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 from 2010 through 2014, and a member of Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s bass section from 2006 to 2010.
Since moving to Minneapolis, Bruya has enjoyed performing in Minnesota Orchestra's Chamber Music series and with the Colonial Chamber Series, as well as other chamber music projects. In recent seasons, she has also performed in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and with the Santa Fe Opera. Bruya teaches privately and has given masterclasses at the New World Symphony, Northwestern University, the Southwest Florida Bassfest and the Twin Cities Bass Camp. During her tenure in Toronto, Bruya served as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.
Bruya, a native of Missoula, Montana, received a master of music degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied with Tim Pitts and also Paul Ellison. She received a bachelor of music from the University of Michigan, where she studied with Stuart Sankey. She also studied with Albert Laszlo at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. From 2000 to 2004 she was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. As a student, Bruya attended the festivals at Verbier, Tanglewood, Aspen, Music Academy of the West and Interlochen.
In her spare time Kristen enjoys practicing Bikram yoga, learning pilates, hiking, camping, eating nachos, drinking scotch with her colleagues in the bass section, taking her dog on romps in the woods, and traveling whenever possible. She lives in south Minneapolis with her husband, Andrew Chappell, who is bass trombonist with the Minnesota Orchestra.