Richard vonFoerster, cellist, is an active performer and teacher in the Rocky Mountain region. He spent 16 years as principal cellist with the Cheyenne (WY) Symphony, where he was twice the featured concerto soloist. He has also played principal cello with the Annapolis (MD) Symphony, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra (MD), and the Central City Opera Orchestra. An active freelancer, he has played with many diverse artists and ensembles, including the Denver pit orchestra for touring Broadway shows, the band Akara at the Sonic Bloom electronic music festival, the tango band Extasis, and the cello quartet Tetracello.
Richard is a founding member and co-artistic director of The Playground Ensemble, Denver’s premier new music group. With that ensemble, has played much standard repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as dozens of works by local composers, including many pieces commissioned by or written for the Playground Ensemble. Last season, The Playground co-commissioned and performed the Colorado premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s This might also be a form of dreaming with Shaw’s Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
Richard holds a Masters in Music Theory from the University of Denver and a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Colorado, specializing in chamber music of the 20th century and theories of rhythm and meter. He recently retired from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he taught music theory, music history, and chamber music. Before pursuing graduate studies in music, he worked for many years as a clinical psychologist specializing in emergency mental health assessment, treatment of severe and persistent mental illnesses, and trauma recovery.