Chris Wild

Adjunct Instructors, Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor of Cello

DMA, Northwestern

MME, Univ of Michigan

BM, Univ of Michigan



Chris Wild's performances have been lauded as "insatiable" (New York Times), resulting from his enthusiastic pursuit of musical connections. As a cellist, he is most often heard with the Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente, described as a "superb contemporary-music collective" (New York Times) noted for its "bracing sonic adventures" (Chicago Tribune). He has appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Third Coast Percussion, Experimental Sound Studio SWR, University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, and recently led the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No.2, now on YouTube. Recent performance highlights include solo and chamber music appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Millennium Park's Pritzker Pavilion, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico), and the Luis Ángel Arango Library (Colombia). Chris’ debut album, Abhanden, is described by New Music Box as "a virtuosic tour-de-force for solo cello... Wild's approach to the material is soaring, lyrical, and bold... confirms that Wild is not only an exciting performer to watch, but also a wise programmer and collaborator." He can be heard on the New Amsterdam, New Focus, New World, Navona, Naxos, and Carrier record labels.

In addition to teaching at Notre Dame, Chris teaches in the Department of Music at Andrews University, where he is Conductor of the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra. In Chicago, he is co-founder and conductor of the music theatre troupe Après L'Histoire, whose beginnings were inspired by the centennial anniversary of Stravinsky's L’Histoire du soldat. As a guest conductor Chris has led subscription and education concerts with the Peninsula Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra & Chorus, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Camerata Antonio Soler (Spain), as well as rehearsals with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

​Chris began his cello studies at the age of five in British Columbia, Canada, where he would later win first place in the strings category of the Canadian Music Competition. He moved stateside to attend the University of Michigan, where he studied with Erling Blöndal Bengtsson and Richard Aaron and won first place in the school's Concerto Competition. While at Michigan, he also developed interests in conducting and music education, recognizing their potential for engaging with new listeners. After establishing himself as a musician based in Chicago, Chris returned to graduate school to complete a DMA in Orchestral Conducting at Northwestern University, where he conducted performances with the university’s Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Bienen Strings, Opera, and Music Academy Chorus while studying with Victor Yampolsky. Completion of Chris' doctoral studies also included a cognate in musicology and the final project "Charles Ives' Three Places in New England: an Interpretation and a Conducting Guide," available through ProQuest online.