Faculty, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Artist in Residence, Cello
University of Southern California
New England Conservatory
Hailed as “Chicago’s first lady of the cello” by Timeout Chicago Magazine, Dutch cellist Katinka Kleijn defies today’s traditional definition of a cellist, transitioning comfortably through the styles of classical, experimental, contemporary, improvisatory, folk and progressive rock, as well as across the traditional fields of solo, chamber and orchestral performance.
Most recently, she appeared as soloist in the World Premiere of Dai Fujikura's cello concerto at Lincoln Center, New York, where The New York Times described her as "a player of formidable expressive gifts".
A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kleijn is in frequent demand as soloist, performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Charles Dutoit in Penderecki’s Triple Cello Concerto, as well as with the The Hague Philharmonic, the Chicago Sinfonietta , the Illinois Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestras of Elmhurst, DuPage and Sheboygan, and as a soloist in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Kai on the CSO’s MusicNOW Series.
Known for her innovative individual projects, Kleijn presented multi-media solo shows at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, the Chicago Humanities Festival and the Chicago Cultural Center. A collaboration with the Chicago-based performance art duo Industry of the Ordinary resulted in the highly-acclaimed and publicized work “Intelligence in the Human-Machine” by Daniel Dehaan, which Time Magazine called “a balancing act for Kleijn’s whole body,” and where Kleijn performs a duet with her own brainwaves.
In Kleijn’s extensive work as a member of the prolific International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), named Ensemble of the Year 2014 by Musical America, she has given numerous premieres, including the US premiere of Zona for solo cello and ensemble by Magnus Lindberg at the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and Eternal Escape for solo cello by Dai Fujikura, described by the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein as “a five-minute tour de force, played with wonderfully incisive bravado.”
An avid chamber musician, Kleijn has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Christoph Eschenbach, Richard Goode, and Lynn Harrell; and appeared in the Symphony Center Presents Chamber Music Series with pianist Jeremy Denk and violinist Stefan Jackiw. She has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival and Ravinia Festival’s Rising Star Series. Kleijn was a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians from 2006-2010.
Kleijn recorded for the Naxos, Boston Record and Cedille labels. Her 2003 recording of David Baker’s Cello Concerto with the Chicago Sinfonietta received rave reviews: The Strad Magazine wrote “Kleijn gives infectious energy to the performance” and Fanfare Magazine commented that “Kleijn brings plenty of temperament and gorgeous tone.”
Non-classical recordings include CD's with the progrock metal band District 97, the ambient-folk duo Relax Your Ears, singer-song writer David Sylvian, and for the newest single “Valkyrie” by Asia with John Wetton. She is part of a working improvised music duo with Chicago-based guitarist Bill MacKay, and performs on the Chicago free jazz scene.