Natalie Gaynor joined the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras in March 2017 as Principal Second Violin. Natalie performs frequently with the Houston Symphony and has also played with the San Diego Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and New World Symphony. She is a member of the first violin section at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, collaborating with living composers to perform world premieres and new classical works. She has earned fellowships to music festivals throughout the world including the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, and Sarasota Music Festival. As a member of the Maroon Belles String Quartet, she has been invited multiple summers to perform at the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, engaging in community outreach and educational performances as well as playing alongside musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera. During her master’s degree at Rice University, she served as concertmaster for the Shepherd School Opera and Chamber orchestras. Natalie performs in a wide variety of settings throughout the Houston area including neighborhood/porch concerts, weddings and special events, Harmony in the Air at Houston Hobby Airport, and recording studio projects.
Born and raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois, Natalie began her violin studies at age six, and piano lessons a year later. In high school she studied with Gerardo Ribeiro of Northwestern University and was highly involved in the orchestra and chamber music programs at Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. She began her undergraduate degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music and transferred to Rice University to follow her teacher, renowned violin pedagogue Paul Kantor. Natalie earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and also completed a Minor in Business at the Jones Graduate School of Business.
In addition to music, Natalie specializes in musician headshots and portraits, and enjoys visiting new art exhibits and exploring national parks with her camera. She can be found at http://www.nataliegaynor.com.