Hailed by critics as being “richly emotive” and demonstrating “an uncanny sense of tasteful proportion…a natural talent that cannot be taught” (SF Classical Voice), cellist Tessa Seymour made her televised Carnegie Hall debut in 2006 and has since been performing in Europe, Asia and the US, both as soloist and chamber musician. Committed to a repertoire that cuts across genres and brings to life contemporary and established works alike, she has collaborated with and premiered the works of Matthias Pintscher, Krzysztof Penderecki, John Adams, David Ludwig, and Richard Danielpour.
Tessa is the recipient of, among others, the Verbier Festival's "Jean-Nicolas Firmenich" prize for cello, and was named a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar in 2010. She is a regular performer at the Verbier Festival, Napa Valley's Festival del Sole, and the Dresden Music Festival. Tessa has participated in masterclasses with distinguished musicians such as Bernard Greenhouse, Steven Isserlis, Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, Miklós Perényi, and Gabor Takács-Nagy. As a chamber musician, she has performed with Eighth Blackbird, Pamela Frank, Meng-Chieh Liu, Jiji, and Jupiter Chamber Players.
Recent appearances include concerts at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and the US premiere of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki’s Suite for Solo Cello at Carnegie Hall. Her performances have been broadcast on WHYY-TV, PBS, as well as NPR, TEDTalks, VICE News, and WRTI radio, where she hosted, and appeared in, their program “Philadelphia Music Makers.” Tessa was recently a featured artist on BBC Radio 3’s “BBC Introducing” programme. In 2016, she embarked on her first major nationwide solo tour of the USA, performing 30 concerts in 60 days, presenting an elaborate and very thoughtfully curated hour-long solo cello program of part classical, part contemporary repertoire that ranged from Bach’s Cello Suites to the wonderful music of Kodaly, Sollima, and Ligeti. In 2017, she premiered the Australian electronic and acoustic music composer William Gardiner's concerto for cello, a work commissioned for her by composer John Adams and the Berkeley Symphony.
Born in Berkeley in 1993, Tessa first started playing cello at the age of six. She joined the Curtis Institute of Music at 16, where she studied with Carter Brey and Peter Wiley until her graduation in 2015. Tessa's cello is the 1720 Testore "Camilla" of Milan.