ProMusica Sessions: Declassifying the Classical

Nat Chaitkin, cello


Nat Chaitkin enjoys a wide-ranging career as a cellist, teacher and advocate for concert music. He has made several appearances as soloist with orchestra, including a performance of the Schumann Concerto which the Washington Post praised for its “engaging flair and commitment.” He has been heard in recital on CBC Radio, on WFMT Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, at the National Gallery of Art and the Banff Centre. He has recorded for Albany Records.

In 2012, Nat was awarded the City of Cincinnati’s Artist Ambassador Fellowship, giving him the opportunity to reach under-served audiences by performing in public spaces such as community centers, libraries and offices. His programs, called Bach and Boombox, place classical cello pieces alongside pop recordings to show how composers like Bach and Hindemith use the same tools as musicians like Thelonious Monk and the Beastie Boys. He is also the co-founder of 4-Way, Cincinnati’s community-based string quartet, which offers accessible, innovative performances in community settings, as well as free lessons to under-served urban youth.

A teacher at the Preparatory Division of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, he has also taught at Michigan State University and Georgetown University. He is a member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and was previously a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony and the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra.

Nat graduated from the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, where he studied with Ardyth Alton. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, as well as a B.A. in History at the University of Michigan, and a doctorate at the University of Maryland. His teachers included Jeffrey Solow, Nina deVeritch, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, Evelyn Elsing and David Soyer.