I met Doug in the 1970's when he worked for J. Bradley Taylor in Boston. Doug was someone I came to rely on for work on my instrument at that time. I received a card from him inviting me to visit his shop, then in Watertown. I went, and when I saw a violin hanging "in the white", I quipped, "I want that one!" Doug explained that that particular instrument was destined to be a Baroque violin. At that, I asked for a first option, and I did purchase that violin, his number 29, and play on it happily until I returned it to Doug last year as I purchased my current Baroque violin, "Leduc" Guarneri copy. In the mid-1980's, my future husband Peter and I visited Doug in his shop at the Putney School, where Peter commissioned viola #61, and I purchased one of Doug's modern violins. I have since commissioned a copy of my 1793 Joseph Gagliano, and then acquired the second copy that was made, which I own and enjoy now. — Maria Benotti
Violinist Maria Benotti founded Music at Eden’s Edge, the North Shore’s own resident chamber music ensemble, in 1982. As its Artistic Director, she has shaped its programs and artistic vision while performing for 30 seasons. Active in Boston’s vibrant musical scene, she is a member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where she has taught violin, chamber music and Sonata Duo class since 1977, as well as having offered a course in string pedagogy in the School for Continuing Education.
Ms. Benotti has performed in recitals and chamber concerts throughout New England, including a Jordan Hall solo recital and numerous faculty recitals at New England Conservatory, the Enchanted Circle Series at Jordan Hall, the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival, the Monadnock Music Festival and the Music at Noon Series at Northeastern University. She is a founding member of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston. She appeared for years as concertmaster and chamber performer on modern violin with the St. John’s Concert Series in Beverly Farms and performed for many years on early violin with the Handel and Haydn Society. She has recorded for Friedrich von Huene and composer Howard Rovics, and she has served as a competition judge for New England Conservatory, The Boston Guitarfest, the Longy School of Music and Tufts University. She was recently named “Friend of the Arts” by the Boston Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.
A graduate of Oberlin College and New England Conservatory of Music, Ms. Benotti studied with Eric Rosenblith, Dorothy DeLay, Masuko Ushioda and Valeria Kuchment. Her chamber music studies included such master teachers as Josef Gingold, Eric Rosenblith, Donald Weilerstein, David Wells, and Michael Schnitzler in Vienna. She studied with Günter Pichler while a special student at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria.
Ms. Benotti lives on a working farm in Essex, MA and enjoys the interplay of a well-grounded connection with the earth and the artistic demands of teaching and playing the violin.
John Bergin plays on Cox violin #551, patterned after a violin by J. B. Vuillaume which was in turn a copy of a violin by Joseph Guarneri "del Gesù", formerly owned and played by Robert Koff.
John is the youngest of 5 in a family that appreciates music. His dad is a violist and a microtonal composer, his mom a pianist. John started Suzuki lessons at age 5 on a 1/10 size violin.
John plays in both NEC's Youth Repertory Orchestra and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He went to Interlochen Arts Camp for 5 summers, studying violin and playing in the orchestras and chamber groups. In 2010 he went to England on tour with the BYSO.
John is on a local swim team, swimming breaststroke and butterfly. He is teaching himself guitar and has sung with friends in local acoustic performances as well as in youth group at church. He is a Boy Scout, working on badges to get ready to go for his Eagle Scout rank.
I'm always very proud of my Cox violin which I call Pippin, partly for obvious reasons, and partly because it has a golden, crunchy, juicy sound like the apple. I am still loving this violin you made.
I was born in Zambia to British parents and raised in Africa and the Middle East, where I was self-taught on the violin. At the age of eighteen I gained a place at the Royal College of Music and so returned to England, where I was fortunate enough to study with John Ludlow (violin) and Andrew Manze (baroque violin), both of whom were incredibly inspiring teachers. Though it is now sixteen years since I graduated, I still feel I am learning from what they both taught me.
In my final year at college I took a trip to the US as part of a Morris Dancing tour and it was there that I was introduced to Doug Cox. He had three violins for sale in his studio at the time and I tried them all and fell in love with one in particular - a copy of Stradivarius' Ginn violin. Doug very kindly allowed me to take it back to England to show to my teacher and I bought it forthwith and have never regretted it for a minute!
In 2000 I emigrated to Australia with my husband and baby to live in Brisbane. I'm afraid the violin - which I christened “Pippin” because of it's beautiful orange-golden sound - and because it is a Cox - remained in its case for a few years while I concentrated on my family and settling into a new country. When my three children began to get older and less demanding I started playing again and I now freelance here in Brisbane. I get to play a huge variety of music and feel very lucky.
I play regularly with the Queensland Pops orchestra, which might mean anything from performing Gilbert and Sullivan with Opera Australia to performing in the City Botanical Garden with Australia's biggest pop and country stars and live tiger cubs! I have also done a bit of casual work with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, playing for the Paris Opera Ballet and the Nacional Ballet de Cuba. In May, I did a short tour of outback Victoria with my piano trio, Wine and Olives, (Delena Gaffney, piano; Lucy Bignall, violin and Chris Patrick, cello). It was an amazing experience, playing in village halls and a lovely old Bishop's Lodge which looked like an old English manor house - but was made from pressed tin. I am also concertmaster of a community orchestra which is great fun - we have people as young as fourteen and as old as eighty, from all walks of life - students, army musicians, ex-professionals, doctors, lawyers and a Supreme Court Judge!
When not playing Pippin, I get to do my most important job, being mother/cook/chauffeur. I am also trying to break into the world of the published author, with two books and numerous short stories. Am planning a book about the world of string quartet “gigging,” which should be fun!
Lucy Bignall, with "Pippin"
I met Douglas Cox and my first Cox violin back in 2006 while on a family trip to the east coast. It was a great instrument and I thought I might keep it for the rest of my life, but in March 2013, I happened to be visiting Boston on the same day as Doug's monthly trip, and made arrangements to try out some of his newer instruments. I wasn't really in the market for a new violin, especially since I was heading to graduate school in physics, but as soon as I played a few notes on Opus 745, a copy of Jamie Laredo's Montagnana, I immediately knew I wanted it to be a part of my life.
Thanks to Doug for being flexible for a few months while I figured out how to pay for it, The Montagnana has a clear, big, and bright sound and is even easier to play than my first, a Strad model. It inspires me to practice harder and play more beautifully since I can tell its capabilities are far above my own. I'm excited about the music I'll be able to make with it over the next several years, and am grateful for the profound influence my Cox violins have had on my musical development. — Celeste Carruth
Celeste Carruth began studying violin at the age of five, and recently graduated with degrees in physics and violin performance from the University of Michigan. Although her childhood dream was to become a professional violinist, she is now a physics PhD student at the University of California Berkeley and aspires to work on physics research during the day and make music in her free time.
As a high school student, Celeste studied with Gerald Elias for a few years but then moved from Utah to Boston to study with Marylou Churchill and participate in New England Conservatory's preparatory division, where she also studied chamber music and composition and was a member of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. She has spent summers studying music at the Heifetz International Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Chautauqua Institution, where she performed as principal second and concertmaster of the Music School Festival Orchestra.
As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, she performed in the University Symphony Orchestra and also held positions in the Dearborn Symphony and the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and performed in the premier of a new musical, "Placebo." Her undergraduate physics research was based on the K0TO experiment, a high energy particle physics experiment, which gave her the opportunity to spend two summers working at a proton accelerator in Japan. In addition to teaching physics, taking physics classes, and working on ALPHA, an antihydrogen experiment located at CERN, Celeste also enjoys playing in UC Berkeley's Symphony Orchestra and studying composition.
Celeste Carruth, busking in San Francisco. Photo by Ayman Mobarak
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. -- Helen Chesworth
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!!
I 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.
Bob McGuigan, Helen Chesworth, Gennifer Sussman and Arnold Mazie, with their five Cox instruments
When I decided to major in music I decided that it was time to start looking at instruments again. I already had tremendous faith in Doug Cox's instruments and made my way to his workshop in Vermont to try some new ones. Finding Violin Opus #778 was like finding a wand in the world of Harry Potter. I knew immediately by the feel and beautiful tone that I wanted to continue my studies on this instrument. — Abina Cohen
Abina Cohen has been playing the violin since age 8. She started in Burlington, Vermont studying with Laura Markowitz and playing in the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association. She moved to Massachusetts at age 13 and studied under Jennifer Sterling and Sophie Vilker at New England Conservatory in Boston.
Abina was a student at Project STEP whose mission is to identify and train minority students who did not have ready access to the best available training. While in Project STEP she played a master class with Mark O'Connor, the Inauguration of Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick and the 5th and 6th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. concert featuring guest artist Cindy Blackman-Santana and which was broadcasted nationally on Channel 5.
Abina studies Music and Spanish at Lake Forest College.
Abina Cohen, violin
Violinist Karen Ximena Cueva graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Massachusetts, where she was a student of Dr. James Buswell at New England Conservatory's Preparatory School. She was a member of the NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Benjamin Zander.
Studying violin from age four, she has won competitions and awards, including a Certificate Commendation from the US Marine Corps for her service of musical contribution to the veterans of the armed forces at the Navy Hospital and Veterans Medical Center, and for devoting her extra time to the senior citizens of the Fairfax County community in Virginia.
In 2006, Karen was accepted as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra's Youth Fellowship Program where she studied under NSO violinist Linda Schroeder. During the summers of 2007 and 2008, Karen attended the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute on full scholarship. Karen has been a member of the American Youth Philharmonic, the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra and NSO's Youth Orchestra. She has studied with Dr. James Buswell, Peter Zazofsky, Linda Schroeder and Leonid Sushansky, among others.
Karen has performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, the Millennium Stage, the Strathmore Center for the Arts, the D.A.R. Constitution Hall, Jordan Hall, Carnegie Hall and before the U.S. Congress on Capital Hill under the direction of Maestros Benjamin Zander, Emil de Cou, Elizabeth Schulz and Norman Scribner.
In 2009, Karen became a recipient of the Jack Kent Cook Young Artist Award, one of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs for young musicians in the nation. She joined the Boston Crew, the newest From The Top's reach out program, connecting with new audiences and visiting inner-city schools in Boston. She continues her studies at The Juilliard School, where she is working toward a degree in Violin Performance.
Karen Ximena Cueva, violin
I am honored to be play on an instrument which sings the brightest of passages, and also the darker timbres, with ease. More colors are simply waiting to be discovered. -- Brendon Elliott
Brendon Elliott has been described as an accomplished performer who “plays with substantial sound and a lovely feeling of warmth, with a not especially youthful self-possession” (The Richmond Times Dispatch). A Virginia Native, he attends the Curtis Institute of Music where he studies with Pamela Frank and Joseph Silverstein. He began his violin studies under his mother’s tutelage at the age of three.
Brendon made his debut as a soloist when he was 10 years old, performing a concerto with the Hampton University Orchestra. Since then, he has been a soloist with several professional and community orchestras such as The York River Symphony Orchestra, The Peninsula Youth Orchestra, The Richmond Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony of the Mountains, the Hampton University Orchestra, and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
At the age of thirteen, Brendon appeared on From the Top on NPR, a nationally syndicated radio broadcast featuring America’s talented young musicians. His’s stunning performance of William Grant Still's Mother and Child was broadcast on WMRA radio. He has also enjoyed the honor of performing the National Anthem for a Washington Nationals Baseball game in the summer of 2011 and 2012. During the 2011/2012 season, he was a guest soloist with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for five special Young Peoples Concerts, “Songs for a Dreamer” concert, and an 9/11 Memorial Concert. As a three-time concerto competition winner, Brendon was also a guest soloist with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra on their masterworks series in April 2012, and he will tour with the Virginia Symphony in 2014 performing the Hailstork Violin Concerto.
Brendon’s orchestral experience includes serving as concertmaster of the Peninsula Youth Orchestra for six consecutive years. He also served as concertmaster for Virginia's Southeastern Regional Orchestra in 2010 and 2008, and concertmaster for the 2011 Virginia All State Orchestra.
The Elliott Family String QuartetAs a three-time National Sphinx Competition semi-finalist, Brendon earned the National Sphinx Competition Achievement Award in 2012. He was a Finalist in the 2011 American String Teacher’s Association National Solo Competition. He has earned scholarships to several summer institutes including The Eastern Music Festival, The Aspen Music Festival, and The Heifetz International Music Institute.
Brendon's family is also very musical; he is the first violinist in his family's ensemble, The Elliott Family String Quartet, which includes his mother Dannielle Weems-Elliott (viola), and his brother and sister, Sterling (cello) and Justine (violin).
Brendon plays on violin Opus 731, made by Douglas Cox, violin maker in Brattleborro, Vermont, through a Sphinx Music Organization loan.
I play on Cox violin #623, patterned after the work of Gasparo da Salò around the year 1580. 'Gaspar' is an amazing instrument! I am fascinated every day with its powerful, yet expressive dark tone. I never tire of exploring the many colors this violin unlocks. -- Sue Engle
Growing up in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Sue began her musical studies at age five - first piano and later clarinet and organ. Over the years she has performed in countless musical groups and has been fascinated by how music is put together. She attained a Master's degree from Indiana University, where she focused on theory, composition and piano. Further studies in Hungary in solfege and music education led to her career as a Kodaly specialist. Working with all ages from nursery school through graduate level college, she taught music for 33 years. Her classes were among those featured in the Ford Foundation film, "Music Lessons." Most recently she taught theory and music education at Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT., and instrumental/vocal music in West Hartford Public Schools, CT., where she was named Teacher of the Year.
Though Sue had longed from childhood to study violin, she was not able to begin that dream until she was 32 years old. Since retiring to Vermont in 2001, she has studied with both Peggy Spencer and Kathy Andrew at the Brattleboro Music Center. Recent pieces have included the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Monti Csardas, Beethoven "Spring" Sonata, Bartok Sonatina, Bach E-Major Concerto and Bach Solo Sonata No. 1. She also plays in the Windham Orchestra and does summer chamber music. With Peggy Spencer, Sue co-authored and published transcriptions for string instruments from Bach's keyboard music - Duets for Two Violins (or Two Violas or Two Cellos), available through amazon.com.
Sue's other passion in life are her dogs. With Larkspur, a Boxer-Mastiff mix, and Magic, a Ridgeback-Lab mix, she has taken classes in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Tracking and Free Style (dog dancing). She shows Magic in American Kennel Club rally trials. In the summer Sue spends time on Cape Cod, MA, walking and swimming with the dogs, biking, kayaking or exploring book stores and antique shops. She also enjoys photography and is looking forward to making movies with her new camcorder.
Sue Engle with Larkspur and Magic at home in Vermont
I have loved the sound of my violin from the first bow stroke. The quality of its tone and craftsmanship are exceptional by any standard. My violin is my most prized possession, my trusted friend, and my constant companion. I am very proud to own it. -- Heather Ensley
Heather Ensley, a New England native, is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Performance and Literature at Brandon University where she studies with Kerry DuWors. Heather has held Graduate Teaching Assitantships in music theory and aural skills at BU and serves as concertmaster of the Brandon University Symphony Orchestra. Heather earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Canadian University College as a student of Naomi Delafield and Jennifer Penner, and was privileged to tour throughout the U.S. and Canada as concertmaster and soloist with the Canadian University College Chamber Orchestra.
Other mentors include Andrea Neumann, Liesl Schoenberger, Mimi Bravar, and Robert Eschbach.
An avid performer, Heather has presented a number of solo recitals and performances, and enjoys playing chamber music and participating in music festivals.
Heather is a passionate music educator and maintains a busy violin studio in her home. She has studied violin pedagogy with Naomi Delafield and Kerry DuWors, and has participated in pedagogy workshops given by renowned pedagogues such as Laurie Hill, Rebecca Henry, and Elayne Ras. Heather continues to develop her craft by attending pedagogy workshops on a yearly basis.
Along with her musical interests, Heather enjoys hiking and camping in the Canadian Rockies, literature, and vegetarian cooking. She resides in Alberta with her husband Josh, a cellist, and their two cats.
Heather Ensley, © Josh Flynn
ὸ δὲ κινούμενον κινουμένῳ γινώσκεσθαι -- Ἡράκλειτος
The moving world can only be known by what is in motion – Heraclitus
Arturo is a member of the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra (violin, viola), the Siena Chamber Orchestra (principal viola), and the Siena Community String Quartet (violin, viola). He has also played with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra (double bass, violin, viola) and the String Ensemble of Rockland (violin). He studied violin with Guillermo Figueroa-Sanabia, violin and viola with Barbara Long, and double bass with Linda McKnight. As an undergraduate philosophy major, he took the music theory curriculum at Columbia University.
Born in Puerto Rico, Arturo holds advanced degrees in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Economics from University of Puerto Rico, University of Michigan and Harvard University. He makes his home in Troy, New York, where he is Professor of Economics and Head of the Economics Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Arturo has published extensively in various fields within economics, including macroeconomic theory, empirical macroeconomics, monetary policy, financial regulation, econometric theory, applied econometrics, and financial markets, instruments, and institutions. In 1988-89, he developed (with Gikas Hardouvelis) a probit model of the probability of a future recession. Since then, the model has correctly forecasted the last three U.S. recessions in real time with a lead time of about one year and no false positives.
He has also written extensively about financial regulation, proposing in 1995 an innovative system for bank capital regulation that has the potential to prevent systemic problems arising from the failure of large financial institutions. From 1991 to 2001, he represented the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in international negotiations on bank regulation under the auspices of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
In econometrics, Arturo derived a pseudo R-squared for dichotomous dependent variable models that outperforms other alternatives, including the classic McFadden measure. The measure has become part of the standard output in many widely-used econometric packages. He has also provided exact critical and probability values for use in time-series breakpoint tests in connection with generalized method of moments estimates.
I had a modern Italian violin for several years and it was so fussy... like a fancy car or a thoroughbred... it needed to be adjusted about every 5 weeks. It was incredibly loud, but not in a good way, and was becoming a huge problem — I did not enjoy playing or practicing, and I was having to make constant trips to the luthier for adjustments.
I had known a lot of people with Cox violins over the years, from Hartt, NEC and Yellow Barn, and really liked the instruments. They are easy and enjoyable to play on and have an even and warm tone. When I contacted Doug about trying instruments, he asked what kind of playing I do, as well as what size instrument I wanted…a good question since I have big hands but a short 4th finger.
When I had narrowed down the options to the violin I would eventually end up buying, I played it for a few friends and they tried it as well. In unison, they all said, “so, what are you waiting for? -- Sue Faux
Violinist Susan Faux received a BM from Hartt School of Music and a MM from New England Conservatory. She has studied with Eric Rosenblith, Ben Sayevich and Charles Treger and chamber music with members of the Emerson Quartet.
Sue has performed with the Boston Pops Espalanade Orchestra, the Albany, Vermont, Nashua, Newfoundland, Greenville, SC, Portland, ME, Richmond, Jacksonville and Springfield, MA symphony orchestras as well as Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Ballet Florida, the Chamber Orchestra of the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theater, New England String Orchestra, Orchestra of Indian Hill, Mendelssohn Players of Berlin, Germany, and Boston Philharmonic. She is also a member of the Sarasota Opera and plays frequently in the National Lyric and Boston Lyric Operas.
Ms Faux has participated in numerous summer festivals including New Hampshire Music Festival, Bellingham, Washington; Aspen; Hampden-Sydney, Virginia; the Conductor's Institute at Hartt and Musik Festival Davos, Switzerland. She is also a member of the orchestra for the North American tour of “Star Wars in Concert.”
Sue is a former member of the faculty of the Community Music Schools of Manchester and Concord, New Hampshire, and Winchester Massachusetts, as well as the coaching staff of Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras and New England Conservatory Preparatory Division.
Susan Faux, photo © Susan Wilson
When I first tried Opus 707, "Leduc" Guarneri del Gesù, I was struck not only by its rich, silvery tone but by how it just felt right for me. Its size, weight, and tactile smoothness make it a perfect fit for me, but more importantly, it responds instantly and beautifully to the touch of my bow. I never have to struggle to make a gorgeous sound on this violin. I've been playing it for over a year, and every day it becomes more open and more lush. I'm always happy to open my case and see it waiting for me, my new partner in music! -- Lisa Ferrigno
Lisa Ferrigno doesn't remember a time when she did not love the violin. She grew up in a house filled with music. Her mother is a flutist who played Heifetz LP's on the hi-fi. Her father is a jazz pianist and long-time friend of the late violinist William dePasquale, of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
An older cousin gave Lisa her 3/4 size violin when she outgrew it, but Lisa was too little for it, and had to wait to grow into it, at age 9, before she started lessons. For years, she regularly snuck into the closet where the violin was kept to see if she was big enough yet.
Lisa studied with Robert Eshbach and Eric Rosenblith at New England Conservatory Prep from 1979 - 1984. She holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Zvi Zeitlin, Sylvia Rosenberg and Charles Castleman and from Florida State University, where she studied with Eliot Chapo.
As a student at NEC, Lisa knew of Cox instruments for many years, but it was not until 2008, when she moved to Brattleboro part time, that she had an opportunity to try them. She became one of the numerous local players who “play in” new instruments as they are set up, to evaluate and test drive them before they are ready to show, and she gradually became more and more taken with their sound. In 2010, Lisa was the violinist who played the 5 instruments showed at the first Wine and Violin Tasting event at Next Stage Arts in Putney Vermont. She had already settled on the #707 Leduc.
In addition to her passion for music of all kinds, Lisa loves dachsunds, cats, kayaking, movies, scuba diving, hiking, and recently acquired a looper and began experimenting with improvisation. Lisa loves to travel, and spent 7 years soloing with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Trujillo and the Orquesta Camara del Festival Internacional Bach in Perú during the summers. Her favorite city is Paris, and she loves New York too.
Lisa is the concertmaster of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Florida and of the Walt Disney World Orchestra in Orlando, as well as solo violinist at Disney. She is an avid chamber musician, performing chamber music recitals throughout the year with colleagues in both regions. Lisa is enthusiastic about new music.
Lisa maintains a teaching studio in Florida, and presents workshops to young people. She is a veteran of commercial classical, pop, and jazz studio recording sessions. If that wasn't enough, she is also a contractor of music ensembles large and small for private, church, and corporate events. She has subbed with the Boston Pops and plays gigs of all kinds, including puppet shows and weddings.
I played a concerto composed by a friend and conducted a few other pieces. That was my first solo performance with this violin and it was great. It hasn't failed to deliver anything that I've asked of it, and the sound seems to grow each day. -- Robert Garbarz
Robert Garbarz is a violinist studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Richard Luby. He has performed with many orchestras in the Raleigh area, including the Triangle Youth Symphony and Philharmonic, the Garner Sinfonia, and several regional orchestra festivals. He currently plays in the UNC Symphony Orchestra, directed by Tonu Kalam.
In addition to modern violin, he studies and performs regularly on the baroque violin. First introduced to period performance practice at Oberlin Conservatory's Baroque Performance Institute, he now plays in the UNC Baroque Ensemble under the direction of Brent Wissick. He also plays in smaller baroque chamber ensembles alongside Professor Wissick and fellow classmates.
Recently, he has begun studying conducting. In the summer of 2012, Robert co-founded and conducted the inaugural peformance of the Raleigh Festival Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of high school and college students from schools throughout North Carolina. He also appeared as a soloist, performing the debut of a violin concerto composed by one of the orchestra members.
It has been very gratifying to play on this very fine instrument. Fellow violinists are always very impressed that it is a new instrument because of its distinctive and mature sound.
I came to Boston to visit Marylou Speaker Churchill. I had asked Doug to bring a violin for me to try; when I was about to leave Marylou remembered that Doug had sent 5 violins for me to try. Doug had forgotten to tell me about it so I thought that he had not sent any violins! I stayed a little longer playing the violins while Marylou went out. When she came back she heard me play all the violins and both she and Cristina, my wife, fell in love with how the violin sounded.
I could not sleep that night thinking about the violin. The next morning I called Doug and we found a way to make it happen. On my way to the airport I stopped by Marylou's house and picked up the violin and brought it to Brazil. I have so far played a Beethoven sonatas cycle and several recitals with Doug's violin. -- Fredi Gerling
Fredi Gerling received his doctoral degree in violin performance and pedagogy at the University of Iowa where he studied with Leopold LaFosse. His doctoral essay is titled “Performance Analysis and Analysis for Performance: A Study of Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasilieras No. 9.”
Mr. Gerling is a conductor, educator, award winner, and has published several articles. His extensive background in chamber music comes from his former training at New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where he studied violin with Eric Rosemblith, as well as his many years as an active performer with chamber music groups in the east coast of the United States and Brazil.
From 1989 to 1995, Mr. Gerling led the “Orquestra de Câmara Theatro São Pedro” string orchestra for seven very successful concert seasons. During his tenure the orchestra produced recordings, toured the three Americas and Europe and collaborated with many international soloists. While in Iowa City, He was a visiting professor of violin at the University of Iowa Music School as well as conductor of the Preucil School String Orchestra. He was guest conductor for the Des Moine Middle School Festival for five years. Upon his return to Brazil, he resumed his activities as violin and chamber music Professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in the city of Porto Alegre.
Fredi Gerling and Douglas Cox
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.
Many 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.
The violin is very much a simple material thing -- only a few ingredients. But under Doug's hands, these pieces of wood become something so much more. In fact, I think of my violin as one of my oldest, best friends!
I miss my violin when I haven't played in a while. After a few weeks away from one another, it takes a little time for us to warm up together. But soon, we're back where we left off (almost -- with more mistakes from me each time!). I have a hard time playing other instruments. I don't know them as well, and they don't know me as well. I've been the only real player of my instrument. And it's nearing two decades that I've had it! It's not so much an object I own, as something I'm in a kind of relationship with. I feel like I've imprinted myself on it a bit -- and it's certainly become a part of me. -- Shamus Khan
I began playing the violin when I was about three or four, and played regularly until I was in my early 20's. These days, I play about once a week with a group of chamber musicians in New York City. I spent my early years in New York, studied at the New England Conservatory of Music as a teenager, and then in Philadelphia when I went to college at Haverford. My high school teacher, a young recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon, Decky Gander, was perhaps the least well known of anyone I studied with, but by far the most inspirational. She was tough and caring at the same time. I'll play for the rest of my life because of her. Mary Lou Speaker Churchill introduced me to Doug Cox's violins. And Melba Sandberg got me started on the viola. She stopped me in the halls one day at NEC, and said to me, “Khan! You have big hands. And you're good at transcribing. Come to rehearsal at 3. I'll bring you a viola.” Thus I learned a second instrument! My passion is new music, and contemporary music. I'm also passionate about cooking — I worked through school as a cook. And social justice work around inequality is a passion.
My regular chamber group is me, a pianist/psychiastrist/psycho-analyst, a violinist/violist who works at Carnegie Hall, and a cellist/fellow sociologist. We meet and read through pieces once a week, breaking periodically for some wine and dinner. We have played together since 1996 when we first met in college. Occasionally we have guests — recently we got to play through the Brahms G-minor piano quartet (op. 25) with Richard Goode on the piano! But most of all I think we all like the intimacy and lower pressure of a regular group that just plays for ourselves.
I'm a sociologist and writer. I teach at Columbia University, though during 2011-12 I was on leave to write a book at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. This allowed me to spend a year around some great writers, working on a project and talking about writing.
My professional work involves writing about inequality. But I tend not to write about poverty. Instead, I spent my time studying the rich. I look at the ways in which the income and wealth increases among the richest of the rich are what drive inequality today. I recently wrote a book about an elite boarding school, exploring what it teaches its students, and what it can tell us about the changing nature of American inequality. It's called Privilege.
Professor Shamus Rahman Khan
Chelsea Kim was a student of Donald Weilerstein’s at New England Conservatory Prep. She has also studied with James Buswell, Peter Rovit and Robert Rozek. She has since gone on to study at Juilliard.
Chelsea has been selected as a 2013 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Recipient of From the Top NPR radio show, which includes a cash prize and a live performance on the popular show. She took 1st place in the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, debuting with the Orchestra in 2010. She has placed in several other competitions and participated in masterclasses with Joshua Bell, Stefan Milenkovich and Philip Setzer.
Chelsea has played with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of New England Conservatory under Benjamin Zander, where she was assistant principal 2nd violin. She has been concertmaster of Philips Exeter Academy’s Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and is the 1st violinist of the NEC Prep Division Quartet, coached by Natasha Brofsky.
Chelsea has attended Boston University Tanglewood Institute Summer Festival where she was concertmaster in 2011 and she was a participant on Yellow Barn Young Artist Program in 2012. She attended Kinhaven Music School from 2009-2011 where she was also concertmaster.
If all these activities and honors, orchestras and festivals and Phillips Exeter Academy were not enough, she has an active volunteer life:
Chelsea Hyojung Kim