Eileen Brownell is a cellist, educator, and administrator from Reno, Nevada. She currently performs regularly as a member of the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestras. Her dedication to classical music performance has allowed her the opportunity to perform on stages across the country in large ensembles and various chamber music ensembles since the early 2000s.
Dr. Brownell took over as Artistic and Executive director of the Tahoe Chamber Music Society in 2013 and served for a decade, bringing high profile chamber musicians from across the country to Lake Tahoe to collaborate with local musicians in northern Nevada. During Dr. Brownell’s tenure, The Tahoe Chamber Music Society began providing many opportunities for the youth in northern Nevada to participate in master classes, workshops, and boot camps designed to enrich the students’ music performance abilities.
In 2019, Dr. Brownell co-founded reNEW Ensemble, Reno’s first and only nonprofit organization dedicated to the commissioning and performance of new music. Despite the pandemic, reNEW has commissioned and premiered 13 works for small chamber ensemble, 48 works for solo or duo, and 28 works by new composers. Their live performances have taken place in arboretums, libraries, art galleries, and local pubs, creating a casual and enjoyable concert experience for all participants.
Dr. Brownell is strongly devoted to interdisciplinary collaboration. She paired with Tony Berendsen and Tahoe Star Tours in 2009 to participate on a series of guided astronomy tours in and around the Lake Tahoe area. These events featured informational lectures about the constellations and various astronomers of note as well as musical offerings that included pieces that complimented the subject matter and new commissions that were written to illustrate Berendsen’s poetry. These collaborations were written up in the New York Times as a notable event to attend when visiting Tahoe and resulted in a studio recording of the works commissioned by Tahoe Star Tours.
Eileen relishes the opportunity to teach in many different settings. She maintains a private studio where she works individually with students of all ages and ability levels. She co-directed the Black Glove Cello Festival in St. George Utah every summer for 10 years, where she greatly enjoyed connecting with cellists from 9 different states in individual instruction, chamber ensemble coaching and performance, and large cello choirs. She has taught applied cello, humanities, public speaking, music appreciation, chamber music, and education psychology at various institutions including the University of Michigan, Bowling Green State University, Western Nevada College, the Flint and Ann Arbor Schools for Performing Arts, and the Steiner Schools of Ann Arbor.