Chuck Bontrager

Chuck Bontrager is the very definition of the the versatile 21st-century musician: classically trained, experienced in multiple performance styles, and fluent in several variations of his instrument (viola, violin, baritone viola (chin-cello), mandolin and mandola, and especially his 7-string Viper electric violins). He is capable as a performer, arranger, and conductor, is wholly dedicated to the advancement of his instrument and the education of new generations, and is scheduled to receive the world’s first Doctorate in Electric Strings in August of 2024.

As a performer, Chuck currently serves as Concertmaster of the National touring company of Moulin Rouge: The Musical. He has performed in over twenty other productions on the Broadway In Chicago series, as well as shows with Drury Lane Oak Brook, Marriott Lincolnshire, Chicago Shakespeare, Court, Northlight, Steppenwolf, and The Goodman theaters. He has appeared with almost every major symphony orchestra in the Chicago area, including the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lake Forest Symphony, the Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also performs regularly as String Captain with local tribute giants Tributosaurus and heavy-prog stalwarts Nomadic Horizon.

Chuck teaches at Columbia College Chicago and privately online. He is an experienced private lesson and group class teacher, chamber coach, Rock Band instructor, and clinician; his Bowed Metal demonstrations are a frequent addition to school curricula, most recently at the Merit School of Music in Chicago and the Berklee College of Music in Boston.