Sasha Ono is a cellist, music educator, and arranger in the New York City area where she performs and records music in various genres. Recent performances include work with Grammy Award-winning jazz musicians, NPR Tiny Desk, 8-Bit Big Band, Mozart in the Jungle, Streetlight Manifesto, and the NYChillharmonic. Sasha has been featured as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician at Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall,  National Sawdust, Avery Fisher Hall (David Geffen Hall), Madison Sq. Garden as well as international performance venues. International performances include a tour of Northern Japan to raise awareness and funds for areas still heavily impacted by the tsunami and earthquakes.

As an advocate for classical music reflecting the experiences of wider communities, she founded Lotus Chamber Music Collective  whose mission is to catapult the brilliance of women and BIPOC voices to the forefront of the music industry - and recently was awarded a grant from Chamber Music America. The ensemble goes beyond singular performances by building communities around discussions of race, racism, and social justice.

Sasha is also the current conductor of the String Orchestra at the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra and a Teaching Artist for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. During her tenure teaching and conducting elementary and high school orchestras, Sasha developed a unique strings curriculum focused on developing perseverance, building effective practice techniques, and learning music literacy through ear training. 

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In this episode, we talk to cellist, educator, and activist Sasha Ono about changing the culture of classical music. Sasha tells us about her group, Lotus Chamber Music Collective, and how they tackle important issues such as racism and injustice through the lense of classical music in their programming, concert discussions, and book club. She also shares her personal journey constructing a new, healthier relationship with classical music, expressing the importance of teaching younger generations of musicians to do the same.