Jean Hatmaker

Principal Cello


Elmhurst, Illinois

Bachelor of Music, Indiana University, ’06
Master of Music, Indiana University, ’08

Additional music study at the Banff Centre and Lucerne Festival Academy

Professional Musician

About Jean

Known for her soulful, expressive playing style, cellist Jean Hatmaker is one of the most versatile musicians in the Chicago area with a diverse portfolio of solo and collaborative projects across a wide range of musical and interdisciplinary settings. Her engaging and intuitive demeanor has made her a sought-after collaborator, from the Bach Cantata Vespers Series at Grace Lutheran Church of River Forest, IL and various classical chamber and orchestral ensembles, to performances with contemporary and folk musicians, and dance companies all across the country such as Hubbard Street Dance and Malashock Dance Company. Recent highlights include performing as solo cellist in the onstage band of Broadway in Chicago’s production of Oklahoma!, continuo cello for St. John Passion with the Apollo Chorus, and the 2021 release of her album, Modern Muses, with soprano Josefien Stoppelenburg, on Navona Records.

Ms. Hatmaker is a founding member of the Chicago-based Kontras Quartet, a beloved ensemble known for its well-crafted performances, diverse programming, and accessible audience relations. Kontras Quartet has brought its message of inclusivity to concerts across the US, Europe, and Africa, and frequently performs with bluegrass trio the Kruger Brothers, with whom they have appeared at festivals including Telluride, MerleFest, and IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass, as well as the Late Show with David Letterman. Kontras Quartet has released three commercial albums: Lucid Dreamer and Roan Mountain Suite with the Kruger Brothers, on Double Time Records; and Origins, on MSR Records. 

Ms. Hatmaker is on faculty at Elmhurst University and also has a private studio in her home in Oak Park; she frequently teaches as a guest clinician at schools across the country. She is a passionate advocate for mental health among teens and young adults, and holds a certification in Mental Health First Aid. Currently she serves as recording secretary on the board of directors for the Musicians Club of Women, a longstanding organization in Chicago devoted to supporting women in music. She received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from Indiana University, where she studied with Helga Winold and Janos Starker, and plays a modern cello by Lawrence Wilke, using Hill and Bearden bows.

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To A New World

Jean Hatmaker will perform with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 7:00 PM. Learn more >>>

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