Catherine Kautsky, Chair of Keyboard at Lawrence University, has been lauded by the New York Times as “a pianist who can play Mozart and Schubert as though their sentiments and habits of speech coincided exactly with hers… The music spoke directly to the listener, with neither obfuscation nor pretense.” Her recent recording of the Debussy Preludes, released by Centaur in September, 2014, was said to “bring out all the power, majesty, and mystery of Debussy’s conception.“ Ms. Kautsky, whose teachers have included Rosina Lhevinne, Gyorgy Sebok, Leon Fleisher, Martin Canin, and Gilbert Kalish, has concertized widely, performing in Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, the Phillips Collection, Jordan Hall, the Gardner Museum, and the Chicago Cultural Center, soloing with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and appearing frequently on public radio. She has spent two sabbaticals in Paris and performed abroad in France, England, Italy, Spain, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Russia, and South Africa. Known as both a solo and collaborative performer, Ms. Kautsky has worked with such well-known artists as Peter Oundjian, Kim Kashkashian, and John Sharp, principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony, and performed chamber music at the Aspen, Tanglewood, and Grand Teton Festivals. She currently teaches and performs at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy during the summers and returned from concertizing in China this past winter.
Ms. Kautsky, whose students have won prizes across the country and gone on to leading graduate programs, has taught at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music since 1987, with a 6 -year hiatus as piano faculty and chair of the Keyboard Dept. at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Known for her cross-disciplinary interests, she was awarded the Arts Institute Creative Arts Award at UW-Madison and has presented frequently at national conferences on such topics as “On the Trail of Chopin and George Sand,” “WWI: A Centenary Look at the Musical Wars, “ and “Celebrating Debussy and the Arts du Spectacle” Her articles have appeared in Clavier, American Music Teacher, and International Piano, and her book on the social history of Debussy’s piano music will be published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2016-17. She and violin colleague, Wen-Lei Gu, are performing the complete Brahms Violin Sonatas on public radio in Fall, 2016 and plan to record them later this year.
Ms. Kautsky holds a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s from the Juilliard School, and a doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is the 2016 winner of the Lawrence University Excellence in Teaching Award.