Julie Gunn, piano
Julie is a music director, vocal coach, and song arranger, and she is passionate about songs and singers. She designs and performs song recitals, and has appeared on many prestigious series over the last several years, including the Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, Londonís Queen Elizabeth Hall, Brussels Theatre de la Monnaie, the 92nd Street Y, University of Chicago Presents, San Francisco Performances, Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Oberlin College, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Scheduled for the upcoming year are recitals at Dominican University, Torontoís Roy Thompson Hall, and cabaret performances in Orange County, Sun Valley, and the Allerton Barn Festival. In 2008 she had the privilege of playing a private recital for members of the United States Supreme Court.
Julie Gunn also enjoys teaching and training the younger generation, and in her faculty appointment at the UI, she works with both singers and pianists. She has served on the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, St. Louis Opera Theatre, Southern Methodist University, Opera North, Theaterworks, Chicago Opera Theater, and Illinois Opera Theater, and given master classes at universities and young artists’ programs all over the United States, including the Ryan Young Artists’ Program, Houston Grand Opera Studio, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Gunn is a leader in the promotion of American arts. She works diligently as an advocate for local arts organizations in her home community in the development of projects ranging from constructing arts buildings to establishing patron groups. On a national level, she solicits and programs the work of emerging and established American songwriters on recitals, and is proud to have been the music director of her husband Nathan Gunn’s solo disc, Just before Sunrise, recently released by Sony/BMG records, which included arrangements of songs by Gene Scheer, Ben Moore, Joe Thalken, Billy Joel, Sting, and Charles Ives. Her arrangements of traditional American songs have been programmed by orchestras throughout the country. She seeks to encourage young composers by strengthening their relationships with singers and pianists, and by providing them with more established composers as mentors.
Julie Gunn lives in Champaign with her husband and five children.