It’s refreshing to hear the bassoon edging its way towards the sonic foreground in contemporary music. Anyone with doubts about how cool the instrument can be has perhaps not yet heard bassoonist and core member of ICE Rebekah Heller perform; in her hands, the oft-underappreciated woodwind is transformed into a fierce creature that cannot be ignored onstage. Whether the music being performed is a cadenza from a Mozart piece or a new work by an ICELab participant, she will make you wonder how you never noticed the instrument before.
— NewMusicBox
 Photo By:  Chelsea Ross

Photo By: Chelsea Ross

Praised for her “flair” and “deftly illuminated” performances by The New York Times, bassoonist Rebekah Heller is a uniquely dynamic solo and collaborative artist. Called "an impressive solo bassoonist" by The New Yorker, she is fiercely committed to expanding the modern repertoire for the bassoon. Her debut solo album of world premiere recordings (featuring five new pieces written with and for her), 100 names, was called "pensive and potent" by The New York Times and her newly-released second album, METAFAGOTE (also entirely made up of pieces created with and for her), is receiving wide acclaim.

As Artistic Director and bassoonist of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Rebekah performs all over the world. Not only is she committed to advancing the music of our time, she is deeply engaged in working with younger musicians to continue the ICE-y legacy of fearless exploration and deep collaboration. She is also a committed advocate, through platforms like ICEcommons (a free, crowdsourced index of newly composed music), for underrepresented voices and outrageous experimentation.

This season, Rebekah is looking forward to her solo debut with the NY Philharmonic, playing a piece composed by Ashey Fure under the baton of Jaap Van Zweden. She is also excited about ICE's 9th summer as artists-in-residence at the Mostly Mozart Festival and continuing relationships with Met-Live, Miller Theater, National Sawdust and many more exciting presenters in NYC and beyond.

A committed educator, Rebekah has led workshops and given lectures and masterclasses at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Peabody Institute, Brown University, the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin. She is also greatly looking forward to her second summer teaching, performing, and coaching at the Banff Centre’s ICE-led summer program, Ensemble Evolution.

Before joining ICE, in 2008, Rebekah served as Principal Bassoonist of the Jacksonville Symphony. 

Rebekah studied at the Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Texas at Austin, and was a member the New World Symphony and Chicago Civic Orchestra. She lives in NYC.