Professor of Music

Catherine Kautsky, Professor of Music and Chair of the Keyboard Dept., has concertized throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician, appearing in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., and the Cultural Center in Chicago. She has soloed with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, performed chamber music at the Aspen, Tanglewood, and Grand Teton summer music festivals, and appeared frequently on the radio in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Madison, often providing conversational commentary on music she performs. While serving on the piano faculty at the University of WI-Madison, she was awarded the prestigious Arts Institute Creative Arts Award for her work connecting music with other disciplines, particularly literature. Ms. Kautsky has traveled widely, performing frequently in France and England, and presenting concerts and classes recently in China, Korea, Brazil, and South Africa. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Clavier, American Music Teacher and International Piano, and she is a frequent presenter at national conferences including MTNA and NCKP. Her CD of three pieces for piano and narrator, in which she both performs and speaks, was issued by Vox Classics, and her CD of the Debussy Preludes was released in September, 2014. She is currently also engaged with a book project on the genesis of Debussy’s piano music and his role in early 20th century Paris. 

Ms. Kautsky’s recent performances have often centered around social or literary themes, locating musical masterpieces in their historical moment. She has presented lecture-recitals on such topics as the music of the Holocaust, French music and World War I, and Schumann and the writings of ETA Hoffmann. Her repertoire runs the gamut from Bach to Rzewski and Crumb, with a special emphasis on French music and the music of the first Viennese school.

Ms. Kautsky holds a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied under Martin Canin, and a doctoral degree in performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied under Gilbert Kalish. Her recent CD was lauded as “intelligent and insightful Debussy artistry” that “brings out all the power, majesty and mystery of Debussy’s conception.” Following her New York debut, the New York Times called her “ a pianist who can play Mozart and Schubert as though their sentiments and habits of speech coincided exactly with hers...She gave these pieces nuances that made them meaningful on a human everyday level. The music spoke directly to the listener, with neither obfuscation nor pretense.”

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