A member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1986, Gary Stucka began playing cello at the age of 8, receiving his first lessons at the Park View School in Morton Grove, Illinois. He subsequently studied with Harry Sturm and Leonard Chausow. As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he received the Louis Sudler Foundation for the Musical Arts Award. Stucka continued his studies as a scholarship student of Karl Fruh at Roosevelt University’s Chicago Musical College (Chicago College of Performing Arts), where he received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He formerly was assistant principal cello of the Grant Park Symphony, and he served as principal of the Winnipeg Symphony from 1977 to 1981.
In 1981, he joined the Cleveland Orchestra, where he remained until joining the CSO.
Stucka has been a member of the Pressenda Trio since 1989, and he has also performed with the Chicago Symphony String Quartet. In addition to numerous appearances on WFMT and as soloist with numerous orchestras around the U.S. and Canada, Stucka has served on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts and Northwestern University.