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Zoe Weiss



I embrace a busy and diverse life as a player of music, a scholar of music, and a teacher of music. Not only do these different modes of interacting with the gooey substance of music enrich each other, but for me, a full engagement with each emerges only through their triptych entanglement.

As a musician, I am an active performer on the Baroque cello and viola da gamba.  I have worked extensively as a soloist and continuo player across the country and abroad. I am a founding member of the L’Strange viol consort as well as Fathom, an experimental ensemble of voices and viols. In addition to early music, I am a founding member of the Folk Baroque Trio and have been part of a number of collaborations with the Turkish ensemble, Dünya. You can hear me on a recording of suites by David Funck as well as a forthcoming recording of fantasias by William Cranford.

I have also been active as a director and producer of Baroque operas, beginning with the production of my own adaptation of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and the Masque of Cupid & Death. In 2011, I co-founded Helios Early Opera in Boston and co-directed productions of Charpentier’s David et Jonathas, Telemann’s Pimpinone, and the North American premiere of Cavalli’s Artemisia. 

I am a dedicated viol evangelist and have been teaching the viol to beginners of all ages and backgrounds for over ten years. I have taught beginning group classes at Oberlin Conservatory and community music schools, several workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of New England, and most recently at Harvard University where I co-taught a course on viol playing and amateur musicianship with Kate van Orden. At Cornell, I have been working with beginner and intermediate viol players as well as helping to run the Cornell Baroque Orchestra.

As a scholar, my interests revolve broadly around the question of why making music with other people is such a pleasurable pursuit. These include: music cognition, viol consorts, amateur music making, hexachordal theory, performance practice. I hold degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Boston University where Catharina Meints, Laura Jeppesen, Peter Sykes, and Steven Plank were among my teachers and mentors.

My non-musical pursuits include cooking, chopping firewood, crocheting lace doilies, and avoiding the internet. Despite this last, do feel free to e-mail me at