creator | cellist
A native of Boise, Idaho, cellist Jake Saunders holds a MM in music performance from Boise State University and a BM in cello performance from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance, where he studied with Richard Aaron. Until May 2014, Saunders performed with the Boise Philharmonic and as an inaugural member of the Boise State Graduate String Quartet Fellowship (Ezra Quartet). Saunders currently performs with the Opera Idaho orchestra and the Boise Baroque Orchestra, and has been an active contributor to the City of Trees Chamber Music Series and Classical Revolution: Boise.
In addition to performing with many established ensembles in Boise, Saunders has contributed to the city’s artistic expansion through the creation of new ensembles. In 2012 Saunders created the Boise Cello Collective, a collaborative project among some of Idaho’s preeminent cellists that specializes in the performance of classical, contemporary, and popular music in nontraditional venues. Saunders serves as the group’s manager, arranger, and principal cellist. Boise Cello Collective has presented two world premieres, including a quintet for piano and four cellos by Idahoan composer Dave Earnest in January 2014 and “eMerging” by Evan Ware in November 2014. In 2014, Saunders created 208 ensemble with composer David Biedenbender. 208 ensemble is the first professional ensemble in Boise dedicated to the advocacy and performance of music written by living composers. Saunders currently serves as the ensemble’s cellist and co-director.
Aside from pursuing an active performance schedule, Saunders maintains a private studio in Boise for aspiring cellists of all ages. He has held studios at the Idaho Music Academy and Old Boise Music Studios. His students have been accepted to the All-City Elementary Honor Orchestra, the Junior High Honor Orchestra, and the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and have been accepted into studios at Denver University, University of Idaho, College of Idaho, Pacific Lutheran University, and DePaul University.
Saunders has served as principal cellist of numerous ensembles, including the Opera Idaho orchestra, Boise State University Symphony Orchestra, and University of Michigan’s University Symphony Orchestra and Philhamornia Orchestra. Saunders has also been principal cellist of the Music Academy of the West’s Festival Orchestra, the All-Northwest Orchestra, the Idaho All-State Orchestra, and the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He has been an active member in the University of Michigan’s Contemporary Directions Ensemble and Baroque Orchestra.
Saunders has attended music festivals in the United States and abroad, including the Music Academy of the West, the Castleman Quartet Programs, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Astona International Festival (CH), and the International Music Academy at Pilsen (CZ). Former chamber music mentors include members of the Cleveland, Takacs, Cavani, Zemlinksy, Fry Street, and Ying Quartets, as well as Charles Castleman, Laura Bossert, and Terry King. Saunders has studied extensively with Dr. Brian Hodges, Richard Aaron, Mark Rudoff, and Samuel Smith.