Thea Mesirow is an NYC-based cellist with a diverse musical background and an artistic sensibility.
In the 2023/24 season she is performing with Japanese Breakfast and serving as their NYC string leader, recording a new work for solo cello by William Hawkins, premiering pieces by CUNY graduate composers, and traveling to Los Angeles for the US premiere of a work by Karen Tanaka, among other projects.
A strong advocate for new music she is a member of The Nouveau Classical Project, a founding member of Quartet121, and one-half of Berrow Duo. Hailed as “hypnotic” and “engaging” by Cleveland Classical, Berrow Duo has been presented by Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project, the 2018 NYU Music Conference, the SENSE Concert Series, and the Mise-En Place Curator Series. Described as “a magnet for world premieres” (New York Music Daily), Quartet121 is passionate about working with emerging composers, promoting equity, and expanding its stylistic range to reach wider audiences. In 2020 they held their first Call for Scores and received submissions from countries around the world. The three pieces chosen as winners were recorded and released as an EP with accompanying video in summer ‘21. Quartet121 is supported by the Alice M. Ditson Fund and Chamber Music America’s Ensemble Forward Grant.
As a soloist and collaborator Thea has worked with composers such as Antoine Beuger, Reiko Füting, Michael Pisaro, Suzanne Farrin, and Sofia Gubaidulina and regularly performs at venues throughout New York City including Roulette, Lincoln Center Atrium, and National Sawdust. In 2020, alongside collaborator aaron Foster Breilyn, she presented the Actualizing Communities project in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Dusseldorf. The project is an attempt to demonstrate the effect that community, audience, and space have on the performance of contemporary music.
A musician who began her training in a public school music program, Thea has a passion for teaching and working with programs that give back to the community. Along with holding a private studio, Thea currently teaches with Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Washington Heights Community Conservatory. She also works with composition students at NYU and coaches the Hunter College Symphony. As a soloist and as a member of The Nouveau Classical Project and Quartet121 she has held workshops with students at universities such as Columbia University, Tulane University, and Manhattan School of Music, among others.
Thea received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts where she studied with Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick. She completed her master's at the Manhattan School of Music in May of 2017 where she studied with Fred Sherry. She recently completed an Artist Diploma at NYU where she studied cello and pedagogy with Marion Feldman.