Kathleen Collisson has been a cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony since 1977, and has also performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and many other groups. She earned a Bachelor of Music with honors as a scholarship student of Karl Fruh at Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, and subsequently studied with Raya Garbousova and Frank Miller while a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Kathleen maintained an active freelancing career in Chicago and Milwaukee before joining the MSO, and performed everything from oratorios to jingles to chamber music.
She began studying Baroque cello with Phoebe Carrai in 2004, and has attended baroque performance practice institutes in Boston, Toronto, and Madison. As an active member of the Milwaukee Symphony’s award-winning Arts in Community Education program, Kathleen performs with a cello quartet and a baroque trio in classrooms throughout the Milwaukee area, and has also led workshops combining poetry and music for sixth-graders. She also developed and taught an instrument making course for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College for Kids. Since earning an MFA in creative writing in 1997, she has given classes and workshops in creativity, fiction writing, and music appreciation.
Kathleen has been an enthusiastic private teacher since the age of sixteen, and has a special love for coaching adult students through the roadblocks unique to being an older musician. She very much looks forward to returning to Lubec each summer since joining the Summerkeys faculty in 2008.