University, Oxford Cello School (UK), Trinity College of Music Junior Department (UK), and the Jacobs School of Music Summer Clinic (Indiana). She is also a keen music theorist, and more recently, composer, and held a position as Music Theory Instructor at Indiana University for four years.
In 2009, she founded Fused Muse Ensemble, an Illinois nonprofit organization with a mission to amplify voices too often left unheard through music and mixed media. Fused Muse Ensemble has tackled such diverse social topics as homelessness, environmental degradation and sex trafficking in performances spanning several US states.
Dr. Webber has recorded two critically acclaimed albums; "Escape: Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach" (January 2018) and "B2C: Bach Cello to Choir" (April 2020), recorded with Chicago's Choir of the Ascension. The choral component of this album was newly composed by Sophie.
B2C: Bach to Choir
"outstanding... every note has meaning rather as a look or a touch does; the resulting conversations she has with the music are endlessly absorbing... Her subjective narrative suggests the freedom with which Pablo Casals brought the music back to life a century ago."
~LAURENCE VITTES | GRAMOPHONE
"exceptional and creative musician"
~MAUREEN BUJA | INTERLUDE Classical Music Magazine
Read the full February 2018 article here.
“Sophie Webber is an extraordinary musician and a first-rate cellist. Her spirit is always warm and engaging and her playing is consistently compelling.”
~DALE WARLAND (founder of the DALE WARLAND SINGERS)
“It has always given me pleasure when I have heard Sophie play. She makes her cello speak, sing and articulate clearly in a seemingly effortless way. Added to this she has the ability to communicate the essence of the music, be it old, more recent or very new. I shall watch her career with interest and with great expectations.”
~JOHN POOLE | Former Director of the B.B.C SINGERS, guest conductor of the B.B.C SYMPHONY)
"Given that every cellist who has ever lived during the age of recordings has already made an album of the Bach suites, including Ms. Webber herself, the novelty (and beauty) of offering them with vocal augmentation seems inspired. The results are lovely."
~JOHN J. PUCCIO | CLASSICAL CANDOR Classical Music News & Reviews Blog
"“Escape” was meticulously engineered by four-time Grammy Award-winner Christopher Willis, who took full advantage of Webber’s assured musicianship and the cathedral’s unique sonic resonance."
~GEORGE VARGA | SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
Read the full March 2018 article here.
"There is a kind of fragility to the playing which, combined with the deep acoustic reverberation, creates a sense of downlit drama to the end product that’s compelling... The story that seems to underpin the entire recording contributes to its unique selling point. The album isn’t billed as a live recording but it has a live feel to which makes its authenticity in that respect appealing. That’s something I really respond to on a personal level – a pragmatic, resourceful and loving creation. That’s what makes it human and real."
~JON JACOB | THOROUGHLY GOOD UK Classical Music Blog
Read the full review here.
"What a lovely, warm, full sound"
~JOHN PITMAN | Music Director for ALL CLASSICAL PORTLAND, 89.9 FM
"Sophie Webber takes the Casals route and does not shy away from a big, vibrant sound. There is a wonderful amplitude to her performance, no self indulgence but a real feeling for strong tone colours. She is clearly aware of the movements' dance origins and there is a lovely bounce to some of the movements. It goes without saying that Webber brings a fine technique to the performance, playing with a lovely richness and evenness of tone, an expressive shape to the phrases and a fine evenness to the articulation...Sophie Webber gives us a vibrant, modern take, unashamed in its embrace of the modern cello and its techniques, and passionate too."
~ROBERT HUGILL | PLANET HUGILL - A WORLD OF CLASSICAL MUSIC Classical Music Blog
"I found Webber’s Bach beautifully done and very enjoyable."
~JERRY DUBINS | FANFARE Magazine
“Passionate yet thoughtful… sublime to hear.”
~TIME OUT CHICAGO
“The European, Rudi Tas from Belgium, contributed a “Miserere”, in which ecclesiastic singing compelling countered Sophie Webber’s aching, pungent solo cello.”
~PETER JACOBI | THE HERALD TIMES, Bloomington, Indiana