Emma Gerstein, a Hyde Park native and currently the principal flute of New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, will join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as its second flute, effective Sept. 18.
Music Director Riccardo Muti and CSO Association President Jeff Alexander made the announcement May 25. Gerstein has previously appeared with the CSO as a guest second flute during the orchestra’s U.S. tour in 2015 and Asia tour in 2016, as well as at select subscription concerts, all under the direction of Muti.
Gerstein has served as Auckland’s principal flute since April 2016. Earlier, she had been a flute fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami and principal flute of the Lexington (Ky.) Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, she has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony and Seattle Symphony orchestras, the Kronos Quartet and the acclaimed Chicago-based ensemble eighth blackbird, as well as with artists including Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax and Joshua Bell.
In Chicago, Gerstein began her flute studies with Susan Levitin and later became a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music under Robert Langevin, where she received the President’s Award in 2015. Gerstein then attended the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied with Thomas Robertello. While at Indiana University, Gerstein won first prize in the 2009 James Pellerite Orchestra Excerpt Competition and the 2010 Alexander and Buono International Flute Competition.
In addition to performing, Gerstein served as a flute instructor at the University of Chicago and was an assistant instructor at the Jacobs School from 2009 to 2011. Gerstein currently gives private lessons in Auckland and has presented master classes at the University of Kentucky and Auckland University. This summer, Gerstein and harpist Emily Granger will make a recital tour across New Zealand and Australia.