Cellist Ashley Walters has been described as performing "...with the kind of brilliance that beckons a major new performer on the new music scene" (LA Times). Walters has gained attention as an interpreter of new music, a prodigious performer in chamber music, and a dedicated teacher.
As a solo artist, Ashley has been the dedicatee of numerous works by composers such as Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh, Lewis Nielson, Daniel Rothman, and Wadada Leo Smith. She is also known for her performances of Sequenza XIV by Luciano Berio, Plainsound-Litany by Wolfgang von Schweinitz and Invisibility by Liza Lim. Her debut album will be released in 2016, featuring four works written for her in addition to works Berio and Schweinitz.
A frequent collaborator with legendary jazz improviser and composer, Wadada Leo Smith, Ashley has toured the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated Ten Freedom Summers to Austria, Brazil, Chicago, D.C., and New York. She has also twice appeared as a guest with Smith's Golden Quartet performing in Istanbul and Paris.
Ashley is a founding member of the Formalist Quartet, which has premiered a vast repertoire of works and is known for its audacious programming. Soon, the quartet will release a recording of Christian Wolff's string quartets, recorded in collaboration with the composer. The Formalist Quartet has held residencies at Princeton, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and Oberlin. The group has appeared in concert in Iceland, Austria, Italy, and Germany and throughout the United States.
In the summer of 2013, Ashley joined the faculty of the nief-norf Summer Festival, a multi-tiered contemporary music organization devoted to fostering creative collaboration among musical performers, composers, and scholars. In November 2014, she appeared with the nief-norf project at a multi-day festival at Northern Illinois University.
Ashley’s recordings can be heard on: Cold Blue Records, Darla Records, Populist Records, Tzadik Records, Music from Stanford: <541>, Atlantic Records, Universal Motown, and as the cellist on the DVD documentary Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story.
Ashley currently serves as faculty at Moorpark College and Ventura College. She has served on the faculty of the California State Summer School (Valencia, CA), the Academy of Creative Education (North Hollywood, CA), the Harmony Project (Hollywood, CA), and as an Associate-in-Music at UCSD.
A native of Oak Hill, VA, Dr. Walters holds degrees from the University of California, San Diego (where she was twice awarded for excellence in teaching for her work with undergraduate students), the California Institute of the Arts, and Vanderbilt University (Magna Cum Laude).