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What is ETHEReal String Orchestra?

ETHEReal String Orchestra is 1-or-2-person virtual string Orchestra. We specialize in recording Orchestral strings: Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Double Bass. We particularly specialize in creating realistic String Orchestras with our small personnel but also often perform as solo string tracks or small ensembles. We record covers and original tracks in a variety of styles and genres either as a featured ensemble or as a string section within a larger ensemble.

Why use ETHEReal String Orchestra?

We combine our extensive background performing in professional Symphony Orchestras and over 25 years experience on bowed strings with our experience conducting String Ensembles. We have been a part of an Orchestra from all perspectives and have acted as conductors and performers. We know how all of the parts fit together, and we know how an ensemble should sound if many more musicians were playing. We are able to recreate that signature live studio string ensemble sound with a fraction of the personnel and at a fraction of the cost.

How do I hire you or have you play on my project?

Fill out the contact form to get in touch with us! We would be happy to work with you and add live strings to make your music come to life!

What does the name mean?

We love video game music! "Ether" is a nod to the item of the same name found within many of the video games we love. "Ethereal" is pulling on one of the literal definitions of the word ethereal where it can mean "unworldly". We are not a live ensemble of 30+ players - we are an ensemble made possible only through recording. One could say we are not of this world? And, of course, we are string players: The ETHEReal String Orchestra!

Who makes up the "Orchestra"?

Andrew Steffen (Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass) is a Violist and educator by training having both a Master of Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and a Bachelor's of Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and he combines his skills as a Violist with his 15 years of public school teaching background to be proficient recording all stringed instruments. His background as a teacher and performer have given him experience both inside and in front of string ensembles of all shapes and sizes. He has performed for many seasons as a contracted member with Orchestra Iowa and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and has performed with 2CELLOS, Mannheim Steamroller, and Video Games Live in addition to many small ensembles for social occasions.

Andrew Stern (Cello) graduated from Coe College with a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance in 2008, earning a Performer’s Certificate for exceptional work with both the Coe Music Department and outside ensembles.  He additionally earned a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Coe in 2011.  By day, he works as a Software Engineer for Collins Aerospace; by night, he enjoys games of all varieties with friends and family when he is not moonlighting as a professional cellist. Andrew has performed with Harry Connick Jr., Mannheim Steamroller, Emily Bear, Orchestra Iowa, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the La Crosse Symphony, and the Ivalice Trio.  He also performs as part of the ETHEReal String Orchestra, as well as with various college and church ensembles.

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