Music is more than playing the right notes at the right time. Catherine Van Handel approaches each piece as an opportunity to sing through her instrument and connect with the audience. Utilizing style passed down from old-world, European musicians combined with a model mastery of technique and sound, Catherine’s playing has been hailed as “expressive” and “startlingly lyrical.”
“Catherine Van Handel’s solo debut album features her love of French and Latin American music. Although separated by an ocean and very different histories, what these cultures have in common is how they both really know how to showcase the bassoon. Each of the pieces chosen is sexy and fun—perhaps not always the immediate association with the bassoon—and each demonstrates the dance at the heart of the instrument, and just how lyrical and flirtatious it can be. Bassoon Soirée: From Latin America to Paris is now available for streaming, download, and CD purchase from the online store.” – Geoffrey Silver, Acis Productions
Catherine Van Handel is the Principal Bassoon of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2017. Prior to her current appointment, Van Handel was the Associate Principal Bassoon with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2015-2017 and the Principal Bassoon with the Harrisburg Symphony in 2014-2015. Van Handel has played with other well-renowned orchestras across the country including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra.
“Catherine [Van Handel] approached the solos with the vocal phrasing of a great singer.” (Shepherd Express)
Listen to Catherine’s orchestral excerpts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
While still early in her career, Catherine Van Handel is taking steps to increase her voice in the classical music industry. She is passionate about promoting classical music to a new generation as well as helping fellow musicians achieve their professional goals. She is actively engaged in inspiring young musicians and women to reach their full potential. Please contact her to share your thoughts on how she can better serve the community and advocate for the arts while she continually strives to build her network and reach across the classical music industry.
Catherine Van Handel is passionate about teaching and in sharing tools to help musicians practice and perform at the highest level. Catherine Van Handel is the adjunct professor of bassoon at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. If you are interested in studying with her privately, at the undergraduate and graduate programs at UWM, please do not hesitate to contact her via Contact form!