Faculty Chair Profile

Gary Stucka

NMS Cello Faculty
Cello, Chicago Symphony Orchestra


A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1986, Gary Stucka began playing cello at the age of eight, taking his first lessons at the Park View School in Morton Grove, Illinois. He subsequently studied with Harry Sturm and Leonard Chausow. As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he received the Louis Sudler Foundation for the Musical Arts Award. Stucka continued his studies as a scholarship student of Karl Fruh at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College (Chicago College of Performing Arts), where he received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He formerly was assistant principal cello of the Grant Park Symphony, and he served as principal of the Winnipeg Symphony from 1977 to 1981. In 1981, he joined the Cleveland Orchestra, where he remained until joining the CSO.

Stucka also is principal cello of the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, and he has been a member of the Pressenda Trio since 1989. He has performed at the Sebago-Long Lake Chamber Music Festival in Maine and also with the Chicago Symphony String Quartet. He has recorded Easley Blackwood’s Piano Trio with Charles Pikler on violin and the composer at the piano for Cedille Records.

Gary Stucka has served on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Northwestern University.