Martha Babcock is familiar to Boston audiences as Assistant Principal cellist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Principal cellist of the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as through her many solo and chamber music appearances in the area.
A native of Freeport, Illinois, Ms. Babcock began studying the cello at the age of nine and first appeared as soloist with orchestra at fourteen. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College, and attended graduate school at the Boston University School for the Arts. Her cello teachers have included Lowell Creitz, Aldo Parisot, and George Neikrug. Winner of the Piatigorsky Prize while a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, she began her professional career at nineteen as the youngest member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Her stay in Canada offered many opportunities for recitals and chamber music under the auspices of the CBC, as well as an appearance as soloist with the Montreal Symphony.
Since returning to Boston and joining the Boston Symphony she has been a frequent soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the most recent concerto performance having been that of the Elgar Concerto with John Williams. Among her other solo appearances have been performances of concertos with the Boston Civic Symphony and Max Hobart, the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and James Yannatos, and the Boston Classical Orchestra with Harry Ellis Dickson. As part of her chamber music activities in Boston and at Tanglewood, Ms. Babcock has performed as a member of the Higginson Trio and Fine Arts Trio of New England and as a guest with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Her work in contemporary music has included concerts and recordings with Collage, the contemporary music ensemble, and she has recorded for CRI, Nonesuch and Northeastern Records.
Martha Babcock plays the “ex-Feuermann,” a cello made by David Techler in Rome, dated 1741.