Caleb Van der Swaagh


Caleb van der Swaagh is a recent alumnus of Ensemble ACJW (now know as Ensemble Connect),  a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Caleb is the recipient of the Tanglewood Karl Zeise Memorial Cello Prize and the Manhattan School of Music Pablo Casals Award, and was also a grant recipient from the Virtu Foundation.

As a chamber musician, Caleb has performed with the Borromeo String Quartet, The Knights, A Far Cry, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and has appeared at the Chelsea Music Festival, Garth Newel Music Center, and the Birdfoot Festival. An advocate of contemporary music, Caleb has worked with such ensembles as Argento Chamber Ensemble, Either/Or, S.E.M Ensemble, and the Callithumpian Consort. He has worked with such composers as Steve Reich, Alvin Lucier, Sebastian Currier, Philippe Manoury, and David Lang, and has premiered many works by composers of his own generation. He also performs his own arrangements and transcriptions of compositions that range from Renaissance viola da gamba music to jazz.

A native New Yorker, Caleb was graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University as part of the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program with a degree in Classics and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Caleb received his master’s degree with academic honors from New England Conservatory and later studied at the Manhattan School of Music. His primary teachers are Bonnie Hampton, Bernard Greenhouse, Laurence

Lesser, and David Geber.  Caleb plays on a cello made by David Wiebe in 2012. This is Caleb’s third season with the Birdfoot Festival. For more information, visit