2019/20 King Juan Carlos I Chair in Spanish Culture And Civilization

Cristina Pato

Image from Cristina Pato

The King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center is pleased to announce that Cristina Pato, Galician bagpiper, musician, writer, producer, and educator, will serve as King Juan Carlos Chair for the 2019-2020 academic year. Dr. Pato will be organizing and hosting a series of public events at the KJCC in the Fall of 2019. In the Spring of 2020, she will be teaching an interdisciplinary music and culture course titled “The Invisible Music of Northern Spain” during her teaching residency at NYU.

Dr. Pato is the first musician to serve as King Juan Carlos Chair at New York University. She is an internationally acclaimed Galician bagpipe (gaita) master, classical pianist and educator. She is also a writer, composer, and producer. She has performed on major stages throughout the world, including regular tours in the U.S. and Europe and sporadic tours in India, Jerusalem, Angola, China, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and her native Spain.

She is the leader of the Cristina Pato Quartet (USA), the Cristina Pato Galician Trio (Europe) and an active producer and artistic director of multidiscipinary events (including her own festival, Galician Connection).

Dr. Pato serves as Learning Advisor for Silkroad (founded by Yo-Yo Ma) and is an active touring artist and composer.

In 1999, Cristina Pato became the first female gaita player to release a solo album, and since then she has collaborated with world music, jazz, classical and experimental artists (including Chicago Symphony, Yo-Yo Ma, Arturo O’Farril, New York Philharmonic, Paquito D’Rivera and dancers Damian Woetzel and Lil’ Buck).

Dr. Pato has released and produced six solo gaita recordings and two as a pianist. She has collaborated on more than 40 recordings as a guest artist, including the Grammy Award winner Yo-Yo Ma and Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace (SONY BMG 2008) and the jazz album Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain (Entertainment One Music, 2011). She is also featured in the documentary “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble” directed by academy award winner director Morgan Neville.

In 2012 Cristina Pato wrote “My Lethe Story: The River of Forgetfulness”, a storytelling-chamber music piece commissioned by Silkroad, which premiered at Harvard University. The piece combines Cristina’s passion for neuroscience and the personal story of her mother’s memory loss. The piece engaged the combined power of art and science in academic institutions.

Cristina Pato holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (NJ), where she was awarded the Edna Mason Scholarship and the Irene Alm Memorial Prize for excellence in scholarly research and performance. Ms. Pato holds degrees in Piano Performance, Music Theory and Chamber Music from the Conservatorio de Musica del Liceu (Barcelona). She also holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Arts (Computer Music) from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).

Dr. Pato was Mellon Visiting Artist in Residence for the 2014-2015 season at the College of Holy Cross. She has been a scholar-in-residence developing an interdisciplinary collaborative curriculum at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught “Memory: An Interdisciplinary Exploration” with Prof. Ken Kosik (Neuroscience), Prof. Kim Yasuda (Spatial Art) and Prof. Mary Hancock (Anthropology). Dr. Pato also served as Blodgett Distinguished Artist in Residence at Harvard University (Department of Music) in 2017. Dr. Pato’s records LATINA (Sunnyside Records 2015) and MIGRATIONS (Sunnyside Records 2013) have been the basis of her explorations of cultural identity through the arts in US academic settings.

In 2014 Pato’s groundbreaking Gaita and Orchestra Commissioning Project was awarded a grant from New Music USA to build a repertoire for gaita and symphony orchestra. Galician bagpipe concertos commissioned by Pato have been premiered with Sphinx Orchestra in Detroit, Chicago Sinfonietta in Chicago, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès in Barcelona and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Cristina Pato is a member of the Artist Committee of the arts advocacy organization, Americans for the Arts. An active lecturer, writer, panelist and public speaker, Dr. Pato also writes a popular weekly column for Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia titled “The Art of Restlessness”.