Meet the musicians

Jennifer Gunn

Principal

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. In December 2020, the position was endowed as the Dora and John Aalbregtse  Piccolo Chair.  

Since joining the CSO, she has been active in the life of the Orchestra in many ways  including performances on the CSO’s contemporary music series, MusicNow, CSO  Chamber series, and the Once Upon a Symphony series designed for families with young  children. Gunn serves 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 was  featured as piccolo soloist under the direction of Music Director Riccardo Muti, playing  Vivaldi’s C major Concerto RV444, in addition to playing the CSO premiere of Ken  Benshoof’s Concerto in Three Movements for Piccolo and Orchestra. In August of 2022,  she gave the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s newly orchestrated piece, Piccolo Play, at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago under the baton of Leonard  Slatkin.  

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, Rembrandt Chamber Players, 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 Fest in Marion, MA, Arizona MusicFest in  Scottsdale, AZ, and the St. Barth’s Music Festival in St. Barthelemy, French West Indies.  She can be heard on recordings featuring the music of composers Mason Bates, Anna Clyne, and Victoria Bond, as well as 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, The Manhattan School of Music, University of Texas Butler School of  Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri- Kansas City,  and the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School. Gunn has also been involved as an orchestral coach with the National Youth Symphony (NYO), and the New World Symphony. Gunn is on the faculty at the Northwestern University Bienen School  of Music.  

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, Associate Professor of Clarinet at University of Texas  Butler School of Music.