Ismar Gomes - Biography

An accomplished orchestral and chamber musician, Ismar Gomes has performed with the Lancaster Symphony, the Annapolis Symphony, the Towson New Music Ensemble, and the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra. He serves as Assistant Principal of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony and Principal of Bel Cantanti Opera. Mr. Gomes has commissioned and premiered many works by emerging composers and is the dedicatee of a solo sonata by Pulitzer-Prize-nominated composer, P. Kellach Waddle. He has performed throughout the US and Europe, including two tours of the Netherlands in addition to concerts in France and Canada. Most recently he has performed at the Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, Amsterdam City Hall, Château de Fontainebleau, Harris Hall, the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia, and the Smithsonian. In 2012, he served as acting cellist with the Harlem String Quartet – together they toured throughout the US and received enthusiastic reviews at every stop.

Recently, Ismar cofounded the Suda Quartet, as well as the baroque ensemble Arisoso Furioso – both groups regularly perform concerts along the east coast. With an increasing number of appearances to their credit, Ismar Gomes and his duo partner, pianist Wan-Chi Su, collaborate in a variety of programs. Just this season Ismar has appeared as guest artist at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, Evolution Contemporary Music Series, Le Petit Salon, and on the Bonita Lestina Series, with upcoming appearances across the US, in addition to venues in Italy an England.

Ismar savors every opportunity to pass along what he has learned working closely with the Vermeer and Jerusalem Quartets, as well as with members of the Cleveland, Juilliard, Brentano, Emerson, and Tokyo Quartets. Apart from his studies as a modern cellist, Ismar has enjoyed cultivating his broader interests, among them the cello’s performance history. As a baroque cellist, Ismar has been guided by Arthur Haas, Jeanette Sorrell, and Gwyn Roberts, in addition to private study with John Moran of REBEL, and René Schiffer. He has performed with the Baltimore Baroque Band, the Baroque Orchestra at Stony Brook.

With such a wide-ranging scope of interests – including studies in early music, period performance, and adventures in commissioning and premiering works – he has developed a unique and broad based approach to both performing and teaching. As a Performing Associate at the Bowdoin Festival in 2012, Mr. Gomes taught private lessons and coached chamber music to both undergraduate and graduate students, he previously spent three summers coaching chamber music at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Summer Festival. Until recently, Ismar taught cello and chamber music at Stony Brook University. Mr. Gomes has given Masterclasses at Towson University, Stony Brook University, Walla Walla University, and Whitman College.

Originally from Cleveland, Ismar has participated in major festivals including Aspen, Bowdoin, Toronto Summer Academy, and the Zeist Music Days, where he has had the opportunity to play for the likes of Janos Starker, Steven Doane, Steven Isserlis, and Paul Katz. While earning his Bachelor’s Degree, and later his Master’s Degree from the Peabody Conservatory, Ismar was a student of Alison Wells and Amit Peled. Prior to his work at Peabody, Mr. Gomes was a student of Marc Johnson, cellist of the Vermeer Quartet, at Northern Illinois University. Currently pursuing Doctoral Studies at Stony Brook University, Ismar is a student of Colin Carr.

Mr. Gomes performs on a Gand Freres cello made in Paris, 1852.

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Curriculum Vitae