Catherine O'Shaughnessy

Music Director


Catherine O’Shaughnessy is a rising orchestral and opera conductor in the United States and abroad. Her performances have earned rave reviews from the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Classical Review (“great skill, alertness and sensitivity”), and Vocal Arts Chicago (“resourcefulness…scrappiness and...fierce concentration”). Avidly committed to Chicago’s dynamic opera scene, she is currently the music director of Chicago Fringe Opera, the city's “alt-opera company” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune), which brings to life recent English-language works in immersive, site-specific and experiential settings. In 2020, she proudly helped produce Fringe’s contribution to the Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales From a Safe Distance—winner of the “Best Collaboration” award from 360° of Opera—which makes innovative use of technology to reimagine this art for challenging new circumstances.


A semi-finalist in the 2016 Spazio Musica International Conducting Competition, Catherine made her New York debut conducting Antonio Salieri’s La Cifra with the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble. She has also music directed Pyramus and Thisbe in Freiberg (Mittelsächsisches Theater) and conducted Don Giovanni and La Traviata in Orvieto (Teatro Mancinelli). In 2013 she conducted the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra at a sold-out performance in Tchaikovsky Hall, and in 2017 she guest-conducted the Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra (Manchester, UK). Catherine holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral and opera conducting from Arizona State University, where she was a student of William Reber and Timothy Russell.

Catherine O'Shaughnessy