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Fiekowsky, Sheila

Violinist from Detroit, Michigan, who began her studies at nine years of age and received tutelage from Emily Mutter Austin of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  In the summertime, she studied at the Meadowmount School of Music with Ivan Galamian and Joseph Gingold.  She attended HenryFord High School and soloed with the DSO at sixteen years of age.  In 1969, she graduated and went on to attend the Curtis Institute of Music, continuing her studies with Ivan Galamian and Jaime Laredo.

At Curtis, she honed her chamber music skills.  On 10th May 1970, she performed Johannes Brahms’ “Quintet in F minor” at Curtis Hall with fellow violinist Daniel Heifetz, pianist William Horn, cellist Patricia Weimer, and violist Hershel Wise.

She joined forces with cellist Roger Low, violist Victoria Matosich, pianist Kiyoko Takeuti and double bassist Gabriel Vole at Curtis Hall on 30th March 1971 for a recital of Franz Schubert’s “Quintet in A major, Op. 114” (“Trout”).

In April 1971, she was in the orchestra pit for performances of School for Fathers at the New Locust Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She participated in a Composition Seminar and Workshop for Contemporary Music on 7th May 1971.  The program included “Andante for String Quartet” by Jeffrey Chappell, which she performed with violist James Carter, violinist Elsa Nilsson, and cellist Peter Wiley.  Elsa, James and Sheila were joined by cellist Owen Carmen for Richard Ratliff’s “Two Movements for String Quartet”.

In 1973, she graduated and went on to pursue her master’s degree at Yale University where she studied under the watchful eye of Joseph Silverstein.  She obtained her degree two years later and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the faculty at Tanglewood Music Center.  Other groups with whom she has worked include the Mystic Valley Orchestra and the North Shore Symphony.

On 18th March 1984, she was one of the guest soloists with the Newton Symphony Orchestra at Brown Junior High School for a concert that included Zoltan Kodaly’s “Hary Janos Suite”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 28 in C major”, Henri Wieniawski’s “Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22”, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”.  The performance was immortalized on four audiocassettes and is available through the Newton Free Library.

Sheila was also a member of The Copley Trio which was rounded out by violist Robert Barnes and cellist Ronald Feldman and they performed music of Dohnanyi and Schubert at Tanglewood on 8thAugust 1986.

In the 1990s, she appeared on a handful of CDs, American Visions and Holiday Pops by the Boston Pops Orchestra and Keith Lockhart, Hindemith on Trombone by Ronald Barron, and the soundtrack of Schindler’s List.

She appeared at Bowdoin College on 21st April 1998 with The Portland Chamber Music Festival Players.  Their program comprised a trio by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Suite in G minor, Op. 71” by Moritz Moszkowski, “Trio in E minor, Op. 57” by Dmitri Shostakovich, and “Canonic Sonata in D major” by Georg Philipp Telemann.

On 25th February 2001, she and violinist Lynn Chang were the guest soloists with the Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Singers at Straus Hall Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts.

She teamed up with Jonathan Bass for a piano and violin recital of music by Gabriel Faure, Jean-Marie Leclair, Jules Massenet and Henri Vieuxtemps at the Newton Free Library on 20th May 2001.

Sheila is also a runner, and in October 2001, participated in the Halloween Hustle 5K and Tufts Health Plan 10K runs, putting up times of 31:11 and 1:03:35, respectively.  She ran in the Tufts Health Plan 10K in 2002 and 2004, as well, when she finished with a mark of 1:06:11.

She was the artist-in-residence of the Metrowest Youth Symphony Orchestra, and they performed the “Violin Concerto in G minor” of Max Bruch and the “Lieutenant Kije Suite” of Sergei Prokofiev at Massachusetts Bay Community College on 16th May 2004.

Her interest in music education hardly ends there:  In April 2005, she was one of the coaches of the Mt. Greylock High School and Middle School orchestras when they took a field trip to Boston’s Symphony Hall.  She has also tutored at the Galamian Institute.

In the new millennium, her recording credits have included the Boston Pops’ America and Chris Botti in Boston.

On 14th April 2006, she helped honour actress Meryl Streep at the Coolidge Corner Theatre when the Oscar-winning actress added a Coolidge Award to her trophy case.  Sheila, Patti Larkin, and music students from Brookline Music School provided the soundtrack of the evening.

She was one of several guest musicians to perform at Andover Newton Theological School on 7thNovember 2010.  The eclectic program pitted Telemann’s “Concerto in A minor” against selections from George and Ira Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

On 5th December 2010, she was a member of another makeshift orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle at the New England Conservatory.  The “Concert for the Cure” included “Symphony No. 2 in D, Op 73” by Johannes Brahms, the adagietto from “Symphony No. 5” by Gustav Mahler, and “Piano Concerto in G, K. 453” by Mozart, with Marc-Andre Hamelin at the keys.

She plays here with the Boston Pops Orchestra in a live concert by Chris Botti where he performs “Flamenco Sketches”…