Issei Herr
I s s e i H e r r
cellist | composer
Issei Herr is a musician who embraces openness and vulnerability, a sense of wonder and exploration, and a search for truth and beauty through the vast expressive sound world of the cello. Weaving between an expansive array of stylistic genres and time periods, from notated music to improvised, acoustic to electronic, Issei maintains a commitment to musical discovery in every facet of their performing and compositional endeavors.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 season include performances with musical artist Rachika Nayar at SXSW, Knockdown Center, Elsewhere Rooftop, and Brooklyn Museum, as well as a solo performance at St. John’s in the Village, New York. Past highlights included a series of duo concerts with distinguished violinist Rolf Schulte in Mexico and New York, a solo concert tour in Oregon, a collaborative performance art project with choreographer Mary Armentrout in San Francisco, and a recording of the complete solo cello suites of Bach. Trained as a cellist at Juilliard, Issei has collaborated with some of the leading musical artists of today - Nico Muhly, Kaija Saariaho, JACK Quartet, and many others.

As a composer, Issei’s musical language draws from a myriad of influences, both artistic and personal; their compositions are built upon free improvisations on the cello, which are layered and digitally transformed to create kaleidoscopic soundscapes. Though grounded in the traditions of classical composition and performance, their work aims to challenge the traditional moulds of this practice, bringing together a wide range of influences - from ambient electronic to noise, experimental, and beyond. Conceived through the sound-world of the cello and augmented through layering and electronic manipulation, Issei's music reflects their personal journey through memory and acceptance, as well as their continual transformation through queerness. With a collaborative spirit and a commitment to pushing boundaries, Issei aims to transcend conventional modes of music making through their cello.
photo by Theo Cote
photo by Theo Cote
photo by Michael Yu
photo by Michael Yu
photo by Scott Hoffmann
photo by Scott Hoffmann
Upcoming Performances
will be announced soon
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