Paul Straka has been a member of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1982 and has been a featured soloist throughout his tenure with the Chamber Orchestra. Straka began his early studies with Bruce Rardin of the Minnesota Orchestra, moving on to study at Indiana University with Phillip Farkas and Frank Brouk, in addition to private studies with Philip Myers of the New York Philharmonic. Paul’s career began with The Symphony Orchestra of Radio Italy in Turin followed by the 1982 United States tour of the Israel Philharmonic with Music Director Zubin Mehta. Straka was a featured guest artist with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon from 1993 – 2000 where he performed works which included Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra. Paul performs regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra, and joined them on their 2006 European tour which included The London Proms, as well as their 2008 performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 at Lincoln Center in New York's Avery Fischer Hall. In the summer of 2007 Straka made his debut at the Grand Tetons Music Festival with performances of Wagner’s Ring excerpts, also playing the Wagner tuba. Paul made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinnia in 2007 performing Bruckner’s Symphony No. 7. He returned to perform an all-Wagner program with them at Ravinnia in June of 2010. In his spare time Paul enjoys brewing beer, playing hockey, home renovations, canoeing in the Boundary Waters, fishing in Canada, and riding his motorcycles.