Rhonda Rider

Headshot Rhonda Rider

General Info


Chair of Strings

Personal Website


As a teacher, I hope to encourage a curiosity and openness to musical ideas, emphasize a balanced and thoughtful approach to playing the instrument, foster exploration of the full range of historical styles and help my students find their own voice.

Rhonda Rider, chair of strings, joined Boston Conservatory in 2002 as coordinator of chamber music and instructor of cello.

A founding member of the Naumburg Award winning Lydian Quartet, with whom she played for over twenty years, Rider is a member of the piano trio Triple Helix. Her chamber music and solo recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards and cited as Critic's Choice in both the New York Times and Boston Globe. As a chamber musician she has won numerous prizes at Banff, Evian, Fischoff and Portsmouth Competitions. As a soloist she won the Concert Artists Guild Award. Dedicated to the performance of “new” music, Rider has premiered and recorded works by such renowned composers as John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Yu-Hui Chang and Elliott Carter.

Rider has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America and the American String Teachers’ Association. She has also adjudicated the Concert Artists Guild, Stulberg and Fischoff Competitions.

In 2010, Rider was named Artist-in-Residence at Grand Canyon National Park. Eleven pieces for solo cello were commissioned for her residency. The works were performed in fifteen concerts across the U.S. and in Asia. More recently, she was named Artist-in-Residence at Petrified Forest National Park. Ten new solo cello pieces will emerge from this project in 2016-17.

During the summer, Rider performs and teaches at festivals including Music From Salem, Green Mountain and the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong. Additionally, she holds a seminar dedicated to contemporary cello music in Salem, New York.

Rider was awarded the Hurlbutt Prize with a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory. She holds a M.M. from Yale School of Music. Her teachers have included cellists Richard Kapuscinski, Aldo Parisot, Zara Nelsova; violinists Robert Koff, Simon Goldberg and pianist Robert Levin.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Artist in Residence at Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Parks (2010, 2015)
  • Artist of the Year, The Boston Globe (Lydian Quartet and Triple Helix Piano Trio)
  • Grammy Award Nominations (1990s)
  • Naumburg Chamber Music Award (1984)
  • Concert Artists' Guild Award (1980)

Recent Engagements

  • Triple Helix residency with Project STEP (Boston, 2014-16)—performances and masterclasses
  • "Wilma and Friends" chamber music residency in Melbourne, Australia (2016)—performances and masterclasses
  • Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon National Parks Artist-in-Residence (Arizona, 2010, 2015)—premiered 20 works for solo cello
  • Artist faculty with the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong (2002-present)—concerts and coachings