Artist Bio

Haddon Kay, cello

Born in 1999, Chinese-American cellist Haddon Kay began studying cello at the age of four. He first gained recognition when he became a finalist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition and performed the Barber Cello Concerto with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The following summer, he became the Principal Cellist of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas for an international tour in Asia. Kay received his bachelor’s degree in 2022 from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Northwestern, where he studies with Hans Jørgen Jensen as a recipient of the Eckstein Scholarship. Additionally, Kay competed in the Queen Elisabeth Cello Competition in Belgium and was a winner of Northwestern University’s Concerto/Aria Competition, culminating in a performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Victor Yampolsky. Kay is a founding member of the Galvin Cello Quartet, formed in 2021 at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, which recently won Concert Artists Guild’s 2022 Victor Elmaleh Competition and the Silver Medal at the 2021 Fischoff Competition. He has also appeared four times as a semi-finalist at the Fischoff Competition and has won first prizes at the Rembrandt and Discover chamber music competitions as a member of various ensembles. As the cellist of those ensembles, he has also appeared on NPR’s From the Top and on Chicago radio’s WFMT Introductions. In addition to playing the cello, Kay is an avid volleyball player and was on Northwestern University’s men’s club volleyball team.

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