Helen Chang Haertzen

Helen Chang Haertzen’s mother asked Helen when she was 5 years old if she wanted to take ballet or violin lessons and she chose the latter.

She grew up in the greater Boston area and studied with Roman Totenberg. He was still a wonderful mentor and teacher when he died at age 101 in May 2012. After competing and winning a prize in Poland at age 14, Helen knew that playing the violin would be a great part of what she was to do with her life. She furthered her studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Mozarteum Hochschule in Salzburg, Austria.

After five years in Europe as recitalist and member of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany, she decided it was time to go back to the States. “Playing the violin as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player with the Minnesota Orchestra is most rewarding. And in my free time I am able to enjoy ballet classes!”.

In addition to loving her profession, she also loves being a new mom to baby Grace-Margaret who was born last July. Helen says Grace is always in a good mood when listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey album. “I am constantly trying to find a balance with family, performing, and practicing. It is extremely helpful and inspiring when I receive advice from others in the orchestra who are amazing mothers as well as first class musicians!”

link www.islesensemble.org