A founding member of ETHEL, Ralph Farris (Artistic Director, Viola) is a Grammy-nominated arranger, an original Broadway orchestra member of The Lion King and former musical director for The Who’s Roger Daltrey. He has worked with Leonard Bernstein, Martin Scorsese, Depeche Mode, Natalie Merchant, Harry Connick Jr., Allen Ginsberg, Yo-Yo Ma and Gorillaz. A graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Ralph earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School.
A founding member of ETHEL, Dorothy Lawson (Artistic Director, Cello) has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the White Oak Dance Project, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and numerous new music ensembles. Canadian-born, she completed degrees at the University of Toronto, the Vienna Academy and The Juilliard School. She teaches in the Preparatory Division of Mannes College at the New School in New York City.
Kip Jones (Violin) is known for his ebullient and innovative solo performances in a style he describes as “experimental folk”. A modern musical troubadour, he’s performed at scores of eclectic venues such as Ecuador’s Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Tirana’s Liceu Artistik “Jordan Misja”, two miles inside Chom Ong Tai cave in Laos, the summer homes of nomadic Mongolian herders, and platforms of most subway systems in North America. As a composer, his work has been commissioned by ensembles that include the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and A Far Cry. A native of Minnesota, Kip earned his degree in Violin Performance from the Berklee College of Music.
Tema Watstein (Violin) is an active soloist, chamber musician, and educator. Hailed for her “sweeping and bristling” sound by the New York Times, she has performed with the Metropolis Ensemble, Mark Morris Dance Group, Argento Ensemble, Tanglewood’s New Fromm Quartet, to name a few. She served most recently as the violinist in Gabriel Kahane’s February House at the Public Theater. An alum of Rice University and graduate of MSM’s Contemporary Performance Program, Tema is equally home whether playing Ligeti in concert or improvising in a field.