Cellist Ashley Walters has been described as performing “…with the kind of brilliance that beckons a major new performer on the new music scene.” (LA Times) Walters has gained attention as an interpreter of new music, a prodigious performer in chamber music, and a dedicated teacher. As a solo artist, Ashley has been the dedicatee of numerous works by composers such as Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh, Lewis Nielson, Daniel Rothman, and Wadada Leo Smith. She is also known for her performances of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza XIV and Plainsound-Litany by Wolfgang von Schweinitz. Her debut album will be released in 2015. As a member of Wadada Leo Smith’s Pacific Coral Reef Ensemble, Ashley has toured Smith’s Pulitzer Prize nominated Ten Freedom Summers to Austria, Brazil, Chicago, D.C., and New York. She has also twice appeared as a guest with Smith’s legendary Golden Quartet performing in Paris and Istanbul. Ashley is a founding member of the Formalist Quartet. The group has premiered dozens of works and is known for its adventurous programming. Soon, the quartet will release a recording of Christian Wolff’s string quartets, which were recorded in collaboration with the composer. The Formalist Quartet has held residencies at Princeton University, Stanford University, UC Santa Barbara, at colleges throughout Phoenix, and Oberlin College. Internationally the group has appeared in concert in Iceland, Austria, Italy, and Germany. In the summer of 2013, Ashley joined the faculty of the nief-norf Summer Festival where she is both on faculty as a teacher and a performer. A native of Oak Hill, VA, Dr. Walters holds degrees from the University of California, San Diego (where she was twice awarded for excellence in teaching for her work with undergraduate students), the California Institute of the Arts, and Vanderbilt University (Magna Cum Laude). Ashley has served on the cello faculty of the California State Summer School and as an Associate-in-Music at UCSD and currently serves as faculty at the Academy of Creative Education and the Academy at Harmony Project.