Beth Rapier joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986 and served as assistant principal cello from 1991 until summer 2022, when she chose to move into the core of the cello section. She has been a featured soloist with the Orchestra in works by Haydn, David Ott and Kevin Puts, the latter being the world premiere of his Sinfonia concertante in 2006. Throughout her tenure with the Orchestra she has performed regularly at its Sommerfest, MacPhail and Target Atrium Chamber Music concerts.
An accomplished chamber musician, Rapier has won awards at several competitions in the U.S. and Canada and has performed quartets throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. She is a regular guest at chamber music festivals, including Cactus Pear, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, and Orcas Island. She was a founding member of the Rosalyra Quartet, which won a 2000 McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship and performed for nearly 20 years at venues from the Twin Cities to Boston, New York City and France. With the Rosalyra she has recorded works by Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Fauré and Shostakovich for the Boston Records and Artegra labels. Most recently, with singer Timothy Jones, she recorded settings of Five Spirituals by Scott Ballentine for Baritone and Cello.
Born into a family of distinguished musicians, Rapier began her professional career at age 16 as an apprentice with the Louisville Orchestra. After studying at Indiana University and in New York with Janos Starker, Fritz Magg and Timothy Eddy, she performed and taught for two seasons with the Apple Hill Chamber Players of New Hampshire.
In 2005 Rapier was again named winner of a McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship for her performance of cello duos with Anthony Ross, principal cello of the Minnesota Orchestra, who is her husband. Together, the duo has organized numerous benefit concerts for Habitats for Humanity and the American Refugee Committee. They are the proud parents of Eli, a trumpeter, and Erin, a dancer and singer.
If not onstage with her beloved colleagues, Beth is happiest on her yoga mat or hiking in the North woods.