Kristen Bruya joined the Minnesota Orchestra as principal bass in February 2015. Prior to this, she was the assistant principal bass of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 2010 through 2014, and a member of Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s bass section from 2006 to 2010. She received an undergraduate degree in music from the University of Michigan, did extended studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and received a Master of Music from Rice University. From 2000-2004, she was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.
Kristen loves collaborating in chamber music and has performed with various groups in the Twin Cities as well as with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival from 2013-2015. She teaches privately, and has presented masterclasses at New World Symphony, Northwestern University, Peabody, Indiana University, and the University of Houston, among other schools. From 2011-14 she taught at the University of Toronto. She is also currently serving as a member of New World Symphony's newly formed Alumni Advisory Committee and is looking forward to collaborating with alumni and current Fellows.
Aside from music, Kristen is passionate about Bikram's hot yoga. A silver lining of the Covid pandemic was the opportunity to pursue a teacher training program offered by Minneapolis Yoga, where she's practiced since moving to the Twin Cities. She currently both practices and teaches yoga at Minneapolis Yoga and is pursuing OHYA certification as a yoga instructor. Kristen also enjoys cooking, reading, and walking her dog around Minneapolis's beautiful parks and lakes. She resides in south Minneapolis with her husband Andy Chappell, bass trombonist of the Minnesota Orchestra.