Born in Louisiana and raised in a family of musicians, cellist Jennifer Combs began playing the cello when she was ten years of age. Three years latter, after studies with the brilliant cellist and teacher, Scott Ballantyne, Leonard Rose invited her to join his class at the Juilliard School in New York City. She attended the Professional Children’s School while maintaining a demanding schedule at Juilliard. Ms. Combs earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Juilliard and went on to graduate with a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University where her teacher was Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet. Ms. Combs spent her summers at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, and was a recipient of the festival’s highest honor, the “Bloomfield Award.” As a member of the festival’s Eastern Chamber Players, she collaborated with violinists Arnold Steinhardt, Miriam Fried and Franco Gulli, as well as pianist Charles Rosen.
In 1990, Ms. Combs accepted a position as a core musician of the Richmond Symphony in Virginia. She gave solo and chamber music recitals at Virginia Commonwealth University, was a founding member of the resident quartet at the University, and gave recitals at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the University of Richmond. Richmond audiences and press celebrated her performances. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Combs spent her summers participating in festivals including the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival in New York State and the Garth Newel Music Center in Warm Springs, Virginia.
Since moving to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1997, Ms. Combs has been Principal Cellist of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Hartford Symphony, was appointed as String Department Chair at the Hartford Conservatory, and founded two chamber music programs at the legendary Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut, for which she serves as Artistic Director. Traveling frequently as a performer, Ms. Combs has been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and recently gave a live radio broadcast performance featuring Bach’s Suite in G Major for Cello Alone and the Brahms Clarinet Trio with pianist Deborah Sobol and clarinetist, Larry Combs. Dedicated to education, Ms. Combs joined the faculty at the Juilliard School in 2005 in the Pre-College Division’s Chamber Music Department. At Juilliard she works with seven varied chamber groups and prepares many of them for performances at Lincoln Center.
Ms. Combs performs nationally as soloist with an impressive list of orchestras and as the cellist of the Anweiler-Combs Duo (cello and piano). The Anweiler-Combs Duo’s most recent activities included a successful tour of South West Florida with an enthusiastic final reception at the Steinway Gallery in Bonita Springs. Ms. Combs’ cello was made by Jon Van Kouwenhoven, and is among the finest modern instruments in the world.