Chris Olka head shot

Christopher Olka

Instrument: Tuba

Education: Bachelor of Music from the University of Central Florida, Master of Music from The Juilliard School

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

Neighborhood: California, Kentucky

Joined the CSO in 2016

Favorite orchestral work: Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony

Organizations and activities outside the CSO: Harmony for Heroes – this is my wife’s non-profit organization for veterans.

Fun fact about Chris: I love cats…a lot!

Funniest concert memory: My funniest concert memory was a Don Quixote performance with Lynn Harrell playing the solo cello part. In the middle of one of his solos, a cell phone started ringing. He stopped playing and scowled at the audience. Then resumed playing from the beginning of that solo passage. Again, the phone started ringing and he again stopped playing...this time realizing it was coming from his jacket pocket.

Where is the strangest place you’ve practiced? The backseat of a rental car while my wife drove us to visit our grandchildren in Florida! I had a big solo recording with my orchestra scheduled after our family visit.