Ellen Gira is establishing herself as one of the most versatile cellists in the Scottish and American Traditional ( “Trad”) music scenes. Combining her passion for Traditional music with a strong grounding in technique from her classical training, Ellen enjoys stretching the boundaries of cello within the Scottish, Irish, American, Scandinavian, and Canadian fiddle traditions.
Currently based in Glasgow, Scotland, Ellen performs with fiddle-cello duo Jocelyn Pettit and Ellen Gira and with the American Old-time trio The Auldeners. She has performed at music festivals throughout Scotland, including Celtic Connections, the Neil Gow Festival, and Piping Live. She has performed twice for Prince Charles, and has been broadcasted live on BBC Radio 3 numerous times. She has also recorded albums with Irish fiddler Manus McGuire and American Scottish fiddler Sean Heely. She earned her masters degree in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
In addition to her passion for Traditional music, Ellen is an accomplished Classical cellist, performing at such prominent venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., at Cadogan Hall in London, and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Cello Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Stephen Geber and Richard Weiss, the former Principal and current Assistant Principal cellists of the Cleveland Orchestra, and has performed in masterclasses for Laurence Lesser, Joshua Roman, and Zuill Bailey. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, she served as Principal cellist at the National Orchestral Institute; her solo performances with this ensemble have been released on the Naxos label. She has also been featured on NBC4’s Viewpoint.
Outside of performance, Ellen also has a passion for teaching, with a particular interest in encouraging young cellists to study Traditional music. To this end, Ellen is currently undertaking doctoral studies in Trad cello pedagogy as part of a partnership between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of St. Andrews. She also teaches lessons in Traditional music to cellists at the Conservatoire.