Zack Reaves is a highly sought after cellist and chamber musician. His career has taken him around the globe and has consisted of diverse and innovative performances everywhere from Carnegie Hall to local cafes and brewpubs. His open-minded and collaborative approach to music has earned him praise among a wide range of audiences.
In 2011, Reaves founded the Altius Quartet, which went on to perform internationally and receive many awards, including the Silver Medal in the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He and the Altius Quartet served as the Fellowship Ensemble in Residence at the University of Colorado-Boulder where they were assistants to the world-renowned Takács Quartet. Altius became particularly well known for their inviting stage presence as well as their educational outreach programs for school children.
Upon his departure from the Altius Quartet, Zack began putting more focus into composing. While normally writing mostly for string ensembles, he was commissioned by Opera Colorado in 2019 to compose a children’s opera based on “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis. This was a unique collaboration as the libretto was written by students participating in Opera Colorado’s “Generation OC” educational program.
As an orchestral musician, Zack has held leadership positions with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and Oklahoma Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Ballet Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Las Colinas Symphony, and the Long Beach Symphony.
As a teacher, Zack carries a strong philosophy of critical thinking and communication through music. He believes that anyone can learn to play an instrument and has taught cellists of all ages and skill levels. With over a decade of experience, he has taught at institutions such as Oklahoma City University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Denver School of the Arts, Boulder Valley Waldorf School, Richardson High School, and Highland Park High School, as well as maintaining his own private studio. Currently, Zack is the Assistant Director of Junior Chamber Music’s Los Angeles branch.
Reaves has appeared in chamber music festivals around the world, such as the Crested Butte Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, Intimacy of Creativity - Hong Kong, Walden Chamber Music Society, Aspen Music Festival, Brightmusic Oklahoma City, Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Mountains, Orvieto Musica, and the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. From 2011-2014, he served as the founding artistic director for Bridge the Gap Chamber Players, a Dallas-based chamber music series aimed at building new audiences for classical music. He enthusiastically returned to the organization in 2018 as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Zack’s discography includes recordings on the Centaur and Navona labels. In 2014, he performed on the debut album for the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble. He also released three albums with the Altius Quartet: Dress Code (2017), Shostakovich String Quartets Nos. 7, 8, & 9 (2017), and Quadrants (2019).
Reaves holds degrees in cello and chamber music performance from Southern Methodist University and the University of Colorado - Boulder. His principal teachers include Andres Diaz, Christopher Adkins, András Fejér, David Requiro, Jim Shelley, and Greg Sauer.
When not making music, Zack enjoys snowboarding, photography, going to the beach, and drinking really fancy coffee. You may also spot him working behind the counter cleaning, selling, or setting up instruments at the Metzler Violin Shop. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Parisa, and his two dogs, Cassie and Blue.
Reaves plays on a cello made in 1969 by W.E. Hill & Sons and a custom bow made in 2019 by Evan Orman.