Christopher Polen, Principal Bass

Bassist Kit Polen performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including joining them on tours through Europe, Asia, and the US. Since 2015, he has been Principal Bass of Camerata Chicago as well as the Associate Principal Bass of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performing with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed with many artists including the Kontras Quartet, Chai Collaborative Ensemble, and Leon Fleisher. Equally comfortable outside the traditional symphonic setting, Polen has collaborated with CSO’s MusicNOW series, the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and has also been a part of multiple Grammy nominated R&B recordings.

Polen has been based in Chicago since 2011, when he joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as Assistant Principal Bass. Prior to moving to Chicago, he earned his Master of Music from Indiana University and his Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, near his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. He has spent summers studying and performing at multiple festivals including Aspen Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival. His most influential teachers and mentors include Bruce Bransby, Lawrence Hurst, Craig Brown, Andrew Raciti, and Alexander Hanna.