Hailed for her “virtuosic poise” by the Chicago Tribune and as “a dazzling piccolo virtuoso” by the Palm Beach Daily Herald, Jennifer M. Gunn was appointed to the position of Piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Daniel Barenboim in 2005.
Since joining the CSO, she has been active in the life of the Orchestra many ways including performances on the CSO’s contemporary music series, MusicNow, CSO Chamber series and Once Upon a Symphony series designed for families with young children. Gunn has also served as a piccolo and flute coach for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, participated in the Dream Out Loud Music Education Advocacy Campaign and joined Maestro Riccardo Muti for several of the programs for at-risk and incarcerated youth at Chicago area juvenile justice centers.
Equally at home on the flute or the piccolo, Gunn has been featured as a soloist with the Orchestra on many occasions. She made her flute solo debut under the direction of Ludovic Morlot on the MusicNow series playing Shirish Korde’s Nesting Cranes in 2007. One year later, she made her piccolo debut under the direction of Harry Bicket playing Vivaldi’s C Major Concerto RV443 on the CSO’s subscription series. Gunn has also been featured as a flutist on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti with her CSO colleagues under the direction of both Nicholas Kraemer and Pinchas Zukerman. In March of 2019, Gunn will be featured as piccolo soloist under the direction of Music Director Riccardo Muti playing Vivaldi’s C major Concerto RV444, and also playing the CSO premiere of Ken Benshoof’s Concerto in Three Movements for Piccolo and Orchestra.
Gunn has enjoyed many occasions to join musician colleagues from the Chicago area and around the world in a variety of performance settings. In the Chicago area, she has been a guest with the Bach Week Festival, Dempster Pro Musica, Music of the Baroque, and the Civitas Ensemble. Outside of Chicago, Gunn has enjoyed collaborating with musicians at music festivals such as the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, KS, Buzzards Bay Music Festival in Marion, MA, Arizona Music Festival in Scottsdale, AZ, and the St. Barth’s Music Festival in St. Barthelemy, French West Indies. She can also be heard on recordings featuring the music of composers Mason Bates, Anna Clyne, and Victoria Bond, as well CSO orchestra recordings on the CSO Resound Label.
In demand as a clinician, Gunn has taught masterclasses around the world including a regular summer class at Orford Musique in Canada and served as a guest artist at the 2018 International Piccolo Festival in Grado, Italy. She is a frequent guest at universities around the country teaching flute and piccolo masterclasses including classes at Carnegie Hall, University of Texas Butler School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri- Kansas City, and Northwestern University. Gunn has also been involved as an orchestral coach with the National Youth Symphony (NYO), and the New World Symphony.
Gunn has held previous orchestra positions including Assistant Principal Flute of the Louisville Orchestra, Principal Flute of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and Second Flute of the Wheeling Symphony. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University (PA), where she studied with Robert Langevin and Rhian Kenny. She had additional studies at the University of Akron (OH) with George Pope and Mary Kay Robinson.
She is married to Jonathan Gunn, Professor of Clarinet at University of Texas Butler School of Music.