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Grace Dashnaw is an accomplished cellist, composer, and multimedia artist. They graduated summa cum laude from Ithaca College in 2021 with two Bachelors of Music, one in Cello Performance and one in Music Composition. During Grace's undergraduate degree, they studied cello with Elizabeth Simkin as well as Gregory Hesselink, and composition with Dr. Evis Sammoutis and Dr. Jorge Grossmann. They are currently pursuing a Composition and Experimental Sound Practices MFA and Integrated Media Specialization at California Institute of the Arts. Grace studies composition with Clay Chaplin and cello with Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick.

Grace has studied cello at numerous festivals, including the Tanglewood Young Artists' Orchestra (2017), Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival (2018), Bowdoin International Music Festival (2020), Meadowmount School of Music (2021), and Interharmony International Music Festival (2022). At these festivals, they studied with Dr. Hyun Min Lee (BUTI), Steven Pologe (GMCMF), Jeffrey Ziegler (BIMF), Julia Lichten (Meadowmount), and Greg Hesselink (IIMF). Grace has additionally performed in masterclasses for Johannes Moser, Owen Young, Yumi Kendall, Kevin Lawrence, Misha Quint, and Guy Braunstein.


Although their studies mainly focused on the Western European canon, Grace has always ventured outside of it. They have experience performing and recording jazz, bluegrass, avant-garde, pop, theatre, noise, and improvisatory music. Collaborators within these genres include Jonah Bobo (Newgrass Suite), the Hangar Theatre, Opera Ithaca, Myles Cameron (Caged Bird, Yellow, Softboi), Teddy Hyde (Sock Footed), Not From Wisconsin, Delaques, Chris Corsano, and Daisy Jopling. Grace performed in the Naked Noise festival in Ithaca, NY this past year with over 15 other improvisatory artists in the area. Their current solo noise project, "Wraith", consists of amplified cello, pedals, synthesizer, voice, and found objects. They continue to explore the different sound worlds the cello can create and exist within.

In addition to an extensive performance history, Grace has established themselves as a composer as well. In 2019, they received the Jack Downey Award for their piece "Release", for cello with two-track loop pedal, two acoustic cellos, and three treble voices. Grace was commissioned by Ithaca College to compose the opening fanfare for the Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremonies. They've shown their compositions to many visiting artists, both at their institutions and summer programs. They studied with Steven Sacco at the Interharmony International Music Festival, and participated in visiting masterclasses and lessons with Nico Muhly, Chinary Ung, Alvin Singleton, Frederick Kaufman, and Gabriela Lena Frank. Their works have been read by the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra, the Momenta Quartet, Ensemble C Barré, Lynn Harrell, and Johannes Moser. Most recently, their piece "Many Things, Large and Small" for solo flugelhorn and electronics was performed by Dan D'Addio. In addition to their notated works, they have composed music for films, most notably "Venus" by Jamie Griffiths, which was selected to be in the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in 2020. Grace also writes in graphic and text notation, with an upcoming performance by CalArt's Ensemble of their most recent graphic score, "Pathways".

Grace studies and creates within artistic disciplines outside of music as well, including visual art, animation, sculpture, poetry, film, and fiber arts.  ​Their current focus is multimedia creations including sound, circuitry, sculpture, film, and animation. Collaboration with other artists continues to be a main facet of their work. Past collaborations have included filmmakers, animators, composers, sculptors, instrumentalists, and poets. By not constraining themselves to a singular artistic discipline, their work deepens greatly. 

For fun, Grace enjoys gardening, making espresso drinks, and spending time with their dog, Lady. 



List of pieces learned and performed, both solo and chamber works.


List of compositions, including works in progress as well as completed works. For information/questions regarding scores, please feel free to contact me through any of the methods listed on my contact page.


Education, experience, and awards.

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