A dynamic and versatile artist, violist Ames Asbell has performed classical, tango, and popular music in over 30 countries around the world, in venues ranging from concert halls and universities to clubs. She appears on dozens of internationally released CDs, film scores and broadcasts, including the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy-winning Home, Richard Linklater’s arthouse hit film Waking Life, and six appearances on PBS staple Austin City Limits. From 2001 to 2005, she toured globally with rock legend David Byrne (of Talking Heads), appearing with him on broadcasts such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Show with David Letterman as well as two international DVD releases and an album on Nonesuch Records. She has also recorded for labels such as Harmonia Mundi, Naxos and Sony, among many others.
While earning the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas, Ames put down roots in Austin, where she is currently violist of the classical crossover Tosca String Quartet, Principal Violist of the Austin Opera Orchestra, a member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and on faculty at Texas State University in nearby San Marcos. She has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Breckenridge Music Institute and National Repertory Orchestra. Her first professional orchestral performing experiences came during her high school years, with the Columbus (GA) Symphony and Montgomery (AL) Symphony orchestras.
Ames' major teachers include Lenny Schranze, Fritz Gearhart and Roger Myers, and she enjoyed summer study and masterclasses with Heidi Castleman, David Holland, Roberto Diaz, Donald McInnes, and the Shanghai, Vermeer, Kronos, Penderecki and American String Quartets. While still in school she began working with composers Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski, premiering their first string quartets as well as Stopschinki's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, which was written for her in 2000.