Nico Chona - Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Nico Chona

Operations Assistant (CO, DO, AS, PS, OS)

Nico Chona is currently a clarinetist and music administrator in the Chicago area. Nico just finished his three-season membership with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago after completing his master of music studies under Jonathan Gunn in 2018 at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his B.M. in music performance from Rice University in 2014, where he studied with Richie Hawley.

While living in Houston, Nico was a founding member of the Noctua Wind Quintet, senior bronze medalists at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Additionally, Noctua has won prizes at the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, the Chamber Music Yellow Springs competition, and was the only American group invited to the live rounds of the 63rd ARD International Music Competition in 2014. Nico made his Kennedy Center Millennium Stage debut with the group that same year while on tour with Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Larry Rachleff. Nico also worked in operations for his hometown youth orchestra, Houston Youth Symphony.

During his time with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Nico collaborated with well-known artists such as Erina Yashima, Bramwell Tovey, Ken-David Masur, musicians from the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Nico currently serves as the bass clarinetist for the Ann Arbor-based Vanguard Reed Quintet is actively pursuing an orchestral career.

Who is your favorite musician/piece/song to listen to and why?

Classical: Lot of Beethoven, Ravel, Strauss, Schubert, and Brahms Non-Classical: Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse

What is your favorite piece to play or conduct?

Bartok Contrasts for clarinet, violin, and piano is some of the most fun chamber music ever written.

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