Emily Bookwalter is a violist in New York City whose “elegantly rendered” (The New York Times) viola playing and "masterful interpretation" (I Care if You Listen) of contemporary repertoire has helped her amplify the impact of music in our communities. She performs regularly with many large and small groups throughout the country, having served as artist-in-residence at the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Ground Floor Residency Lab with Brian Carpenter’s Beat Circus, toured with Carpenter’s award-winning Ghost Train Orchestra, has performed with the band Beirut, ShoutHouse, has played numerous times as The Moth’s mainstage musician, has been an artist at the New Harmony Music Festival and Celebrate Brooklyn! Summer Festival, the Lake George Jazz Festival, the Dumbo Arts Festival, and has performed in some of NYC’s favorite venues including Carnegie Hall, the new Whitney Museum, Roulette, Le Poisson Rouge, SubCulture, Jalopy Theater, Highline Ballroom, ISSUE Project Room, Shapeshifter Lab, and more.
Emily is a member of the SORA String Quartet, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra, and Beat Circus. Emily has recently modeled and performed for the launch of Coach's 1941 clothing line, performed for the launch of Harry Winston Jewelers new designs, has been featured playing on-screen in the commercial for GMC's Arcadia SUV, and regularly blends the line between visual art and sound in her work. As a true believer in new music, she has appeared on numerous independent albums as a violist and a vocalist, including the Ghost Train Orchestra’s 2017 release, Beat Circus's upcoming release, Boy Girl Party’s album Dear Dear, ShoutHouse’s self-titled album, and is a player and the Executive Producer for the String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s debut album, AfterImage.
Recognizing that art deeply impacts the well-being of a thriving culture and society, Emily dedicates much of her time to the non-profit sector. Emily is the Director of Development at Roulette Intermedium, a state-of-the-art venue and community organization dedicated to fostering adventurous and experimental artistic work. She is the former Executive Director of New Amsterdam Presents and Records, is a violist and the Director of External Affairs for the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and spent five years working as Grantmaking and Community Manager at New Music USA, a non-profit advocacy organization committed to supporting the music of our time. She consults for arts non-profits on a project-by-project basis.
Emily graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Music and a secondary focus in English literature. She occasionally takes photos with her Nikon D3100, and they are occasionally nice to look at.
Get to know some of Emily's projects and ensembles below:
SORA STRING QUARTET
Hailing from Brooklyn, and comprising a lawyer, a social worker, an archivist, and a non-profit leader, the SORA String Quartet is an approachable group of friends and musicians with the common goal of sharing music in unique and public settings. SORA is: Allison Dubinski, violin; Gabryel Smith, violin; Emily Bookwalter, viola; and Ken Hashimoto, cello. www.soraquartet.com
STRING ORCHESTRA OF BROOKLYN
The String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB) is a unique community of musicians who come together in a supportive environment to enrich the life of our communities through music. Embracing an inclusive approach to music-making, the SOB seeks to democratize both the production and reception of concert music. Founded in 2007, the SOB provides an enriching creative outlet to hundreds of musicians, and adventurous programming to thousands of concertgoers and community members. www.thesob.org
Roulette’s mission is to support artists creating new and adventurous art in all disciplines by providing them with a venue and resources to realize their creative visions, and to build an audience interested in the evolution of experimental art.