Bassist Kit Polen is acting Principal Bass in the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra for the 2018-2019 season. He performs regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee
Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Philharmonic in addition to being a member of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Rockford Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has performed with many artists including the Argus Quartet, Chai Collaborative Ensemble, and Leon Fleisher. Equally comfortable outside the traditional symphonic setting, Polen has collaborated with CSO’s MusicNOW series, the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, and has also been a part of multiple Grammy nominated R&B recordings.
Polen has been based in Chicago since 2011, when he joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago as Assistant Principal Bass. Prior to moving to Chicago, he earned his Master of Music from
Indiana University and his Bachelor of Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, near his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. He has spent summers studying and performing at multiple festivals including Aspen Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival. His most influential teachers and mentors include Bruce Bransby,
Lawrence Hurst, Craig Brown, Andrew Raciti, and Alexander Hanna.