Musician, writer, educator and producer, Cristina Pato, has been hailed as “a virtuosic burst of energy” by The New York Times. After 25 years of experience as a professional musician, touring around the world with the Galician bagpipes and piano, Cristina now channels her creativity into writing, producing, and teaching, focusing on the role of the arts in society.

Cristina has served as a visiting professor and artist-in-residence at New York University (NYU), Harvard University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Additionally, she collaborated for over fifteen years with The Silkroad Project, the non-profit organization founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  

Since 2017, Cristina writes a weekly column titled “The Art of Restlessness” for Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia for which she was awarded the XVII Afundación Journalism Prize: Fernández del Riego. In 2022 she published her debut novel “No día do seu enterro” (“On His Burial Day”) with Editorial Galaxia (Colección Literaria, 2022), now in its third edition.

During her professional career as a musician, Cristina Pato has published six gaita recordings and two as a pianist. Additionally, she has also collaborated as a guest artist on several albums, including the Grammy Award winners “Yo-Yo Ma and Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace” (SONY BMG 2008) and “Sing me Home: Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble” (SONY Masterworks, 2016). She has also contributed to the jazz album “Miles Español: New Sketches of Spain” (Entertainment One Music, 2011), a tribute to Miles Davis, and appeared in the documentary film “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble” (HBO, 2015), directed by Morgan Neville.

Since 1999, her musical and cultural interests have led her to collaborate with world music, jazz, classical and experimental artists, including her mentor Yo-Yo Ma, Osvaldo Golijov, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Arturo O’Farrill, and dancers Damian Woetzel and Lil’ Buck. Cristina’s unique and powerful style has been acclaimed on numerous occasions by The New York Times and praised by The Wall Street Journal and Downbeat Magazine.

During her prolific career as a performer, she led the Cristina Pato QUARTET (USA), the Cristina Pato GALICIAN TRIO (Europe), and co-created the SOAS Duet with singer Rosa Cedrón and the Invisible(s) Project with Mazz Swift. Apart from commissioning more than a dozen works for Galician bagpipe and different ensembles, including the concerto for Gaita and orchestra “Widows of the Living and of the Dead” composed by Octavio Vázquez and recorded by Real Filharmonía de Galicia in 2018 (Odradek Records, 2021).

Cristina has collaborated with the Silkroad Project, the organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma, since 2006. With the Silkroad Ensemble (2006-2020) she has toured China, South Korea, Australia, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Europe and the USA, performing in iconic stages such as Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl or China’s National Center for the Performing Arts. With Silkroad she has also served as Learning Advisor (2014-2019) collaborating closely in planning residencies and learning activities, including the multi-year partnership with Harvard University, serving also as faculty member for “The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Summer Institute” for artists and educators, designed in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

In her career as an educator, Cristina has developed her own path to use the arts as a collaborative bridge between the humanities and the sciences in academic institutions. Since 2012 she has worked with different universities developing projects that foster collaboration between departments and disciplines. In 2016 she began an on-going collaboration with University of California, Santa Barbara with an interdisciplinary class named “Memory: An Interdisciplinary Exploration”, co-created and co-taught by Cristina Pato, and professors Kenneth S. Kosik (Neuroscience), Kim Yasuda (Spatial Art) and Mary Hancock (Anthropology), serving as the Arnhold Distinguished Visiting Professor. In 2017 she served as Blodgett Distinguished Artist in Residence at Harvard University (collaborating with professors Kay Shelemay and Michael Uy at the Department of Music), and in the 2019-2020 academic year she served as Chair of Spanish Culture and Civilization at the King Juan Carlos I Center at New York University (NYU). Since 2021 Cristina collaborates with musician and pediatrician Dr. Lisa M. Wong, at Harvard’s Mind Brain Behavior Interfaculty Initiative, co-creating and co-teaching a seminar named “Creativity at the Edge: Health, Music and Community” 

As a writer and columnist, in 2015 she began her press collaborations writing a biweekly column for El Correo Gallego, and since 2017 Cristina writes a popular weekly column for Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia titled “The Art of Restlessness” for which she was awarded the XVII Afundación Journalism Prize: Fernández del Riego. In 2022 she published her first novel “No día do seu enterro” (“On his burial day”) with Editorial Galaxia (Colección Literaria, 2022), now in its third edition.

As an independent producer, Cristina specializes in events and projects developed at the intersection between art and society, including the ESENCIAIS 20/50 initiative (in collaboration with CUNDE and Xaime Fandiño), The Galician Connection Festival, and two days of culture in action for Yo-Yo Ma’s global Bach Project

During her career Cristina has received numerous awards, including the Committed Artist Award granted by the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, the Castelao Medal (the greatest honor presented by the Galician Government), the Premio Trasalba and the Galician Culture Award.

Cristina divides her time between New York City and Galicia and shares her life with photographer Xan Padrón