First Henriette Reiss Award
May 30, 1993
Elizabeth Papas, who established the Award, is giving good advice to first recipient Rebecca Hartka.
Photo by Deena Pewtherer
A nationally recognized musician, Dr. Rebecca Hartka is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cello at Montana State University and the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. As one of the founding members of the Phoenix Trio, Hartka gives regular concert tours across the country. In the fall of 2007 Hartka was featured as a guest artist in a concert tour with the Meritage Quartet and will be making her solo debut, performing the Saint-Saens cello concerto in May 2008, with the Montana State University Symphony Orchestra. Her playing has been described as “virtuosic and passionate,” and Martha Dorrill of the Farmville Herald in Virginia remarked that “Rebecca Hartka made the Brahms melodies heartrending” after a performance of the Brahms Clarinet Trio.
A versatile performer, Hartka has worked with numerous ensembles large and small, including the Serenata Chamber Players, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston College Contemporary Music Ensemble, Hyperprism, the Fringe Festival, Cape Ann Symphony, Helena Symphony, in the SAPAS Performing Arts series, and in such prestigious venues as the Boston Athenaeum and the Boston Center for the Arts. As a crossover cellist Hartka has performed with Jenna Nichols in venues such as the Rockwood Music Club in New York and Club Passim in Cambridge, Mass. She was the soloist for the 1999 Spiral Dance Festival and on the Global Jams stage of the Pride Festival, both in San Francisco. In March of 2001 she was the central performer for a Preston Productions, ADC Broadband commercial video shoot in Copley Square, Boston. Additionally she has attended the String Fling at the Berklee school, working with Darol Anger of the Turtle Island String Quartet as well as Eugene Freisen of the Paul Winter Consort. She has also had private lessons in Celtic Music and Baroque Cello.
As a four-year recipient of the Deans Scholar Award, Hartka completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Cello performance at Boston University College of Fine Arts (BU CFA) in May 2007. In 2007 she was elected to Phi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honors Society. Hartka has also attended numerous chamber festivals including the Oberlin in Cassalmaggiore Chamber music festival in Italy, the Lydian String Quartet Chamber Music Workshop, the Music from Salem Chamber Music Festival, and the Hampden-Sydney Chamber Music Festival. As a member of the Phoenix Trio she was a recipient of a 2005 Brookline Tercentennial Fund Grant and participated as a full fellow in the Brevard Advanced Chamber Music Festival in 2004. She appeared with the Novalis Quartet as part of the Project Guggenheim’s “The Art of Compassion in a Time of War.”
Hartka completed a Masters in Music at BU CFA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cello Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory and College. In 2003 she was the string department teaching assistant at Boston University College of Fine Arts. Hartka taught private lessons at the All Newton Music School in MA from 2001-07. She also served on the committee for the Henriette Reiss Award from 2002-07. Hartka’s teachers have included Leslie Parnas, Michael Reynolds, Rhonda Rider, Clive Greensmith, Andor Toth, Peter Rejto, Douglas Moore, and Justin Kagan.