My art is centered on the drive to explore connections. The art I create collects existing materials and draws them into conversation, revealing new viewpoints and interesting complexities. These connections are the way I process the world, and I believe that, as an artist, my role is to share my work as a contribution to our collective cultural efforts to understand ourselves and our histories.
as a performing artist
(mostly on cello), I design concerts. I approach the concert framework as my medium and work from the belief that any decisions that impact how music is perceived are musical decisions. By putting different composers, compositions, and production techniques in conversation with the social structures of a concert, I'm able to destabilize audience assumptions and explore themes such as sound as sculpture or the political nature of musical bodies. Through this exploration, the concert framework transforms from a convenient structure for listening into an opening for questioning broader experiences.
as a composer
I work as a collagist, collecting and arranging the elements of each piece. My compositions are built from sounds I want to hear using simple mechanics that yield complex results. Often, I ask performers to thoughtfully engage in everyday activities, such as preparing a special lunch, having a conversation with a loved one, or remembering stories. The goal of my compositions is to create an opportunity for reflection, both for the performer and the audience. The collage, with all of its layers, generates collective moods, the sensation of meaning, and, most importantly, makes space for listeners to draw new connections in their perspectives and experiences.
Raul da Gama,
"Bewerse draws from her instrument every possible sound short of a human voice... [she] pushes the envelope, vaulting
and diving up and
down the registers
of the cello"
"The young players treated the anarchic Fluxus works from the early '60s with an encour-aging degree of genuine understanding and captivating deadpan humor ... The evening was
I've looked to Jen as a model of the modern cellist: she is a brilliant performer of the music of the classical and contemporary eras... and she is an out-of-the- box thinker
in all aspects of
now for the third person bit
Jennifer Bewerse is an award-winning cellist and specialist in contemporary music described as “[drawing] from her instrument every possible sound short of a human voice” (WholeNote). As a result, she has premiered over 100 works including Peter Ablinger’s WEISS / WEISSLICH 17k: Violoncello und Rauschen (2015), Carolyn Chen’s other forests (2016), Celeste Oram’s Sanz Cuer / Amis, dolens / Dame, par vous (2017), Laura Steenberge’s concert-length work, Byzantine Rites (2018), and Johanna Beyer’s String Quartet IV (2019). Other composers she has had the privilege to work with include Patricia Alessandrini, Laurence Crane, Chaya Czernowin, Anthony Davis, Jonathan Harvey, Lei Liang, Michael Pisaro, Gunther Schuller, Kunsu Shim, Gerhard Stäbler, Augusta Read Thomas, David Del Tredici, Chinary Ung, and Christian Wolff.
Jennifer has performed as a guest soloist for the wasteLAnd Concert Series, Synchromy’s Urban Birds, Robert Helps Festival and International Composition Competition, Without Walls Festival, and Carlsbad Music Festival; in concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, REDCAT, the Center for New Music, Monday Evening Concerts, Tuesdays at Monk Space, Equilibrium Concert Series, People Inside Electronics Concert Series, San Diego New Music, University of Montana Faculty and Guest Artist Series, Laguna Beach Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival: Composer’s Symposium, and Banff Centre Chamber Music Residency; as a guest Teaching Artist for the Music from Salem: Cello Seminar and guest lecturer at University of California Los Angeles, The Colburn School, Iceland Academy of the Arts, Boston Conservatory, University of Montana, University of South Florida, and University of Redlands; as a guest performer and presenter for the New Music Gathering and Eureka! Musical Minds Conference; and was the 2010 Performance Prizewinner at the soundSCAPE festival in Italy. Her work can be seen and heard on Ugly Duckling Presse, Navona Records, Blue Griffin Recording, and Naxos. Recently she was awarded a Quick Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation and an artist residency from Human Resources Los Angeles.
Jennifer is an enthusiastic chamber musician and is currently the cellist of Southland Ensemble – an experimental music ensemble sponsored by the Aaron Copland Fund and described by the Los Angeles Times as “entrancing” – and of Diagenesis Duo with vocalist Heather Barnes. Diagenesis Duo’s concert work has been awarded a Myrna Loy Center Grants to Artists Award and Earle Brown Music Foundation Grant, and their NewSonics Music Workshop for Kids has been the recipient of a University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant and a New Music USA Project Grant. In 2016 they collaborated with the Holter Museum and Cohesion Dance Project to create the Helena
InterArts Summer Workshop, an interdisciplinary arts program for kids awarded a Montana Arts Council Artists in Schools and Communities Grant. In 2018, they released their debut album, Hands and Lips of Wind, featuring three premiere recordings of works for cello and soprano, which was described by Sequenza 21 as “a radiant combination of text, music and performance, brilliantly realized and masterfully recorded.”
Jennifer is a sought after collaborator and has been a guest performer with The Industry, wild Up, Calithumpian Consort, Synchromy, Ghost Ensemble, Aperture Duo, Experimental Music Yearbook, now hear Ensemble, Juventas, Quartet Nouveau, Boston Public Quartet, Fireworks Ensemble, Wordless Music Orchestra, and Ellen Fullman.
Her longtime collaboration with Rachel Beetz, Autoduplicity, explores performance beyond sound-making for highly trained instrumentalists, and recently premiered works by Todd Moellenberg, Carolyn Chen, and Isaac Schankler. They have performed performed as part of Omaha Under the Radar, DogStar Festival, wasteLAnd Concerts, Synchromy, and People Inside Electronics, at Boston Court, ArtShare Los Angeles, Mor York Gallery, Center for New Music, and at Mengi (Reykjavik, Iceland) with funding through a Project Grant from UC San Diego’s Dean of Humanities. In 2016, they were in residence at the Women’s International Study Center to create a new work with composer Celeste Oram.
As a composer, Jennifer Bewerse sees herself as a collagist where her work is to collect and arrange the elements of each piece. Her compositions are built from sounds she wants to hear using simple mechanics that yield complex results. Each collage generates moods, the sensation of meaning, and, most importantly, makes space for listeners to draw new connections in their perspectives and experiences. Jennifer's works have been performed at Craft in America: Sunday Sound Streams, Nadia Sirota's Living Music: Pirate Radio Edition, and the Music from Salem Cello Seminar. Recently she was commissioned by Aperture Duo to write a new work for livestreaming musicians. In 2020, Jennifer began a series of Postal Pieces inspired by James Tenney's 1970's postal compositions. The ongoing project currently includes 16 pieces written for and inspired by members of Jennifer's performing community.
A native of Florida, Jennifer received her Bachelor of Music magna cum laude from the University of South Florida, her Master of Music from The Boston Conservatory, and her Doctorate in Contemporary Performance at the University of California in San Diego with a full scholarship. Her principal teachers include Joan Markstein, Scott Kluksdahl, Charles Curtis, and Rhonda Rider.