Cristina Pato is a virtuosa of the Galician bagpipe (gaita), a classical pianist, and a passionate educator. Hailed as “a virtuosic burst of energy” by the New York Times and as “one of the living masters of the gaita” by the Wall Street Journal, she has devoted her professional life to cultural exchange and to forging new paths for the Galician bagpipe. Pato has performed on major stages throughout the world and has released and produced six solo gaita albums and two solo piano recordings. She has also collaborated on more than forty records as a guest artist.
Education is a critical part of Pato’s personal and professional life. She serves as Silkroad’s education ensemble advisor, and she is an artist-in-residence at Harvard University and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she develops interdisciplinary educational projects on the role of arts in society. She holds a doctorate of musical arts in collaborative piano from Rutgers University in New Jersey; degrees in piano, music theory, and chamber music from the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain; and a master of fine arts in computer music from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, also in Barcelona. She is the founder of the Galician Connection Festival and writes a bimonthly column for the Spanish newspaper El Correo Gallego. In 2017, Cristina Pato was named Blodgett Distinguished Artist in Residence at Harvard University.
She is a virtuoso, and when she opens the floodgates of her technique . . . the force can knock you back a few steps.
—New York Times