Cathy Kuna

~ Cello ~

Cathy Kuna Krizalido Piano Trio.jpeg

Cellist Cathy Kuna has performed as a solo, chamber, and orchestral freelance musician in the Chicago area since 1985. Growing up in Philadelphia, she was inspired by the renowned string players of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the creative pop rock of the Electric Light Orchestra. Mixing her classical training with deep influences from global and American roots music, she has performed and recorded with many Chicago area rock, folk, and improving artists.

Cathy is a founding member of the Kairos String Quartet and is a versatile arranger of music for string quartet and cello ensembles. She is a founding member of the progressive chamber folk band These Wicked Waters, a group of classically trained musicians playing a fusion of Celtic, Scandinavian, blue-grass and other string-based music.

Cathy’s professional work includes composing and improvising for several productions. Her theater work as a composer and improviser included Peer Gynt with the Pneumatical Theatricals at the National Pastime Theater, Trojan Women and Hamlet at Wheaton College Arena Theater, and the film Retrieval by Xunesis.

She has had the pleasure of performing and collaborating with improviser, composer, and clarinetist James Falzone, Turkihs cabaret singer Gunduz Ast, jazz drummer Jimmy Bennington, contemporary folk musicians Sons of the Never Wrong, the Americana duo Switchback, and erhu artist Ma Xiaohui. Cathy has studied with Arabic oudist and violinist Simon Shaheen at the Arabic Music Retreat at Mt. Holyoke College, MA.

As an educator, Cathy has collaborated with the International Music Foundation teaching young students about the connections of language and music. She had the privilege to present the pre-concert talk for cellist Maya Beiser’s Almost Human performance at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Along with her private teaching, she is passionate about coaching chamber music and also leads worships in improvisation and world music. She in on faculty at College of DuPage and Opus Chamber Music Camp. Active as a church musician, she brings her love of creative arranging and improvising to the worship setting.  Cathy holds degrees in cello performance from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music (student of David Szepessy) and Northwestern University (student of Hans Jørgen Jensen).