Cellist and educator J Holzen (they/their) is in constant pursuit of musical collaborations of all kinds, including contemporary chamber music, pop and jazz, and working with students to achieve their artistic goals. Their enthusiasm and sincerity as an artist and performer encourage audience members and students alike to join Holzen on their artistic journey or begin their own.
In fall 2023, Holzen became a Fellow of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Additional orchestral engagements include playing in the cello sections of Orchestra Iowa, the Sioux City Symphony and the Battle Creek Symphony. They are also the newest member of OLEA, a chamber ensemble dedicated to making authentic connections with audiences through interactive performances, with a focus on new music and commissioned works.
Recent engagements as an educator include serving as a teaching associate in music at Lake Forest College, teaching early childhood music classes through outreach programs in Chicago Public Schools and maintaining a private studio of cello students of all ages and levels.
Holzen grew up in a musical family in St. Louis, Missouri, and holds a master of music in cello performance from DePaul University and a bachelor of music in cello performance from Oberlin Conservatory. Holzen’s primary teachers include Brant Taylor, Darrett Adkins and Ken Kulosa. During their free time, Holzen can be found playing Tetris, snuggling with their cat, Reno, and attending as many concerts as possible.