Player Spotlight ~ Helen Chesworth, Chemical Engineer, Chamber Musician

Opus 405, “Leduc” Guarneri del Gesù violin, 1999

Helen Chesworth with 3 friends and 5 Cox instruments, at KentMusic 2011. Bob McGuigan, Helen Chesworth, Gennifer Sussman and Arnold Mazie with Viola, Violin, Violin, Viola, Violin: all Cox instruments.

“I like the clarity of sound and the tone it produces. Buying the violin inspired me to take my playing to the next level and I started taking lessons again.”

I started learning piano when I was maybe 4 or 5 and shortly afterwards I started learning violin. My parents encouraged us (my brother is also musical) in music and started taking us to orchestra concerts at an early age.

I always said I wanted to play the violin, although I no longer remember why. My great-grandfather was an amateur violinist so maybe it's in the genes!!

#405, Leduc del GesùI have been a member of Holyoke Civic Symphony Orchestra since I moved to Western MA in 2000. I heard about The Chamber Music Network (ACMP) when I moved to the area and contacted some names in the directory — at which point my love of chamber music started! I play in a regular quartet and with other ad hoc groups at every opportunity, and also participate in several workshops during the year. I also play viola with Old Post Road Orchestra in my town of Wilbraham, MA.

I am a Chemical Engineer by training and work for a chemical company called Solutia (we make the interlayer that goes into car windshields to stop them shattering). In 2006, as Continuous Improvement Team Leader for the site I performed a key role in a project to improve the cost position and culture for the site. For this I was awarded the Chairman's Operational Excellence Award which was presented by the CEO. This award was some money to purchase a new violin! I contacted Stacey Styles, a violin restoration expert based near me, and she suggested I contact Doug. I guess the rest is history!

I moved to the US for my job. I grew up in a town called Wrexham in North Wales and was very fortunate to be exposed to a large amount of music, particularly Youth Orchestras. My high point was playing in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. I have 2 cats and practice Ashtanga Yoga.

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