A native of Toledo, Gramm Drennen is a Boston-based cellist and educator dedicated to performing the tunes of today, music of the moment, and pieces of the present.
A performer passionate about contemporary music, Gramm Drennen has worked closely with performing artists including Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond), JACK Quartet, Tony Arnold, and Amy Williams, as well as composers including Samuel Adler, Ted Hearne, George Lewis, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Caroline Shaw. Gramm regularly performs with Ensemble Uncaged, the new music ensemble at the Longy School of Music, as well with the Vive! Ensemble, with whom he gave the Midwest premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Émilie.
Gramm has performed at numerous new music festivals, conferences, and forums. These include New Music on the Point, New Music Gathering, and the Bowling Green New Music Festival. Gramm has premiered dozens of pieces by eminent and emerging composers, and has commissioned multiple works featuring the cello.
An active performer of more traditional repertoire, Gramm has served as Assistant Principal Cellist of the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra as well as the Du Bois Orchestra at Harvard. Gramm currently plays in the cello section of the Boston Civic Symphony. Outside of performance, Gramm currently works as an arts administrator for the Boston New Music Initiative, and currently serves the string-playing community of greater Boston as part of the staff at Johnson String Instrument.
Passionate about education as well, Gramm has taught private lessons to beginning and intermediate string students from the Toledo Public Schools area. With these students, Gramm taught string technique, introductory piano and composition, and coached chamber groups. Gramm was also a mentor for the Detroit Civic Youth Ensembles, where he led sectionals and assisted the directors, as well as being a resource for the cello sections
Gramm received a B.M. from Bowling Green State University, and is currently working on a Master’s degree from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Gramm has attended domestic and international summer festivals, including New Music on the Point, Domaine Forget, and the Aboyne Cello Week. Gramm has performed in masterclasses for Johannes Moser, Philippe Muller, Astrid Schween, Claire Bryant, Phil Higham, Alice Neary, and Deborah Pae. Gramm’s primary instructors include Terry King, Bryan Snow, and Alan Smith.
Headshots by Nick Zoulek