Betsy Tinney, winner of the 2012 Pegasus Award for Best Performer, is a
professional cellist in the Pacific Northwest, known both for her graceful
musicality and her broad versatility. Highly sought after for studio
recording and live accompaniment, she has performed with and recorded with
many different groups, ranging from solo acoustic musicians to large rock
bands. Her contributions to each are unique and are, as she explains,
"whatever the song wants." Her solo cello work, a tapestry of acoustic cello
woven with an electric looper, has been called "captivating," "mesmerizing,"
and "a rich texture for the ear, reminiscent of dark chocolate and fine red
wine." Betsy is a relative newcomer to filk -- she attended her first con in
2007 -- and is honored and grateful to have been so warmly welcomed into the
filk community, both as a performer and as an individual.
Betsy has had a lifelong love affair with the cello. At the tender age of
five, she attended a Carnegie Hall performance by Jacqueline DuPre, and was
completely captivated. However, when finally allowed to begin music lessons,
she spent a long year of purgatory behind a violin. (Her very conservative
teacher felt that the cello was "unladylike" and therefore inappropriate for
little girls.) Baffled and frustrated, Betsy simply played the violin as if
it were a cello, until her teacher finally gave in - although that took
nearly a year. (Stubbornness does occasionally have its reward.) After
graduating from Wellesley College with a B.A. in music, she took an abrupt
left turn, ending up in the burgeoning high-tech sector as a tech writer and
user interface designer (a much more secure and lucrative position than
playing in a pit orchestra). In 1997, after 16 years in high tech, Betsy
left Microsoft to devote herself full time to her children and her music.
Betsy is a founding member of the well-loved folk trio Tricky Pixie,
performs regularly with S.J. Tucker and Vixy & Tony, and is also a member of
The Heather Dale Band and her daughter Katie's band (the name and makeup of
which changes with nearly every show). In addition, Betsy has performed
and/or recorded with Molly Lewis, Alexander James Adams, Jeff & Maya
Bohnhoff, Dr. Mary Crowell, Seanan McGuire, Marian Call, Leannan Sidhe, Amy
McNally, Celia, Ronnda Cadle, Kellianna, Sharon Knight, Wendy Rule, Incus,
Gaia Consort, Bone Poets, and many others.
Betsy also teaches and does session work, and is a member of the New
Directions Cello Association, a worldwide association dedicated to
nonclassical forms of cello playing.
When not behind her cello, Betsy is a web designer/developer, visual artist
and calligrapher, and part-time pixie. Her website is www.betsytinney.com.