Boston Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra

Cameron Sawzin

Lonesome Town

Cellist Cameron Sawzin grew up playing impromptu concerts with her mother, a jazz singer and her brother, a violinist.  She studied at Juilliard prep. with Channing Robbins and Leonard Rose. While at Juilliard, she refined her skills, playing on recording sessions in New York.  She earned her B.M. and M.M. degrees in cello performance from Oberlin College and the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Richard Kapuscinsky and Lawrence Lesser.

An active freelance musician, her engagements range from the Marriage of Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, Broadway Shows “Sweet Charity and “Spelling Bee” to many seasons of Masterworks Chorale at Sanders Theater.

Boston Virtuosi premiered her composition; “Turnabout Tango” and she was also a member of the Boston Virtuosi quintet that was featured in the concert scene in the Miramax film, “The Human Stain” starring Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman and Gary Sinise and Ed Harris.

She was a soloist in the New Directions Cello Festival at the University of Conn. and has served on their steering committee, along with Artistic Advisors, YoYo Ma, Ron Carter, Julian Lloyd Weber and David Darling.

Cameron’s newest recording with Nu Jazz guitarist Jeff Cashen is entitled “A Bunch of Guitars and a cello” and is available on Amazon.com.

A sample of her many other recording credits includes “Beautiful Gaia,” with composer Carolyn Mcdade. Also featured on the CD are four women’s choruses from several provinces in Canada, as well as an interstate collaboration in the United States. Other recordings are “We are Here”, CD recorded with members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. (Smithsonian’s Library of Congress #88-743108).Warner Bros “One Night Stand” with Paul Stookey, recorded live at Carnegie Hall and Stookey’s “Band and Bodyworks”, a Grammy Award Nominee. One of the compositions in the Carnegie hall concert was the famous “Wedding Song”. Paul Stookey created a foundation, Blue Heaven, which donates all of the sizable proceeds from this song to school programs deserving non-profit organizations.  Paul Stookey, Cameron and four other artists have recently filmed a two live Christmas and Easter concerts for PBS, which were aired nationally.  Both will likely be aired again this year. She also recently recorded “Virtual Party” a new CD on New World Records with Mr. Stookey, as well as “Dance for Love” by artist Eddie Mottau for the same label. Cam has been featured on her brother, jazz violinist Doug Cameron’s CD’s including, “Celtic Crossroads”, released on Virgin records in February 2001, and his newest, recorded in Australia, New York and L.A.  She participated in National Public Radio’s retrospective of women composers with pianist Virginia Eskin, performing classical, contemporary music and her “Oily Weasel Blues.” and was also a guest on the NPR program, “The Connection”, exploring traditional and non-traditional use of the cello.

Cameron has also recorded for the PBS show, Nova. Her most recent PBS solo cello performance was for “Race, the Power of an Illusion”, internationally broadcast several times on Nova in 3-hour segments. PBS.org/race is the companion interactive website for the show, very popular with parents and kids.

Productive summers have been spent with the Aspen Festival Chamber Orchestra, New Hampshire Music Festival, the Lake George Opera and Opera and The Strings in the Mountains Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she gave master classes, private lessons and played chamber music.  She premiered a chamber cantata, influenced by South American folk, Jazz and Renaissance music at the Festival of the Americas in Santa Fe, NM.

Ms. Sawzin taught at the Pine Hill School in New Hampshire for 16 years, and has been on the String Faculty of the High Mowing School since 1999. High Mowing is a Waldorf boarding School with a very strong arts oriented curriculum. She was guest cello faculty at the University of New Hampshire Durham in 2003 and has been invited to return in Jan ’10.

Cameron has had private teaching studios in Andover and Boston for the past 16 years as well. Ms. Sawzin has done extensive research and study involving the healthy and efficient use of muscles when playing the cello. She uses Pilates, Alexander and Feldenkrais techniques in her teaching, as well as other sports and dance related modalities. She has written two etude/caprices incorporating the use of Jazz, Blues and Country Fiddle styles; “The Oily Weasel Blues” and “Country Fiddle Tune, both thumb position studies. The “Oily Weasel” is sold at Johnson Strings in Newton, as well as the “cello city store” on the New Directions cello festival web site. Both pieces are much loved by her students.

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Preface from the Boston Foundation Study Understanding Boston

Arts and culture bring a great city to life. Artists and cultural institutions attract new investments and new residents, and so catalyze the growth of our neighborhoods and our regional economy. Millions of visitors come to Boston each year to see our historic sites, hear our fine orchestras, visit our renowned museums, and make tourism one of our leading industries. Cultural organizations of all sizes and types—large art and science museums, mid-sized theater companies and orchestras, and small visual arts organizations or choral groups— teach and inspire young people and help us bridge differences among our diverse population. As adults, our encounters with the arts have the power to transform us, prompting us to see, hear and think in new ways.

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