Player Spotlight ~ Michelle Kaczowka ~ Violinist

Opus 91, “Koff Vuillaume,” 1987

“I first got my Douglas Cox violin while a student in high school.  At the time, I was in need of a new violin, I learned of an instrument that I could try, and through luck, that instrument happened to be one made by Mr. Cox.  The decision to choose that violin was more than just the right decision; it was the beginning of an important part of my musical journey. 

As a high school student, I was very involved with musical studies.  I would spend Saturdays taking lessons, participating in orchestra, and playing chamber music.  As an undergraduate, I decided to major in science, but I still played violin.  Not long after finishing graduate school in education, I realized that I could still continue playing violin more than just occasionally.  I increased my practice time and became even more involved with musical activities. Today, I’m happy to say that I’m still playing my Douglas Cox violin.

Michelle KaczowkaMany of the positive experiences that I’ve had with my instrument may be summed up in terms of two major characteristics:  the violin’s sound quality and its versatility.  In recent performances of the second movement of the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, the violin delivered.  Not only did it produce a big sound which carried well in the performance spaces, but it was also capable of being subtle when it needed to be--particularly during passages which required less intensity.  Besides being effective during concerto solos or concertmaster solos, I’ve found that the instrument is also well suited for other musical experiences.  I appreciate the overall singing quality--whether playing Strauss waltzes, big band arrangements, or even pop music, for example.  I highly recommend a Douglas Cox violin to anyone who is looking to find that special instrument."   

Michelle Kaczowka started playing the violin at age eight and continued her musical studies at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School, where she participated in the Certificate Program, and was a member of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  A former student of Maria Benotti, Nancy Cirillo, Barbara Fayroian, and Dana Mazurkevich, Michelle has performed as part of WCRB Classical Concerts at the Hatch Shell, and has served as concertmaster of the Boston Bar Association Orchestra.  She currently serves as concertmaster of the Lowell Philharmonic and this past winter, returned as concertmaster for Tremont Temple Baptist Church’s production of G. F. Handel’s Messiah.  Michelle is a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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