Jennifer M. Gunn was appointed flute and piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim in 2005. In December 2020, the position was endowed as the Dora and John Aalbregtse Piccolo Chair.
Since joining, she has been active in the life of the Orchestra in many ways, including performances on its contemporary music series MusicNOW, the CSO Chamber Music series and the Once Upon a Symphony series designed for families with young children. Gunn also has served as a piccolo and flute coach for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, participated in the Dream Out Loud Music Education Advocacy Campaign and joined Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti for several of the programs for at-risk and incarcerated youth at Chicago-area juvenile justice centers.
Equally at home on flute or piccolo, Gunn has been featured as a soloist with the Orchestra on many occasions. She made her flute solo debut under the direction of Ludovic Morlot on the MusicNOW series playing Shirish Korde’s Nesting Cranes in 2007. A year later, she made her piccolo debut as soloist under the direction of Harry Bicket performing Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major (RV 443) on the CSO’s subscription series. Gunn also has featured as a flutist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with her CSO colleagues under the direction of both Nicholas Kraemer and Pinchas Zukerman. In June of 2019, Gunn was featured as piccolo soloist under the direction of Music Director Riccardo Muti in Vivaldi’s C Major Concerto (RV444), and also gave the CSO premiere of Ken Benshoof’s Concerto in Three Movements for Piccolo and Orchestra.
Gunn has enjoyed many occasions to join colleagues in a variety of performance settings. In the Chicago area, she has been a guest with the Bach Week Festival, Dempster Street Pro Musica, Music of the Baroque and the Civitas Ensemble. Beyond Chicago, Gunn has enjoyed collaborations at the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas; Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Marion, Massachusetts; Arizona Musicfest in Scottsdale, Arizona; and the St. Bart’s Music Festival in Saint Barthélemy, French West Indies. She can also be heard on recordings featuring the music of composers Mason Bates, Anna Clyne, and Victoria Bond, as well recordings of the Orchestra on the CSO Resound label.
In demand as a clinician, Jennifer Gunn has taught master classes around the world, including a regular summer class at Orford Musique in Canada, and served as a guest artist at the 2018 International Piccolo Festival in Grado, Italy. She is a frequent guest at universities around the country, teaching flute and piccolo master classes at Carnegie Hall, Butler School of Music at the University of Texas–Austin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri–Kansas City and Northwestern University. Gunn also has been an orchestral coach with the National Youth Symphony (NYO) and the New World Symphony.
Gunn has held previous positions including assistant principal flute of the Louisville Orchestra, principal flute of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and second flute of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. She holds a bachelor of music degree from the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University (Pennsylvania), where she studied with Robert Langevin and Rhian Kenny. She had additional studies at the University of Akron (Ohio) with George Pope and Mary Kay Robinson.
She is married to Jonathan Gunn, professor of clarinet at University of Texas Butler School of Music.