B i o g r a p h y
Described as having “marvellous facility, and extraordinary musical sensibilities”, cellist Alyssa Ramsay performs across Canada, focusing mainly on inspiring a love of classical music in rural communities in a chamber music setting. She is the newest cellist of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, beginning her orchestral career with them in the 2019/2020 season. Less recently, she won the Regina Musical Club Competition (2016), where she performed as part of the Regina Musical Club Series. In addition to winning first place at The Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition with the Vero Piano Quartet in 2013 and second place with the Amara String Quartet in 2014, Mrs. Ramsay was also a finalist in The Glenn Gould School Concerto Competition in 2013 and a winner of the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association Concerto Competition in 2012.
Mrs. Ramsay is a member of the Saskatchewan-based Crimson String Quartet, a forward-thinking quartet often found performing in innovative concert settings. Having already embarked on five successful tours of Southern Saskatchewan from 2012-2019, the Crimson String Quartet was planning a tour in August of 2020 from Southern Saskatchewan to Calgary, which was postponed due to the pandemic. Their dedication to bringing chamber music to the masses has led them to performing in retirement homes, schools, bars, cafes, grocery stores, and even on short, independent films. The Crimson String Quartet funded the production of a classical music video through Kickstarter, and the video can be found on here - https://youtu.be/bbp8ymzMzUw.
Crimson String Quartet’s debut album, Crimson Sunrise, was released in 2012. Having collaborated with McGill University’s Sound Recording Area, the album features works by Haydn, Shostakovich, along with pop arrangements of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
To continue along the path of becoming a well-rounded musician, Mrs. Ramsay completed Suzuki Teacher Training at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and is now a Certified Suzuki Cello Teacher. She is establishing a private studio in Winnipeg, fusing the teaching methods of John Kadz, Johanne Perron and the Suzuki method to create a completely new approach to teaching.
Before her move to play with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mrs. Ramsay was able to maintain an active freelance career in Toronto, notably performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. She was part of the Regina Symphony Orchestra as section cello until 2008, the National Youth Orchestra as principal and co-principal cello from 2008-2009, Orchestra of the Francophonie as co-principal cello in 2011, and stepped in as principal cello with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra in 2013. She also performed as co-principal cello with the University of Calgary Orchestra (2008-2010), the University of Montreal Orchestra (2010-2012), and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra (2012-2014). Mrs. Ramsay has spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 as part of the National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, ON, under the direction of Boris Brott.
A proponent of contemporary music, she was chosen to perform a work for solo cello and wind ensemble by Edson Beltrami with the University of Calgary Wind Ensemble in 2009. In 2010, she collaborated with composer Gabriel Thibaudeau as part of a string quartet, performing Schatten, a work he composed for a silent film. Since then, Mrs. Ramsay has worked with numerous student and professional composers at the University of Calgary, l’Université de Montréal, and the University of Toronto, and with the Crimson String Quartet.
Alyssa Ramsay received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from University of Calgary with John Kadz, a Master of Music from l’Université de Montréal with Johanne Perron, and an Artist Diploma at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Desmond Hoebig. She has also worked with Ron Leonard, Laurence Lesser, Na Mula, and Henk Guittart, among others.