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Janet Kutulas

El Sobrante, CA

A native Bay Area resident, Janet Kutulas graduated as a flutist from the SF Conservatory of Music in 1988. She was a longtime member of both the Berkeley Symphony and the California Symphony, as well as the Lamplighter’s Orchestra.  In 1980 she was awarded the prestigious  Hertz Fellowship from the University of California in Berkeley and relocated to the Chicago area for further studies. She was subsequently awarded a stipend position by the Chicago Symphony as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training program of the symphony. While in Chicago, she also performed with the New Arts Ensemble and the Illinois Philharmonic and other regional ensembles.  Back in the Bay Area, she was a founding member and the flutist (for 15 years) with the Bay Area new music ensemble EARPLAY, an instrumental chamber group that performs newly written works by living Composers. She also performed new music with Composers Inc., the left Coast Chamber Players, and the SF Symphony’s New and Unusual Music Series. She taught flute professionally in both the Bay Area and the Chicago area for over 30 years.

Kutulas joined KITKA in 1988, when she broke both her hands in a cycling accident and was temporarily unable to play her flute. She was a co-director of the group for 13 years (1997-2010) and is currently a core member and directs the Kitka Community Chorus Zele. She has performed, toured and recorded with the group for over 26 years. During this time she has trained with KITKA mentors, Tzvetanka Varimezova, Kremena Stancheva, Mariana Sadovska, Svetlana Spaič, Carl Linich, Hasmik Harutyunyan and others. She has also led numerous Eastern European vocal workshops for children and adults, taught Eastern European vocal technique classes at both Mills College and the Jazz School, and was a co-director of the Polyphonia Girls Choir. She has performed with KITKA as a singer with A.C.T.;  Les Mystere de Voix Bulgares; Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir; Marcel Khalife; and on Prairie Home Companion, and has been broadcast widely with Kitka on the CBC (Radio Canada), and Ukrainian, Bulgarian, German and Georgian national radio and television, and on American public television stations. As a composer/arranger for the group, Kutulas has been the recipient of commissioning awards from The East Bay Community Foundation, the NEA and the Rockefeller’s MAP Fund. Her vocal arrangements are featured on KITKA recordings.