Principal Tuba of The Phoenix Symphony and tubist for Seraph Brass, Cristina Cutts Dougherty grew up in South Africa, England, New York, and New Mexico. She began her tuba studies with Dr. Richard Antoine White in Albuquerque, and went on to graduate with honors from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2015, where she was a pupil of trombonist Thomas Riccobono for two years. In 2019, she received her Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from the Colburn School, studying with Norman Pearson, and in 2022 she graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music with an Artist Diploma after three years of study with Craig Knox and Paul Krzywicki.
Cristina joined The Phoenix Symphony in 2023, making her only the second woman to win a full-time position in an American orchestra, and the first latina woman to do so. Formerly Principal Tuba for the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Cristina has held the position of Acting Principal Tuba for the Britt Festival Orchestra since 2022, and has been a guest tubist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and the Louisville Orchestra. During her school years, Cristina was a tuba fellow with the National Repertory Orchestra, and held the position of Principal Tuba with both Symphony in C outside of Philadelphia, and the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles. She held the 2020/2021 tuba fellowship for the Music Academy of the West, and received the Alumni Enterprise Award in 2021. Cristina is also a proud recipient of several grants from the Sphinx Organization's National Alliance for Audition Support.
Cristina began her solo career after winning First Prize at the International Tuba & Euphonium Young Artist Competition in 2016. That same year, she was unanimously chosen as the winner of the National Symphony's Summer Music Institute concerto competition and as a result she performed the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto in the Kennedy Center. Upon moving to Los Angeles for her undergraduate studies, she was recognized as the “Most Promising Talent," of the Pasadena Showcase Instrumental Competition for woodwinds, brass, and strings, and went on in 2017 to win the Grand Prize overall in the same competition - the first tubist in the history of the competition to do so, and the youngest candidate in that year’s final round. Cristina has appeared as a soloist with the Colburn Orchestra and was a National YoungArts Foundation Medalist, and can be heard on the radio show Performance Today with Fred Child, for which she was a Young Artist in Residence in 2021.
A passionate chamber musician and educator, Cristina has toured extensively with Seraph Brass as a Live on Stage concert artist, and performed and served as a guest artist for prominent festivals and educational institutions across the world, including Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, Brevard Music Center, The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” American Trombone Workshop, Chautauqua Institution, University of Toronto, University of North Texas, and Chamber Music Raleigh. Cristina has presented masterclasses to university students around the country, and has served as a faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Camp.