Player Spotlight ~ Michelle Liechti ~
Violinist, Teacher, Gardener

Opus 277, 1790 Storioni, 2006

Opus 642, ¾ Stradivari model ~ 336 mm, 2009

Michelle Liechti with Adrian“I played one of Doug’s violins when I first moved to the area as a poor starving musician and vowed to get one as soon as I could. My first Cox is a beautiful Storioni copy (his first). Then along came a 3/4 that I was to give to one of my students to break in and I fell in love with it. I am 4’8’’ and have always struggled with my fiddle size-wise. To play a smaller fiddle with a full-size sound and a “big heart” was like a miracle and has been a huge inspiration for me.

The thing I like the most about Doug’s instruments is that they seem to be alive and each has a unique essence. The two instruments that I play spoke to me the very moment I put a bow to their strings.”Violin #642

Michelle Liechti teaches violin to students of all levels and ages at the Brattleboro Music Center and to high-school students at Northfield Mount Hermon School. She is a member of Arcadia Players, and plays free-lance gigs both near and far.

The product of a very successful Public School Suzuki program, Michelle spent a year at the San Francisco Conservatory before receiving a Bachelor of Music from Mills College. She studied with David Abel at at both institutions, and developed her love for baroque music with Lorette Goldberg at SFC and Susan Summerfield at Mills.

Kato Havas played a huge role in Liechti’s development as a teacher and as a player. She has worked with Kato Havas from the age of 16, attending numerous workshops both in Brattleboro VT and Angwin CA. She studied with her as an undergraduate in a study abroad program while at Mills,and as a graduate as an independent study. Last January she returned to Oxford for a refresher course and was deeply inspired by the 89-year-old Kato, who is as wise and insightful as ever.

She moved to Brattleboro in 1989 as an au-pair and ended up falling in love with Southern Vermont, and has been thriving her since. She lives with her Swiss husband Nicolas on a mini-farm called Half Acre Farm where they raise rabbits and chickens. Their garden fills the freezer and occupies a large chunk of their time, along with flower-gardening and knitting. She is discovering late Beethoven Quartets with her colleagues at the BMC, is an aspiring amateur cellist and plays regularly in a piano trio and a cello quartet.

Photo of Michelle with student by Chris Triebert, Rock River Studio, South Newfane, Vermont
Courtesy Brattleboro Music Center
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