Herine Coetzee Koschak


“… an ardent performance … impressive facility … flamboyant virtuosity …  all communicated with spirit and dedication by Koschak.”  

-Lawrence Johnson, Chicago Classical Review


Cellist Herine Coetzee Koschak is on a lifelong quest to engage in meaningful and personal exchanges through music. Herine was the cellist of the acclaimed Fifth House Ensemble (5HE), co-founding the group in 2005 and performing for its duration until 2022. With 5HE, she performed on local and national concert series including the Grand Teton Music Festival, Crested Butte Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, and the Eastman School of Music, as well as on the Cedille, Naxos, Tzadik and Materia Collective record labels.

Herine has performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the National Repertory Orchestra, the Nittany Valley Symphony, and International Chamber Artists. She was featured as the cello soloist for the video game playthrough performances of Journey LIVE, which toured internationally. Other credits include those with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, eighth blackbird, REM bassist Mike Mills, Michael McDonald, and KYGO.

A champion of new music, Herine has premiered scores by Stacy Garrop, Caleb Burhans, John Zorn, Shawn Okpebholo, and Dan Visconti. She has performed as an artist faculty member at Madeleine Island Music Festival (2008), New Music on the Point (2011), the Fresh Inc Festival (2012-2021), and Chamber Music on the Mountain (2022).

As a passionate advocate of equity in arts education, Herine was the Co-Artistic Director of the Suzuki-Alegre Strings program at the Merit School of Music, where she taught cello and launched programs for young people in some of Chicago’s most impoverished communities. She also served as the lead teaching artist for Fifth House Ensemble in an 8-year residency at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, co-creating musical projects with youth experiencing incarceration.

Herine resides in Deerfield, IL with her husband, Matt, her son, Teo, and their Miniature Australian Shepherd, Scarlett. She loves paddleboarding with her family, training Scarlett to become a therapy dog, and the challenge of utilizing the contents of her weekly CSA produce box.