Martha Kayser

I was born in Willimantic, CT but grew up in Columbus, OH. I started piano lessons at age 5, and then ultimately chose violin as my instrument in 5th grade. My first orchestra experience was 2 years later in junior high. I can’t imagine how bad it must’ve sounded (especially in the land of band/football), but I was instantly hooked. From that point on, I knew that a career in music was my life’s goal. My high school orchestra director was a huge influence in that decision as well.

After high school I attended Ohio University (Bobcats not Buckeyes!). I studied with Howard Beebe at OU (a Galamian-trained violinist) and we worked tirelessly my first two years re-working technique in both of my hands. It was slow, tedious work but worth it in the end and he was the best teacher I ever had. I also subbed with the West Virginia Symphony while in college, and it gave me my first professional experience including many motion-sick bus rides through the WV mountains! Despite this, I remember feeling so at home with all of those interesting, crazy musicians both young and old.

2 weeks after I graduated with my Bachelor of Music, I married my trombonist husband and we moved to New York state as he was the new bass trombonist in the West Point Band. For 3 years I played in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic while he was stationed at West Point. It was there that I realized how much “catching up” I needed to do to be competitive in the Northeast, with such close proximity to NYC and all of its talent. I subsequently received my Master of Music from the University of Hartford (Hartt School), studying with Charles Treger and have been a proud member of The Hartford Symphony since 1985.

Music has remained a constant in my life throughout its ups and downs. It grounds me when times are tough. Unfortunately, my husband and I battled cancer diagnoses twice each in the span of 10 years, and I lost him to cancer in 2017. Music remained an instrumental part of my healing during those trying times. I’m so blessed with our two children. Michelle is my “singing doctor” pediatrician living in Delaware with her husband Mohamed (my 3rd child!), and Randy is my “science geek” with degrees in Math and Physics. My smile from the stage is ALWAYS genuine, and I feel so lucky to have been blessed with musical talent and to have the privilege of playing with such a phenomenally talented group of people.

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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106