208 ensemble is a multi-instrumental ensemble specializing in the performance of innovative chamber music. Based in Boise, Idaho, 208 ensemble strives to engage diverse communities through the advocacy of music by living composers, the pursuit of distinctive collaboration, and the exploration of dynamic performance aesthetic.
Cellist Jake Saunders, violinists Geoffrey Hill and Katherine Jarvis, violist Emily Jones, pianists Betsi Hodges and Stephanie Zickau, clarinetist Carmen Izzo, flutist Allison Emerick, and percussionist Matthew Grady are some of the highest caliber classical musicians in Idaho. These core members have received training from top institutions throughout the country, including the University of Michigan, University of Miami, University of Southern California, University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Carnegie Mellon University, DePaul University, Boise State University, the College of Idaho, Michigan State University, Temple University, and the Eastman School of Music. Musicians of 208 ensemble serve principal orchestral positions locally and nationally, including the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Idaho, Symphony Tacoma, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and the Central City Opera Orchestra. Additionally, these musicians contribute regularly to the Boise Baroque Chamber Orchestra, LED, Classical Revolution: Boise, and the Boise Philharmonic String Quartet.
Since its debut in November 2014, 208 ensemble has presented the Idaho premiere of nearly 40 contemporary chamber works to enthusiastic audiences. 208 ensemble has been a three-time featured artist at Treefort Music Fest and has been featured twice at TEDxBoise. 208 ensemble has presented featured programs at the Sapphire Room, MING Studios, RadioBoise, Cinder Wines, Boise Contemporary Theater, Gallery Five18, the Hemingway Western Studies Center, the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, and the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. Their 2016-17 season was supported by the Boise City Department of Arts and History. In 2017, 208 ensemble worked closely with Idaho composer Jim Cockey to record his newly-revised string quartet, Corona; the culminating product was used as a basis for original choreography by Idaho Dance Theater during their 2017-18 season. Serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration, 208 ensemble regularly performs with Boise-based dance company Project Flux and has performed with local visual artist Jaclyn Hutchens; additionally, 208 ensemble has commissioned work from visual artist Grant Olsen and videographer Suby Raman. 208 ensemble's lengthy list of local and national musical collaborators includes Dr. Linda Kline, Jeffrey Barker, Thomas Paul, Nick Jaina, Brian Vance, Lindsay Edwards, Matthew Tutsky, Courtney Stredder, Bill Kloppenburg, and Emily Wells.