Home > Faculty, Outreach, Violin > Joanna Kaczorowska, Stony Brook Faculty Member, Visits Local Middle School

Joanna Kaczorowska, Stony Brook Faculty Member, Visits Local Middle School

February 6, 2012

Internationally acclaimed violin soloist Joanna Kaczorowska paid a recent visit to eighth grade orchestra students at J. Taylor Finley Middle School, sharing her love of music and exceptional playing and teaching abilities.

“Joanna is a gifted and passionate musician who performs with great skill and expression,” said Joan R. Fretz, Huntington’s district director of fine and performing arts. Dr. Kaczorowska told the Finley students how she was born in Poland and traveled to a special music school for training beginning when she was six years old.

“She talked about the importance of music in her life and encouraged the students to keep performing and going to concerts,” Ms. Fretz said. “They enjoyed hearing that she loved playing the piano and hated the violin and how she would try to trick her parents into thinking she was practicing by playing a recording of herself practicing, until her mother asked her why she had been making the same mistake in the same spot for weeks.”

Dr. Kaczorowska made it clear that she now “loves” the violin and is happy she stuck with the instrument. “It’s a great message for middle school students who sometimes stop doing something they are very good at only to regret it later on,” Ms. Fretz said.

“Joanna is a very talented, gifted, and skillful violinist,” eighth grader Patrick Kennedy said. “She had a magical affect on all of us. Her masterful fingers danced across the strings and her bow flew from string to string with precision. She played passionately and impressed all the students at Finley. She was amazing and I hope to play as well as her.”

An Incredible Resume

Over the years, Dr. Kaczorowska has built what Ms. Fretz called “an incredible resume.” She is a professor at Stony Brook University and teaches privately here in Huntington. “I have known her for years, as she was my own daughter’s private teacher and her passion for playing and teaching is the reason my daughter, who became her high school orchestra concert master, didn’t quit when such a thought came into her head in eighth grade, because her friends weren’t in the orchestra,” Ms. Fretz said.

Finley music teacher Debbie Kim’s students are sold on Dr. Kaczorowska, who has performed with some of the world’s greatest musicians, including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Grammy Award winning Emerson String Quartet.

“Joanna is a very talented musician and is committed to her violin,” eighth grader Cole Seccafico said. “Throughout several parts of the performance, I noticed she played with such passion and emotion. This experience has allowed me to consider the possibility of playing music as my career. She was inspiring.”

Visiting Schools for Free

Dr. Kaczorowska is visiting schools and performing for free as part of Stony Brook University’s outreach to young musicians. She will be spending part of two days this week at Woodhull Intermediate School, visiting with both fifth and sixth graders and will also stop at Finley to meet with and perform for seventh graders.

“When Joanna came to Finley, I was very interested and wanted to know more about the type of masterpieces professional musicians play,” eighth grader Kyle O’Brien said. “She put a lot of power into each bow stroke and you can tell how much she enjoys playing the violin. Now I can see how much effort and work it must take to play these types of pieces.”

It’s fascinating to hear about Dr. Kaczorowska concert experiences. She has performed at some of the most famous sites in the world, including Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany and Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.

“Joanna was very passionate about her work. She really brought the music off the page and brought it to life. She created imagery in my head throughout the music. Every note she played was one of the prettiest sounds I have ever heard,” eighth grader Elisa Medina-Jaudes said.

List of Honors and Awards

The recipient of a long list of awards and honors at international competitions, Dr. Kaczorowska most recently earned first prize in the 2009 Liszt-Garrison Festival and international piano competition playing a duet with Pablo Lavandera.

“Joanna was amazing, passionate, and full of music,” Finley eighth grader Kelly Tenbus said about the recent visit. “She helped me realize that music is more than scales and you can really make something out of it.”

Dr. Kaczorowska, whose concerts have been reviewed in various publications, including The New York Times, made a real connection with the Finley students. “I thought Joanna was very good,” eighth grader Gregory Rorke said. “She spoke to us about all her experiences and accomplishments with the violin. She played Spring from the Four Seasons by Vivaldi, which was fantastic! She was excellent and I loved hearing her play. I thought she was awesome and caring.”

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Categories: Faculty, Outreach, Violin
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