Ralph Farris

NEW YORK, New York, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Alternative / Indie / Rock
Cantaloupe Music
ETHEL with Joe and Todd on Conan O'Brien

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Ethel, Joe Jackson & Todd Rundgren on Conan O'Brien (2005) performing While My Guitar Gently Weeps (G. Harrison)

string arrangements by R. Farris

Ralph Farris: Music Person

A founding member of ETHEL, Ralph Farris is an original orchestra member (violist/violinist/assistant conductor) of the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of "The Lion King". As MD/fiddler of the Roger Daltrey Band, he rocked the United States and Canada with his viola stylings. He has served as arranger/orchestrator for Dishwalla, Chantal Kreviazuk, Ryan Star, the British Rock Symphony, The Fools, the NBC film "Martha, Inc.", the national touring company of "A Chorus Line", and on the Grammy-nominated Five for Fighting single "Superman". He has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", "Live with Regis and Kelly" and "As the World Turns". Ralph has received commissions from the New England Conservatory, The Jerome and Greenwall Foundations, the Chanco/Rahman Piano Duo, Meet the Composer, Trio Dagoba and Jarrett & Raja. His original music is featured on the world's stages with ETHEL and on forthcoming ETHEL releases, in performance with Jarrett & Raja, on numerous websites (Ringtone Society, YouTube, MySpace) and on film (Anika Burt’s Begin Again and upcoming documentaries, trailers and shorts).

Ralph has made sweet music with the likes of Gorillaz, Yo-Yo Ma, Alice Cooper, John Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Joseph Silverstein, Thomas Dolby, Natalie Merchant, Seiji Ozawa, Jill Sobule, Clay Aiken, Karl Berger, Harry Connick Jr., Allen Ginsberg, Jason Robert Brown, Leonard Bernstein, Barry White and Depeche Mode. He has served as Principal Viola on tours with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and The Juilliard Orchestra. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with The Juilliard Orchestra and the Boston Symphony. He has toured Europe and Asia with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the former USSR with Intl. Arts for Peace/Children Are the Future. Ralph was the lead coordinator of the volunteer corps of musicians performing at St. Paul’s Chapel during the 9/11 relief effort.

A graduate of The Juilliard School's Accelerated BM/MM program, Ralph received the school’s William Schuman Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership. A 3-time Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, he was twice honored, first as "Most Outstanding Violist" and subsequently as "Most Outstanding Participant”. He was awarded a full scholarship to the Dartington International Summer School (UK), where he studied conducting with Diego Masson. His teachers include Marylou Speaker-Churchill, Samuel Rhodes, Melba Sandberg, Benjamin Zander, Joel Sachs, Arturo Delmoni, David DeVeau, Mark Churchill, G. Theodore Wiprud, Rodney Lister, Laurie Redmer Minner, and Eugene Lehner.

A frequent guest lecturer at The Juilliard School and at his high school alma mater Walnut Hill (where he serves as a Trustee), Ralph has been featured in the alumni publications of both institutions. Additional feature articles and contributions have appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, The New Yorker, Chamber Music America Magazine and Allegro, the Journal of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York.

With ETHEL, Ralph is in residence at the Grand Canyon Music Festival's Native American Composers Apprentice Project. ETHEL has performed nationally and internationally at the Venice Biennale, the Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Library of Congress, the TED Conference, Kennedy Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Jazzfestival Saalfelden, Lincoln Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, MASS MoCA, The Walker Art Center, Da Camera Society, L.A., Berlin’s Haus Kulture der Welt among many others, as well as at festivals, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. In addition, the group has toured the US and Europe with Todd Rundgren and Joe Jackson.

ETHEL’s self-titled and self-produced Cantaloupe Music debut CD was named a “Best Recording of 2003” by Billboard Magazine. The group’s second self-produced Cantaloupe Music release, Light, released in September 2006, ranked #3 on Amazon.com’s “Best of 2006: Top Classical Editor’s Picks,” and #5 on WNYC’s “Best of 2006 Listener Poll.” ETHEL has also been featured on soundtracks and recordings of Joe Jackson, John King, Phil Kline, Neil Rolnick, Julia Wolfe, Marcelo Zarvos and numerous other prominent composers.

ETHEL’s print, radio, and online coverage has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Amazon.com, WNYC, WXRQ, WKCR, AM New York, New York Press, Flavorpill and Barnes & Noble.com. Selected by ASCAP to be one of its six Concert Music 2004 Honorees.

In his spare time (?!) Ralph enjoys skiing and hiking. And video games. And kiting.

ETHEL endorses Sibelius Music Notation Software and Beyerdynamic Microphones.

Ralph Farris endorses Glasser Carbon Fiber Bows.

He is represented by The Law Office of Adam Davids, P.C.

For an almost complete list of Ralph's discography & film/tv credits please

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