Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Danielle DeGruttola
Cello, Electric Cello, Composer

See my official website at
Improvising Cellist, Danielle DeGruttola, is both classically and jazzed trained. She has the unique ability to create just the right cello touch for all types of music.

Danielle's cello playing can be heard on the soundtrack of Werner Herzog's award winning Documentary movie GRIZZLY MAN. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film festival in January 2005 where it won the prestigious Alfred Sloan award. See the 50-minute documentary In the Edges on the making of the film's music that is included in the Grizzly Man DVD.

Danielle's cello improvisations can be heard on Werner Herzog's 2007 Academy Award Nominated movie "Encounters at the End of the World."

Danielle's cello improvisations can also be heard on television on Animal Planet's "The Grizzly Man Diaries."

Danielle enjoys immersing herself in virtual reality projects with artist Claudia Hart and composer Edmund Campion.

Danielle has performed and recorded as a solo artist and with other outstanding musicians including Henry Kaiser, Richard Thompson, Cecil Taylor, David Lindley, Paul Plimley, John Oswald, Jim O'Rourke, Blevin Blectum, Buckethead, Lukas Ligeti, Dave Tucker, Ashley Adams, Miya Masaoka, Aurora Josephson, Willow Williamson and Damon Smith.

Danielle is a classically trained cellist who started playing cello at age 9. She specializes in contemporary performance and has worked quite extensively with improvisational music, analog and digital recording, electronics, and computers, developing interactive cello and electronic music pieces.

Her improvisations are thoughtful and powerful compositions that interweave elements of contemporary jazz, classical, electronica, folk, blues, rock, and hardcore. Her sublime sound is adventuresome and exploratory yet maintains concrete form. "Her contributions are uniformly excellent." (Exclaim magazine).

Danielle received her MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media at Mills College, and her BFA in music from Smith College graduating Cum Laude. She has also studied at Berklee College of Music (90-92), the Center of New Music and Audio Technology (CNMAT, 95-96), and the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC, 82-86).


Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser - ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD
The Movie Soundtrack features music directed by Henry Kaiser and David Lindley. Original cello music by Danielle DeGruttola heard on multiple tracks.

Werner Herzog - GRIZZLY MAN Movie
PREMIER: Sundance Film Festival January 2005; winner of Alfred Sloan Award.
The Movie soundtrack features music directed by Richard Thompson and performed by Richard Thompson, Danielle DeGruttola, Jim O'Rourke, Damon Smith, John Hanes, and Henry Kaiser. Original cello music by Danielle DeGruttola heard on multiple tracks.

THE GRIZZLY MAN DIARIES television show on Animal Planet
features original cello improvisations by Danielle DeGruttola and original music by Richard Thompson.

Richard Thompson - GRIZZLY MAN Soundtrack (A Werner Herzog Movie)
Recording featuring complete works that appear on the GRIZZLY MAN movie

THE FLOWER MATRIX VIRTUAL REALITY ENVIRONMENT by Claudia Hart. Created original cello improvisations for Claudia's Virtual Reality Environment

Dave Tucker West Coast Project - "Tenderloin"
PAX RECORDING, 2004 (Commercial release)
Featuring original music by Dave Tucker, Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Danielle DeGruttola, Damon Smith, Scott R. Looney, Garth Powell.

The Passwords
SPOOL, 1999 (Commercial release)
Featuring original music by Danielle DeGruttola, Henry Kaiser, and Paul Plimley.

The Séance
VEXED, 1996 (Commercial release)
Featuring original music by Danielle DeGruttola, Henry Kaiser, and Miya Masaoka. Solos, duos, and trios for cello, koto, and guitar.

Recorded and produced by Danielle DeGruttola; Dynamic Sound Productions, 1999
Original works featuring Danielle DeGruttola on electric cello and Ashley Adams on electric upright.

Oaktown Dreams
Dynamic Sound Productions, 1999
Original compositions by Danielle DeGruttola presenting electro-acoustic fusion for cello, mandolin, bouzouki, bass, and an acoustic sound work for two pianos.

After one particularly moving cello passage, Werner Herzog looks at DeGruttola with awe and admiration. "I wish I could play an instrument. I'd like to play a cello," he says as he picks one up. "I would give 10 years of my life if I could play it as we have heard and seen it in these two days...10 years of my life easily”

The San Francisco Chronicles describes her performance at the opening night of Cal Performance's 2003 Edge festival as "one bright spot, the world premiere of Edmund Campion's 'Melt me so with thy delicious numbers,' cellist Danielle DeGruttola provided some sprightly improvisations that were reflected back, hall-of-mirrors fashion, by live electronic processing." Joshua Kosman, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"In an inspired pairing, Kaiser joins B.C. pianist extraordinaire Paul Plimley. As an added bonus, and this disc is significantly better as a result, Plimley and Kaiser are complimented by Danielle DeGruttola on cello. She is the least known player here, but her contributions are uniformly excellent; she seems to inspire Kaiser and Plimley to their most intense passages." David Dacks, EXCLAIM MAGAZINE

"Using electric, acoustic and bass guitars, Kaiser smears chords and bends notes to meet Plimley's clusters and flurries. On some tracks, DeGruttola's cello acts as an effective binding agent." Julain Cowley, THE WIRE

"Danielle DeGruttola contributions help define the basic tension between the acoustic and electro-acoustic impulses showcased... Her playing is an island of calm among the extended techniques on display during the tunes, which are all named for various hip Bay area landmarks." Ken Waxman,

"Ma bravissimi sono da considerare tutti gli interpreti coinvolti in questo lavoro, prezioso l'apporto del cello di Danielle DeGruttola ed il basso di Damon Smith nel donare alle partiture scenari profondi ed in perenne movimento talora con aromi quasi Charles Mingus." KATHODIK

"Although he is perhaps best known for his work as a guitarist in The Fall between 1980-1, Tucker is an experienced improviser, having worked regularly with improvising ensembles both large (e.g. the London Improvisers' Orchestra) and small (e.g. The School of Velocity with Evan Parker, Steve Noble and John Edwards). Tucker is joined on this date by a top-flight lineup of Bay Area musicians, including Ernesto Diaz-Infante (acoustic guitar), Danielle DeGruttola (cello), Damon Smith (double bass), Scott R. Looney (real-time laptop processing) and Garth Powell (drums, percussion & idiophone). A Transatlantic meeting of mind & body of these fine musicians promises to be a striking and memorable one." Soundclick


Original Standards
Subway, Opus 415 duet, Moonshine, Half Naked at Dawn, Late Night Sunday Morning, Tromping Around, Music Passtime, Lets Get Down, Smooth Ya, West Range Riding.

Soundtrack for Les Liaisons Dangerous
Original Scores for Piano and Cello for the "Shotgun Players" underground theater production of Les Liaisons Dangerous.

Electro-acoustic composition for cello, bass, bouzouki, and mandolin.

Eastern Contemplation
Electro-acoustic composition for cello, bouzouki, and mandolin.

Duo for cello and trombone.

Two Shades of White
Scored piano work for one or more pianos.

Electric quartet including amplified cello and viola, and two electric instruments.


The Center of Contemporary Music, Mills College, 1994-1996
MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media
Studies in contemporary music performance, traditional and contemporary cello performance, composition, electronic and computer music, and recording.

Berklee College of Music, 1990-1992
Professional Certificate Program. Dean's List for all semesters
Studies in jazz and contemporary cello performance, jazz composition, electronic and computer music, jazz theory and history.

Smith College, 1986-1990
BA Liberal Arts in Music with minor in Political Science, Cum Laude
First Group Scholar, top ten percent of class, 1989
Studies in cello performance, composition, electronic music, music theory, music history, American law, International law, logic, Italian, painting, modern dance, and astronomy.

New England Conservatory of Music, Preparatory Division, 1980-1986
NEC Extension Division Diploma
Studies in cello performance, symphony orchestra, chamber music, music theory, chorus


-Full Assistantship at the Center of Contemporary Music, 1995-1996
-Maas Scholarship for Cello Performance, Mills College, 1995-1996
-Hellman Scholarship for Cello Performance, Mills College,1994-1995
-Crothers Scholarship for Cello Performance, Mills College, 1994-1995
-Berklee College Professional Scholarship for outstanding musical achievement, 1990-1992
-Fatman Award for Music Composition, Smith College, 1990
-Smith College Full Academic Tuition Scholarship, 1986-1990
-Winner of All Newton Music School Concerto Competition, Lalo Cello Concerto, 1986
-Winner of the NEC Jr. Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, Boccherini Cello Concerto, 1982


Private cello studies with John Sessions, Lucinda Breed, Kim Scholes, Deborah Thompson, Rhonda Rider, Alice Robbins, Mark Churchill, Deborah Sherr-Ziarko, and George Seaman.

Viola da Gamba
Viol ensemble studies with Elisabeth Reed

Private studies with Alvin Curran, Ronald Perera, Donald Wheelock, and James Hoffman.

Chamber Music & Ensemble
Studies with Fred Frith, David Abel, Julie Steinberg, William Winant, Joseph Maneri, Kathleen Supove, Robert Koff, Gillian Rogell, and Deborah Sherr-Ziarko.

Electronic Music
Studies with Maggi Payne, Chris Brown, George Lewis, David Wessel, Doctor R. Boulanger, Ronald Perera, Chris Noyes, Michael Brigida, and Tom Rhea.

Jazz Performance
Private studies with Matt Glaser and Dave Clark.

Music Theory and History
Studies with Alvin Curran, David Bernstein, William Winant, Raphael Atlas, John Sessions, and Paul Evans.

Contemporary Art
Extensive private studies in painting and art history with Suzanne
DeGruttola and Dante DeGruttola.


-Cello and Guitar Duet with Henry Kaiser (original compositions), 1995-present
-Bottomfeeders Cello and Bass Duet with Ashley Adams (original compositions), 1996-present
-San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra, 2002
-UC Berkeley Viol Ensemble, 2002
-Electric Cello and Electronics Duo with Bevin Kelley (original compositions), 2000-present
-Mills College Contemporary Performance Ensemble,1994-1996, 2000
-Wellesley Symphony Orchestra,1992-1994
-The Chadwick Trio, classical and jazz piano trio,1991-1993
-Principal cellist of the Berklee College Symphony Orchestra, 1990-1992
-Principal cellist of the Five College Chamber Soloists, University of Mass. Amherst, 1986-1990
-Smith College Chamber Orchestra, 1986-1990
-Honors Piano Trio, directed by Kathleen Supove, New England Conservatory Preparatory, 1986
-New England Conservatory Youth Chamber Orchestra directed by Benjamin Zander, 1983-1986 Orchestra tours include: American Midwest (86), American East Coast (85), and Austria/Poland (84)
-Scholarship String Quartet, directed by Robert Koff, All-Newton Music School, 1984-1986
-Principal cellist, All-Newton Music School Chamber Orchestra directed by Robert Koff, 1984-86


Berkeley Edge Festival, June 5, 2003, Cal Performances
Performing on "Melt Me So With Thy Delicious Numbers" by Edmund Campion.
Written for solo cello with live computer accompanist. One inspiration for the piece is the famous engraving by Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) entitled Melancholia. In Dürer's picture, a depressed angel contemplates the Universe with human tools of measurement. In much the same way the soloist in Melt me so... is left to contemplate in isolation the electronic echo that is a direct result of the performers actions. In Melt me so..., the computer analyzed the signal coming from a microphone attached to the solo instrument and then transforms the incoming data to produce a musical accompaniment.

The Singing Fields: Featuring Jai Utal, Geoffrey Gordon, Bob Bralove, Chloe Goodchild, and Danielle DeGruttola at St. Gregory?s Church in San Francisco, November 18, 2001.

Music in Trance: Danielle DeGruttola & Henry Kaiser Duo perform under hypothesis on June 8, 2001

Performances on the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network?s ?Cool Tech? and ?21st Century Home Show?, 1999-2000

Ashley Adams and Danielle DeGruttola Duo perform at the Opus 415 New Music Marathon, Theater Artaud, San Francisco, CA. March 19, 2000.

Bassist Michael Manring, guitarist Henry Kaiser, and cellist Danielle DeGruttola perform at the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center, San Geronimo, CA. March 24, 2000.

Zen Disaster with Henry Kaiser on bass guitar, Chris Muir on guitar, and Danielle DeGruttola on electric cello perform at Starry Plough, Berkeley, CA. April 5, 2000.

Performance featuring John Oswald, John Schott, and Danielle DeGruttola with guest performer David Gans. Beanbenders, Berkeley, October 5, 1997.

Cecil Taylor Orchestra, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, October 26, 1995.

Duo performance with Eugene Chadbourne, Venue 9, San Francisco, August 14, 1996.

Improvising the Form, Mills College, April 14, 1996. M.F.A. Thesis Concert presenting my electro-acoustic compositions, improvisations, and paintings. Also featuring performances by Greg Goodman, Henry Kaiser, and Lukas Ligeti.

A Page of Madness, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California, June 14,1996. Performing with Greg Goodman, Henry Kaiser, and Miya Masaoka in a live music accompaniment to Kinugasa's 1926 Japanese silent film masterpiece.

Family Dog Presentations, Maritime Hall, San Francisco, March 2, 1996. Performing on electric cello with Buckethead, Henry Kaiser, Prairie Prince, and Vince Welnick.

Zen Disaster, Beanbenders, Berkeley, June 12, 1996. Performing Electric Free Rock Jazz on electric cello with Henry Kaiser, Chris Muir, and Lukas Ligeti.

Composer Christian Wolff's Concert, Mills College, April 19, 1996. Performing with Christain Wolff and ensemble in Changing the System.

Here Comes Everybody: John Cage Festival, Mills College, November 19, 1995. Performing in Thirteen.

Pauline Oliveros: Approaches and Departures, Mills College, September 8, 1995. Performing in Pacific Air and Approaches and Departures-Appearances and Disappearances.

30th Anniversary of Terry Riley's In C, Mills College, September 30,1994.


Barber, Adagio for Strings
Bartok Concerto for Orchestra
Beethoven ?Eroica? Symphony
Brahms 3rd Symphony
Copland, Appalachian Spring
Debussy, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune
Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue
Ives, The Unanswered Question
Mahlar 4th Symphony
Mozart Haffner Symphony
Mussorsky, Pictures at an Exhibition
Orff, Carmina Burana
Respighi, Pines of Rome
Ravel, Pavane pour une infante defunte, Bolero for Orchestra


Project Management & Quality Assurance Manager, June 1998 - present
Orban, Inc. San Leandro, California. Web Site:
-Design, development and implementation of the user interface for the Orban Optimod-PC 1100 Sound Card (winner of NAB 2001 Cool Stuff Award), Orban Optimod-8400 FM processor (winner of NAB 2000 Cool Stuff Award), and AirTime Sound Cube.
-Drafted, implemented and supported project test plans, test scripts, and change control documents based on software development cycle steps.
-Wrote and illustrated product functionality and GUI design specifications.
-Worked with Marketing and Production to clarify product requirements, and Engineering to ensure requirements were being met.
-Maintained project development timelines for multiple departments.
-Maintained task schedules for Engineers.
-Organized and directed Engineering meetings.
-Informed Executives of development issues on a weekly basis.

-Managed source change control procedures using Visual SourceSafe.
-Modified C/C++ source code to fine tune user interface.
-Wrote drafts for sections of the Customer Manuals for Optimod-8400 FM Processor, and Optimod-PC 1100 Sound Card.
-Researched competitors product specifications.
-Managed Test Department personnel.

Engineering Test Lead, January 1997 - June 1998
Orban, Inc. San Leandro, California
-Hired Test Department personnel.
-Managed a group of 5 testers, creating on-going projects for each tester allowing each to progress at their own pace while encouraging them to self-manage and identify their own goals.
-Identified and acquired necessary equipment and furnishings to create a productive test facility and environment.
-Identified the need for and created lines of communication between the Testing Department, Engineering, Marketing, and Manufacturing.
-Developed a bug tracking database with MS Access to track bugs across multiple projects, report bugs to engineers, validate bug fixes, and generate reports for documentation.
-Took on the additional responsibility of pre-configuring UNIX systems before release to customer.

Test Engineer, August 1996 - January 1997
Orban, Inc. San Leandro, California
-Identified shortfalls in Test Department and implemented ideas and suggestions to build the department.
-Tested an audio digital delivery system, a 10-channel digital audio workstation, and multiple DSP based processing units. Documented and reviewed bugs and defects.
-Developed and implemented test plans.

Sound Technician, August 1995 - May 1996.
Center of Contemporary Music. Oakland, California
-Responsible for concert and lab technical support and recording studio assistance.
-Maintained the labs' computers and audio equipment.
-Educated students on electronic music production and recording techniques.

Performance Art Teacher, 1989-present
Private Instruction for classical cello performance, jazz cello
performance, composition and electronic music.
Teaching certificate in the Suzuki method for cello from Hartt
School of Music, 1989.
Teaching group and private cello instruction based on the Suzuki method,
Smith College Campus School, 1989.


Operating Systems
-Windows 95/98/2000/XP
-Macintosh OS

Software Tools
-Audio: Cool Edit Pro, Sound Forge, Pro-Tools, Peak, Deck, etc...
-Streaming: Helix & Real Producer and Player, Windows Media Producer and Encoder
-Graphics: Adobe PhotoShop, Visio Technical, Paint
-Project Support: Visual SourceSafe, MS Office, MS Access, MS Excel, MS Project 2000

-Working knowledge of MS Visual C++ 6.0
-Basic C programming
-MAX object oriented programming language

Extensive knowledge of synthesis technology, microphones, mixers, analog and digital recording, effects processors, sound cards, radio broadcast processors, and ISDN/Ethernet audio codecs.

-Electronic Music in Performance, autobiographical account, 1996.
-Color-Tone Theories and Other Relationships Between Art and Music, 1996.
-Abstract Expressionism in Art and its Relation to Contemporary Music, 1995.
-The New Music, 1989.
-American Hegemony, 1989.
-How Will We Know When The Cold War is Over?, 1989.
-Kandinsky and Schoenberg, 1988.
CDs on which Danielle DeGruttola appears:
Bottomfeeders Bottomfeeders
Artist: Bottomfeeders
Title: Bottomfeeders
Label: Dynamic Sound Productions
Label page on this site: Dynamic Sound Productions
Dynamic Sound Productions
Danielle DeGruttola Oaktown Dreams
Artist: Danielle DeGruttola
Title: Oaktown Dreams
Label: Dynamic Sound Productions
Label page on this site: Dynamic Sound Productions
Dynamic Sound Productions