silvia lelli


Born "up north" in the state of Michigan, Michelle Ruggiroli Makarski began the violin with her father, Marion Makarski, a multi-instrumentalist bandleader and teacher of string instruments, followed by study in Detroit with Ara Zerounian and Mischa Mischakoff. She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy studying with Brian Hanly and the University of Michigan where she graduated magna cum laude as a student of Paul Makanowitzky, a major artistic and intellectual influence.

Her exposure to Pablo Casals, Felix Galimir, Sandor Vegh and many others at the Marlboro Music Festival provided a rich source of inspiration for the development of her future collaborative and solo work. Masterclasses with Nathan Milstein and prize-winning at international competitions led to an increasing presence in Europe where she now appears regularly in concert with European and American colleagues, as well as in solo recitals featuring her extensive repertoire for unaccompanied violin.


Internationally acclaimed for her expressive rendering of repertoire from early music to jazz and newly-written works, violinist Michelle Makarski has quietly followed a singular career path displaying an outstanding artistic versatility and an uncommon voice.

Winner of the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, she has been featured in broadcasts, television and film including BBC, CBC, Bayern 1, RAI, NBC’s Real Life with Jane Pauley and the European documentary Music Hotel. Collaboration with pianist Keith Jarrett on the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center led to her association with ECM Records and a number of highly praised award-winning CDs including recitals, jazz and chamber music. Her recent solo album, To be sung on the water, with unaccompanied works of Giuseppe Tartini and American composer Donald Crockett, is heralded in the international press as "A conceptual and artistic triumph"(The Strad SELECTION).

An ardent proponent of contemporary concert music, Makarski’s long association with composers has resulted in numerous works dedicated to her, including Stephen Hartke’s Violin Concerto "Auld Swaara" (New World Records) and Tituli for violin, percussion and the Hilliard Ensemble (ECM). She has appeared as recitalist and concerto soloist at Carnegie Hall and the Barbican Arts Centre in London, with the American Symphony and American Composers Orchestras, the Atlanta Symphony, the Istanbul State Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic with conductors including Jiri Behlolavek, Carl St. Clair, Daniele Gatti and Sir Charles Grove as well as at festivals including Klangspuren (Austria), Aterforum (Italy), Jazz Baltica (Germany), Cheltenhem, Huddersfield ( UK), Marlboro and Tanglewood (USA).

Makarski has performed in duo with pianist-improviser Marilyn Crispell and has toured with jazz musicians Thomasz Stanko, Dino Saluzzi, John Surman, Anders Jormin and Jon Christensen as part of their 2000 Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik - winning project on ECM Records, From the Green Hill.

Reviewing her Carnegie Hall recital debut, Andrew Porter in The New Yorker said "Miss Makarski seemed herself to become the singer, uttering the lines almost as if she were composing them..." and Leighton Kerner of the Village Voice: "Makarski spat, frolicked and wailed to a fare-thee-well." BBC Music Magazine’s "Who’s Who in Music" lists her amongst the most important contemporary violinists.

Michelle is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique and brings those skills to her teaching and to masterclasses and workshops she offers in the US and abroad.

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