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Cathy Basrak

Assistant Principal Viola, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Anne Stoneman chair, endowed in perpetuity

Principal Viola, Boston Pops Orchestra

Cathy Basrak headshot with viola


A native of the Chicago area, Cathy Basrak earned her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2000. At the start of the 2000-2001 season, she became the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s assistant principal viola and principal viola of the Boston Pops Orchestra. As a soloist with the Boston Pops, she gave the premiere of John Williams’s Concerto for Viola with the composer conducting in spring 2009. Composed especially for her, the piece includes a duet passage for Basrak and her husband, BSO timpanist Timothy Genis. She has also performed as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chicago, Detroit, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras, among others. As a chamber musician, she has performed regularly with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and in chamber music concerts with her BSO colleagues. Basrak has participated in the Marlboro, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Norfolk Chamber Music festivals, and has performed with the Brandenburg Ensemble and Boston’s Metamorphosen Ensemble. Basrak’s teachers included Joseph de Pasquale, BSO principal viola from 1947 to 1964, and Michael Tree of the Guarneri String Quartet. Among many other recognitions, she was a grand prize winner in the Seventeen Magazine/General Motors National Concerto Competition. Basrak previously taught at Boston Conservatory, Boston University, and New England Conservatory, and she has worked with the child-focused charity organization Cradles to Crayons. She and her husband have three daughters.

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