Recognized for her “sensitive and artistic” (Flute Talk Magazine) performances as “a communicator through music” (American Record Guide), flutist Catherine Ramirez has captivated listeners from her humble roots along the U.S. Southern border to audiences around the world. Despite a late start on the flute, Catherine has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at such venues as the Beijing Concert Hall (China), Teatro del Giglio (Italy), Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (NYC), the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Preston Bradley Hall (Chicago), Zilkha Hall (Houston), Zipper Hall (Los Angeles), and Temple Square (Salt Lake City), as well as “The Barn” of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (CT), and the artist lofts of Lowertown in St. Paul (MN).
Equally at home with symphony, ballet and opera orchestras, Catherine has performed with the El Paso Symphony, El Paso Opera, Juarez Symphony (Mexico), Las Cruces Symphony, Houston Ballet, Vermont Mozart Festival, Mill City Summer Opera, the Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The strength of her adaptability, honed through diverse musical ventures, extends to musical theatre and popular music, including recent performances in the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand show with “Weird Al” Yankovic, “The Who” on their Moving On Tour, and the Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera” Tour (MN).
A 2021 winner of a McKnight Fellowship for Musicians, she also won three top prizes at the “Città di Padova” International Music Competitions in Italy, a First Prize at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, a Global Music Award for Outstanding Achievement, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant, an Ernst Krenek Society Recording Prize, a New Music Grant from the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust, and a SphinxConnect Fellowship. Catherine is a dedicated educator and member of the flute community. She has a Special Appointment as Artist-in-Residence at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where she has taught flute and chamber music since 2010. She has served as president of the Upper Midwest Flute Association and as a member of the Cultural Outreach Committee of the National Flute Association (NFA). Catherine has also adjudicated for the Puerto Rico Flute Symposium, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and has taught youth to graduate flute students in masterclasses in the U.S., Italy, Colombia, and China.
Motivated to give back to communities in which she has lived, Catherine taught middle school band in El Paso, organized a concert series of accessible Latin and South American chamber music for Houston’s ‘at-risk’ youth, performed for nuns in Bogotà (Colombia), and played a tailored program for cancer patients and therapists at mental health clinics in Minnesota. She has offered her perspective on the Diversity and Inclusion Panel of the NFA, the ‘Greater Than’ Faculty Mental Health Panel (St. Olaf College), and the Houston Hispanic Forum (Hispanic Career and Education Day at the George Brown Convention Center). She has released two recordings: Transformation (independent) and Shelter From The Storm (Albany Records). Her performances have been broadcast on WFMT, KUHF and MPR radio, and her research on optimal musical communication has been featured on the cover of The Flutist Quarterly and in The Flute View online magazine.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, to Colombian and Mexican-American parents, Catherine grew up in the U.S.-Mexico border city of El Paso, Texas. She began playing the flute in the sixth grade public school band, and started private flute lessons at age 18. She earned performance degrees from Occidental College (BA), the Boccherini Music Institute in Italy (Honors Diploma), Queens College (MA), Yale University School of Music (MM), and Rice University (DMA). Her major teachers include Melissa Colgin-Abeln, Gary Woodward, Marzio Conti, Tara Helen O'Connor, Ransom Wilson and Leone Buyse. A lover of travel, languages, and science fiction shows, she resides with her husband and their dog in Minnesota.
Since 2019, Catherine Ramirez plays on a Lillian Burkart Flute with a Tobias Mancke Headjoint. For more information, please visit www.catherineramirez.com.