Julie Gunn is a pianist, music director, vocal coach, and song arranger. She has appeared on many prestigious recital series, including the Carnegie Hall Pure Voice Series, Lincoln Center Great Performers, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Brussels’ Theatre de la Monnaie, San Francisco’s Herz Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, University of Chicago Presents, San Francisco Performances, Oberlin College, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Ravinia Festival, Manhattan’s legendary Café Carlyle, the Sydney Opera House, and the United States Supreme Court. She has been heard in recital with William Burden, Richard Croft, Elizabeth Futral, Isabel Leonard, Stefan Milenkovich, Mandy Patinkin, Yvonne Gonzales Redman, Michelle De Young, the Pacifica Quartet, and Nathan Gunn. This season she looks forward to concerts with Kelli O’Hara in Evanston, IL, and with Nathan Gunn in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Minneapolis.
In her faculty appointment at the University of Illinois, she works with singers, pianists, chamber musicians and songwriters as the Director of Lyric Theatre Studies. 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, Highlands Opera Studio, 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, Santa Fe Opera, the Aspen Festival, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, as well as tenures as artist-in-residence at Cincinnati Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival.
Dr. Gunn serves as the Assistant Director for Development and Public Engagement at the School of Music. She works as an advocate for state and local arts organizations in the development of projects ranging from constructing arts buildings to mentoring inner-city high-schoolers interested in the arts. She is the founder and director of the Illinois School of Music Academy, a program for talented pre-college chamber musicians and composers.
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, released by Sony/BMG records, which included arrangements of songs by Gene Scheer, Ben Moore, Joe Thalken, Billy Joel, Sting, and Charles Ives. Her orchestral arrangements of traditional American songs and standards have been heard at the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, and London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Dr. Gunn lives in Champaign with her husband and five children.