As a rare ensemble dedicated to music for flute, cello, and guitar, Black Cedar creates, discovers, and re-imagines works for this unique combination. The trio’s accolades include multiple grants from both the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, plus an invite to the National Flute Association Convention. Their recently released debut album, A Path Less Trod has earned critical praise, with Stephen Smoliar’s The Rehearsal Studio blog writing, “While the instrumentation is unconventional, it is surprisingly effective…Black Cedar is particularly effective for the rhetoric of intimacy they establish…an intimacy evident in the strategic command of understatement one encounters in the performances on this new album.”
Black Cedar’s commissions include Of Emblems (2014) by Garrett Shatzer, Miscellaneous Music (2015) by Durwynne Hsieh, and In Transit (2017) by Ursula Kwong-Brown. AllMusic Review’s James Manheim writes, “Miscellaneous Music makes the whole package worth the price of admission with its way of thinking through the possibilities of the ensemble and with its sheer high spirits…Hsieh defines boundaries between the roles of the three disparate instruments, and then crosses them gleefully.”
Since their formation in 2013, the trio has performed approximately 75 concerts throughout California, and they’ve appeared repeatedly on KALW 91.7 FM in San Francisco, KKUP 91.5 FM in San Jose, and KWMR 90.5 FM in Marin County. “Hats off to them!” writes the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “Black Cedar has done a wonderful job of making the case that chamber music can involve approaches to instrumentation not usually expected,” says the San Francisco Examiner.
Black Cedar’s 2017-2018 season includes appearances at San Francisco’s Music on the Hill, Sacramento’s Westminster Presbyterian, San Jose’s Foothill Community Concert Series, Marin County’s Throckmorton Theatre, and U.C. Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technology.