Martha Kayser

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

After high school Martha attended Ohio University (Bobcats not Buckeyes!). She studied with Howard Beebe at OU (a Galamian-trained violinist) and 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 she ever had. She also subbed with the West Virginia Symphony while in college, and it gave her the first professional experience including many motion-sick bus rides through the WV mountains! Despite this, Martha remembers feeling so at home with all of those interesting, crazy musicians both young and old.

2 weeks after she graduated with her Bachelor of Music, Martha 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 she played in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic while he was stationed at West Point. It was there that she realized how much “catching up” she needed to do to be competitive in the Northeast, with such close proximity to NYC and all of its talent.  Martha 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 her life throughout its ups and downs. It grounds her when times are tough. Unfortunately, her and her husband battled cancer diagnoses twice each in the span of 10 years, and Martha lost him to cancer in 2017. Music remained an instrumental part of her healing during those trying times. She is so blessed with two children. Michelle is her “singing doctor” pediatrician living in Delaware with her husband Mohamed (her 3rd child!), and Randy is Martha’s “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.”- Martha Kayser