Joshua Zajac holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying cello with Stephen Geber. Beforehand, he spent two years in the studio of Richard Hirschl, and 5 years in the studio of Ingrid Krizan. Throughout college, Joshua participated in a variety of music festivals, including Festival Hill at Round Top, Kent Blossom Music, and two summer fellowships at Tanglewood. Highlights from Tanglewood include a live webcast masterclass with Emmanuel Ax performing the Brahms Second Piano Concerto with Zajac sitting principal chair, as well as being selected to receive the Samuel H. Mayes Memorial Cello Award for his musicianship in 2011.
The summer of 2013 closed out Joshua’s two year service as principal cellist in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The experiences within the Chicago Symphony’s Institute of Learning, Access, and Training have been numerous and musically diverse in addition to performing at Orchestra Hall under world renowned conductors. This includes a growing relationship with Yo-Yo Ma, who has inspired a number of educational and outreach opportunities for Joshua as a citizen musician, and also Cliff Colnot, who directs the CSO’s MusicNow series in which Joshua has been selected to perform in several times. Since 2011, Joshua has appeared on TV with colleagues, performing chamber music selections on ABC 7’s “Windy City Live,” as well as performing with Mr. Ma at the Harris Theater for The Chicago Community Trust’s 98th anniversary. Moreover, Joshua has performed in a wide array of venues, including a flash mob event at Nordstrom’s on Michigan Avenue with the Civic Orchestra, and the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville for incarcerated juveniles. He has also creatively worked with high school students at the University of Chicago at Woodlawn Charter School in performing solo and chamber works synchronized to dance and poetry.
Joshua enjoys teaching and sharing the responsibility of adventure given to him as he continually receives and carries the lessons from his mentors at Symphony Center, including Yo-Yo-Ma. The opportunity to perform Strauss’ Don Quixote with the Civic Orchestra has been nothing short of the culmination of imagination, commitment, and musical pride. Joshua continually studies with Richard Hirschl, and walks in the footsteps of his first music teacher, Lisa Rose, as he frequently teaches private students out of his hometown of Downers Grove.