Kathleen Balfe, Cellist

United States-born cellist, Kathleen Balfe, has lived and worked in Spain since 2003, when she began work with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, she won an audition with the Granada City Orchestra as their principal cellist, where she currently plays. She has been a founding member of the contemporary music group Ensemble neoArs Sonora, based in Granada, since 2008.

Cellist Kathleen BalfeWith these organizations, Ms. Balfe has had the opportunity to perform in the most important festivals and halls throughout Spain, such as the International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada, The Canary Islands Music Festival, The Musica-Músika Festival in Bilbao, the Cádiz Festival of Spanish Music, the Summer Festival in El Escorial, Bernaola Festival, in halls such as the National Auditorium and Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, the Palau and Liceu in Barcelona, the Maestranza in Sevilla, among others, and has toured to Austria, Germany, Israel, and France with these groups for concerts.

In the United States, Kathleen Balfe performs frequently with the New Century Chamber Orchestra led by Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. She also plays with the well-known contemporary music orchestra, Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, California, directed by Marin Alsop. With these ensembles, Ms. Balfe has enjoyed performing music by composers such as John Adams, Michael Daugherty, Philip Glass, Missy Mazzoli, Mason Bates, Kevin Puts, Derek Bermel, Claire Assad, T.J. Cole, Christopher Rouse, Dylan Mattingly, and Brett Dean, among many others.

Ms. Balfe was awarded first prize in the Edgard Feder Competition in New York, third prize in the Gaspar Cassadó Competition in Spain, Grand Prize and Finkle Bow Award in the American String Teacher's National Competition in Indiana, and was granted a Presser Award and a Fulbright Scholarship.

Photo of Cellist Kathleen Balfe Performing

As a solo player, she has performed recitals and solo concertos on both coasts of the United States and in Spain, and as a chamber musician, she has been heard in the Mozaic Festival in California, in the National Theater of Costa Rica, Mónaco, the Hamptons in New York, Prague, Boston Isabella Stewart Gardner Chamber Series, Italy, France, and Spain. Ms. Balfe has experience in period practice of the baroque cello in small ensemble performances with the Granada City Orchestra.

Photo of Cellist Kathleen Balfe

The Granada City Orchestra is broadcast regularly on RNE (Spanish National Radio), and Ms. Balfe has also been part of two CD projects with the group, for Verso and Bis Records. With the New World Symphony in 2001, she recorded “Tuck and Roll,” music by Steven Mackey and directed by Michael Tilson Thomas for RCA Records. The Ensemble neoArs Sonora has appeared on Programa de Mano for RTVE (Spanish National Television) and was recently a winner of a BBVA Recording Grant to make a set of four-CDs in 2016.