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String Teacher Workshops

Faculty

Highly qualified artist faculty provide musical instruction based on the methods and philosophies of Mimi Zweig, Shinichi Suzuki and Paul Rolland. The faculty works as a team, interacting with students to provide continuity in instruction as student needs change. The special training, experience and expertise of this outstanding faculty in the musical education of young people results in students playing with technical ease and musical sensitivity.

David Anderson, violin
David Anderson String Academy faculty since 1991.  Mr. Anderson was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra first violin section from 1976 – 2014.  He studied with Daniel Majeske, former concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, and at the Cleveland Institute of Music with David Cerone.  His chamber music teachers include Josef Gingold, Mischa Schneider and the Guarneri Quartet.  In recognition of his support and activities with the arts, Mr. Anderson received a distinguished membership as a Friend of the Arts from the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Fraternity.

Contact Mr. Anderson: davidanderson@stringacademyofwisconsin.org

Darcy Drexler, violin (Director)
Darcy Drexler String Academy Faculty since 1990: Violinist Darcy Drexler is Director of the String Academy  and leads the Master of Music in String Pedagogy degree program at UW-Milwaukee, where she teaches string pedagogy courses in violin and viola. She is an active musician and teacher, giving masterclasses and string pedagogy workshops throughout the United States and in Brazil.  She is director of the popular Teaching the Violin to Children workshop which takes place each July in Milwaukee. Her students are playing in symphony orchestras and teaching throughout the U.S.   She has been a member of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Hawthorne Quartet,  Illinois Symphony, the Killington (VT) Music Festival, and has played with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Wisconsin Philharmonic, and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.   She has previously taught at the Indiana University Summer String Academy, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music and Illinois Wesleyan University Pre-College. Ms. Drexler graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelors in Violin Performance. And she received a her Masters of Music degree in violin performance(with honors) from the University of Illinois –Urbana.

Contact Ms. Drexler:  ddrexler@uwm.edu

Jamie Hofman, viola, violin
Jamie Hofman String Academy faculty since 2007. Jamie Hofman, a Milwaukee native, is a SAW alum where he studied with James Pryzgocki and Mimi Zweig. He earned a B.M. in viola and violin performance, in addition to a Performer Diploma in viola at Indiana University. His major teachers there included Atar Arad, Jerry Horner and Mimi Zweig. He has been a prize winner in the Chicago Viola Society Solo competition, and concerto competitions sponsored by the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Milwaukee Catholic Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Hofman has been a member of the Louisville Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville String Quartet, and is principal violist of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra.  He has served on the faculty at the University of Louisville, Campbellsville University, and currently Carroll University. He has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan, and is on faculty at the Eastern Music Festival during the summers. Contact Mr. Hofman: jamiehofman@stringacademyofwisconsin.org
Stefan Kartman, cello
Stefan Kartman, cello faculty Stefan Kartman is currently Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. In addition to solo performance, he has performed to critical acclaim as cellist of the Kneisel Trio and the Florestan Duo. He has given performances and masterclasses in conservatories and schools of music worldwide including the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA), the Xiamen Conservatory of Music (China), and the D’Albaco Conservatory of Music (Italy), among many others.An avid chamber music enthusiast, Dr. Kartman has served on the faculties of the Alfred University Summer Chamber Music Institute, the MidAmerica Chamber Music Festival, the Troy Youth Chamber Music Institute, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and was artistic director of the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival. His early training in chamber music was with his father, Myron Kartman, of the Antioch String Quartet and during his formal training as a chamber musician, he studied with members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets and the Beaux Arts Trio.

Stefan Kartman received degrees from Northwestern University, The Juilliard School of Music, and his doctorate from Rutgers University. He has been teaching assistant to Harvey Shapiro and Zara Nelsova of the Juilliard School and proudly acknowledges the pedagogical heritage of his teachers Shapiro, Nelsova, Bernard Greenhouse, Alan Harris, and Anthony Cooke.

Contact Dr. Kartman: skartman@uwm.edu

Jichen Li, cello
Jichen Li Jichen Li studied cello at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and the China Conservatory of Music before continuing his education in the United States. He was a semifinalist in the Fifth Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music in 2005 and a semifinalist in the fourth Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Contest in 2012. Li is currently working toward a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the tutelage of Stefan Kartman. Li is a member of the UWM Symphony Orchestra cello section, principal cellist of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal cellist of the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and China Conservatory of Music. He was the featured soloist in the 2015 UWM Concerto Competition and won First prize in Sheboygan Symphony’s concerto competition. Before joining the SAW, Mr. Li has taught pre-college students in Milwaukee and conservatory middle and high school students in China. studied cello at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and the China Conservatory of Music before continuing his education in the United States. He was a semifinalist in the Fifth Chinese Golden Bell Award for Music in 2005 and a semifinalist in the fourth Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Contest in 2012. Li is currently working toward a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, under the tutelage of Stefan Kartman.  Li is a member of the UWM Symphony Orchestra cello section,  principal cellist of the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and has served as principal cellist of the Tianjin Conservatory of Music and  China Conservatory of Music. He was the featured soloist in the 2015 UWM Concerto Competition and won First prize in Sheboygan Symphony’s concerto competition. Before joining the SAW,  Mr. Li has taught pre-college students in Milwaukee and conservatory middle and high school students in China.

Staff

Robin Tharp, office administration
Robin Tharp Robin Tharp earned a Master’s degree in leadership from Concordia University, and is a former college basketball player and coach at Belmont Abbey College. A native of South Carolina, she moved to the Milwaukee area in 2012 as a result of her husband’s job relocation. She has worked in office management at both Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University. Robin studied piano as a youth and she has one daughter who currently plays violin in the String Academy.

Contact Mrs. Tharp: rytharp@uwm.edu


Past Faculty

The String Academy is tremendously grateful and indebted to all of the faculty who have served as faculty in the past. They have built and shaped this institution, and influenced countless student’s lives.

  • Mimi Zweig, violin, viola founder 1990-1996
  • Jim Przygocki, violin/viola 1990-1993
  • Sherry Sinift, violin 1990-1993
  • Julie Hochman, cello 1990-1992
  • Sara Edgerton, cello 1990-1991
  • Trischa (Seaman) Loebl, cello 1991-2006
  • Jim Olsen, violin, viola 1990-2000
  • Toshi Olsen, violin, viola 1997-2006
  • Wei-Tsun Chang, violin 1993-1994
  • David Becker, violin/viola from 1990-1994
  • Seanie Chang, violin/viola 1993-1994
  • Michael Fitzpatrick, cello 1993-1994
  • Erica Lessie, cello 1994-1995
  • David Bebe, cello 2002-2006
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Pabon, violin 1994-2003
  • Dinorah Marquez, violin 1998-2000
  • Susan Dominguez, violin 1995-1998
  • Wendy Warner, cello 2006-2008
  • Alana Dustcello 2008-2012
  • Jessicca Williams, violin 2004-2012
  • Scott Cookcello 1996-2014
  • Peter Vickeryviolin 2012-2015
  • Heidi Knudsenoffice administrator 2000-2016
  • Kathrine Brooks, violin 1990-2016