Faculty

Seth Parker Woods

Assistant Professor of Practice, String Chamber Music and Cello


Cellist Dr. Seth Parker Woods has joined the faculty of USC Thornton as an assistant professor of practice beginning in April 2022. Woods will direct the USC Thornton Strings Department’s chamber music program while teaching cello.

Woods, the recipient of the 2022 Chamber Music America Michael Jaffee Visionary Award hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble (Brussels, BE), Ensemble L’Arsenale (IT), zone Experimental (CH), Basel Sinfonietta (CH), Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Atlanta and Seattle symphonies. 

A fierce advocate for contemporary arts, Woods has collaborated and worked with a wide range of artists ranging from the likes of Louis Andriessen, Elliott Carter, Heinz Holliger, G. F. Haas, Helmut Lachenmann, Klaus Lang and Peter Eötvos to Peter Gabriel, Sting, Lou Reed, Dame Shirley Bassey and Rachael Yamagata to such visual artists as Ron Athey, Vanessa Beecroft, Jack Early, Adam Pendleton and Aldo Tambellini.

Woods’ 2021-22 season includes debuts at the Aspen Music Festival, The Britt Festival, 92nd Street Y, Harbourfront Theatre, Chamber Music Society of Virginia, Ojai Festival, Washington Performing Arts, The Strathmore, The Weisman Art Museum and Harvard University. This season of performances will also include concertos by Rebecca Saunders and Tyshawn Sorey, as well as chamber music with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Andreas Haefliger. 

In recent years, Woods has appeared in concert at the Royal Albert Hall for BBC Proms, Snape Maltings Festival, the Ghent Festival, Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Le Poisson Rouge and the Bohemian National Hall, Cafe OTO, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Klang Festival-Durham, INTER/ actions Symposium, ICMC-SMS Conference (Athens, GR), NIME-London, Sound and Body Festival, Instalakcje Festival, Virginia Tech, La Salle College (Singapore) and FINDARS (Malaysia), among others. Recent awards include a DCASE artist grant, an Earle Brown/ Morton Feldman Foundation Grant, a McGill University-CIRMMT/IDMIL visiting researcher residency, a Centre Intermondes artist residency, the Francis Chagrin Award, the Concours [Re]connaissance-Premiere Prix and the Paul Sacher Stiftung Research Scholarship.

His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough (Confront Recordings-London), has garnered great acclaim since its release in November 2016 and has been profiled in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, 5against4, I Care If You Listen, Musical America, Seattle Times and Strings Magazine, among other publications.

In the 2021-22 season, Woods is serving as an artist-in-residence at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and Northwestern University’s Center for New Music while also joining the faculty at the University at Buffalo as a distinguished visiting scholar and visiting professor. He previously served on the music faculties of the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College and the Chicago Academy of the Arts. He holds degrees from Brooklyn College and Musik Academie der Stadt Basel, with a doctoral degree from the University of Huddersfield. In the 2020-21 season, he was an artist-in-residence with the Kaufman Music Center. From 2018-2020, he served as an artist-in-residence with the Seattle Symphony and as a creative consultant for the interactive concert hall Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center.

Seth Parker Woods is a Pirastro artist and endorses Pirastro Perpetual Strings worldwide.