cello player specializing in New Music, Improvisation, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Teddy Rankin-Parker is an American cello player based in Oakland, CA, who specializes in New Music, Improvisation, and Interdisciplinary Collaboration. He performs extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with various solo and ensemble projects.
Rankin-Parker most recently completed a national tour as a member of 2013 Berlin Prize-winning composer Gene Coleman’s Ensemble N-JP, premiering a new octet for an ensemble of Japanese and traditional western instruments, commissioned by Chamber Music America and the Graham Foundation (October 2013). Since 2010, he has performed as a member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), most recently in a concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre featuring the life work of composer Pauline Oliveros. In 2010 he performed with ICE in a new interdisciplinary work by choreographer John Jasperse entitled, Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking & Flat Out Lies, which played at Redcat (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in Los Angeles and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In 2008, Rankin-Parker performed Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint for Eight Cellos with Grammy Award-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird at the Kitchen in New York City. He toured Lewis Nielson’s “Axis” with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble in 2007 under the direction of renowned percussionist and conductor, Stephen Schick.
Before relocating to Oakland in 2012, Rankin-Parker served for three seasons as section cellist of the Chicago Sinfonietta, and was a soloist with the Sinfonietta in May, 2011, in a concert at Symphony Center featuring a new work of composer Renee Baker. He remains active in Chicago's World Music scene, performing as a member of Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble at the 2010 Chicago Jazz Festival, and with Renee Baker’s Mantra Blue Free Orchestra and her Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. Rankin-Parker also plays with the Joffrey Ballet in their regular season and chamber music subscription series.
In 2011, Rankin-Parker was invited to be the artist-in-residence for Opera Cabal, a Chicago-Based ensemble of Interdisciplinary artists bent on reshaping the way opera is defined, developed, and realized in the United States. It was also in 2011 that he co-founded the improvisational performance ensemble OosImaginary, of which continues to perform as well as teach performance workshops throughout the U.S.
Rankin-Parker graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in 2009 with a B.M. in cello performance. While at Oberlin he served as 2009 composer-in-residence for the Oberlin Dance Company, creating and performing an original score for “Despite All Marriages,” choreographed by Holly Handman-Lopez. He received the Conservatory Initiative Grant Supporting Imagination and Excellence (CIGSE) in 2009, and was featured in a dance-on-camera piece by improvisation artists Nusha Martynuk and Carter McAdams, recently screened in Tokyo and Kyoto as part of Japan’s 2010 International Video Dance Festival. Rankin-Parker studied cello with Peter Rejto and Amir Eldan, and has worked with prominent composers including Steve Reich, Harrison Birtwistle, Rebecca Saunders, Henry Grimes, and Helmut Lachenmann.
Also at home in the world of pop music, Rankin-Parker performs regularly with Academy Award-winner Glen Hansard, and he tours internationally as a member of the esteemed indie-rock band Iron & Wine. He is currently on the road with Les Claypool and Primus for their 2014 fall tour.