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Timothy Schwarz, violin

Many artists talk about bridging the gap between performer and audience. Timothy Schwarz does it – with wit, verve, and compassion. Whether sharing a story about his favorite composer, leading a group of children on a wide-eyed musical odyssey or performing a stirring tribute to a friend who died of AIDS, Timothy Schwarz is a musician who touches the heart.

A native of Philadelphia, Timothy picked up his first violin at age four and gave his first public performance at age six. Just three years later, he made his solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the youngest musicians ever to perform with this legendary institution.

In 1986, Timothy was the winner of the Starling International Scholarship Competition. As part of this prize he was awarded a full scholarship and stipend to study with the world renowned violin teacher Dorothy Delay at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his time in Cincinnati, Timothy went on to spend two years as an Associate with the Order of Friars Minors (Franciscans) where a lifelong commitment to the oppressed took root. After turning back to the violin, he earned a Masters in Music from the Peabody Conservatory in 1993 and spent two summers as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival. There, he performed under many prestigious conductors, including Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein.

An award-winning soloist drawing from a deep spiritual well, Timothy Schwarz has performed to critical acclaim across the country and in South America, with guest appearances in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Porto Alegre, Brazil. An avid chamber musician, Timothy has performed with Earl Carlyss (formerly with the Juilliard String Quartet), Paul Coletti, Ruth Inglefield, and Sandra Rivers. In 1992, he was awarded the prestigious Rose and Lou Becker Prize for excellence in violin performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and in 1994, won First Prize in the Maryland State Arts Council Classical Music Competition.

Timothy Schwarz is perhaps best known for sharing his music with untraditional audiences, performing extensively in a variety of venues for the homeless, poor, sick, and elderly. Each concert by this extraordinarily gifted violinist is thoughtful and thought provoking, a celebration of the human spirit. His eagerness to "break the rules" stems from a deep need for connection. Often avoiding the formal trappings of tux and tails, Timothy adopts a more comfortable costume, one that removes the distance between him and his listeners, and draws them together in a shared experience - a journey in music into the heart and soul of humanity.

March 10, 1996