Nancy Ives' career has been "full of wonderful opportunities." This photo, (credit Joe Cantrell) is from one of those “you can’t make this up” moments: Nancy collaborated with Salt & Straw on an ice cream flavor to celebrate an Oregon Symphony concert on the Willamette River waterfront, and while she made a surprise appearance at their cart to play the Bach Prelude that inspired the flavor, the Lions of Batucada passed by behind her.
Nancy likes to say she has done just about anything one can do professionally with a cello, although no ice cello so far. In addition to leading the cello section of the Oregon Symphony, she has shared her personal artistry with delighted audiences from all walks of life -- from performing premieres of cutting-edge new compositions in recital halls to playing solo Bach in unexpected places for Classical Up Close to playing atop the Fremont Bridge with Portland Cello Project. These days, interest in what she has to say as a composer -- and sometimes simply the urging of what she likes to call "the muse" yoked to a desire to respond to the events of our times -- has called her to elevate composing to an equal priority in her professional and creative life. Of the 2019 premiere of her Suite for cello and vocal obligato, Oregon Arts Watch said, "Throughout, I was struck by Ives’s subtle harmonic sense and well-constructed counterpoint—modernistic but melodic and compelling—and thought, perversely, 'Damn, I almost wish OSO would fire Nancy so she can do this full time.'" Nancy's response to that is something like, "Thanks so much, but for now, I think I'll just keep doing both!"