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Kristen Bruya

Principal Bass, Jay Phillips Chair

Kristen Bruya joined the Minnesota Orchestra as principal bass in February 2015. Prior to this, she was the assistant principal bass of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and was also previously a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. She received an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Michigan, did extended studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, received a master’s of music from Rice University and was a fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.

In addition to her duties as principal bass, Bruya enjoys playing chamber music and teaching. She has collaborated with various chamber ensembles throughout the Twin Cities, Toronto and Nashville, and has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and with Music from Angel Fire. She has presented master classes at New World Symphony, Northwestern University, Indiana University, the Peabody Institute and Michigan State, among others. Bruya served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Toronto and in 2023 she was on the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival. She has served as a member of New World Symphony’s Alumni Advisory Council with the mission to connect alumni with each other and with current fellows.

Aside from music, Bruya is passionate about practicing and teaching 26&2 Hot Yoga (formerly known as Bikram Yoga). During the COVID pandemic she had the opportunity to pursue a 300 hour teacher training program offered by Minneapolis Yoga, where she’s practiced since moving to the Twin Cities. She currently both practices and teaches yoga at Minneapolis Yoga and has received her Level 1 OHYA teacher certification. She also enjoys cooking, reading, snowshoeing, and walking her dog around Minneapolis’ beautiful parks and lakes. She resides in south Minneapolis with her husband Andy Chappell, bass trombonist of the Minnesota Orchestra.