New York City based violinist Evelyn Petcher Brandes brings a passion for innovation and community to both her performing and teaching. She has collaborated on concerts and creative workshops all over the US and abroad. Recent solo engagements range from playing Beethoven’s Romances with the Covenant College Chamber Orchestra, to improvising with the internationally acclaimed throat-singing ensemble Alash in Baltimore, Maryland. In February 2017, her duo Colibri with pianist Hannah Mindeman Shuman made its New York City debut at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.
Evelyn’s performances often have an unusual twist, such as dancing while performing a Sarasate showpiece, or pairing Bach sonatas with beat-boxing. Her collaboration with beat-boxer Shodeke Talifero at a Classical Revolution Baltimore event was described by the Baltimore Sun as making “interesting sparks fly.” She enjoys new music and has performed with experimental groups such as the Baltimore based SONAR New Music Ensemble. In 2013, she curated and performed in a set of coffee shop concerts called “Music On Caffeine”, featuring Bach’s humorous “Coffee Cantata” among other new and classic works. Evelyn has also appeared as a repeat soloist and chamber musician on series in Baltimore, Maryland, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Montreal, Canada, and Nassau, The Bahamas.
A seasoned orchestral musician, Evelyn has had the pleasure of serving as concertmaster and principal second violin for groups such as Ensemble 212, the Peabody Symphony, the Covenant College Chamber Orchestra, and the Masterworks Festival Orchestra. She has played with orchestras all over the East Coast including the Symphony in C, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, and the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
Evelyn brings the same passion and imagination that characterizes her performances to her work as a strings educator. Over the past five years, Evelyn worked as a violin class and string ensemble instructor for the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL) & the Noel Pointer Foundation and before that for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ORCHKids. In Baltimore, she taught workshops at the Peabody Preparatory, maintained a private studio, and coached sectionals and chamber ensembles for the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras. Recently, she was chosen as an associate faculty member for the acclaimed Elizabeth Faidley Studio in NYC. Sought after for her versatility as a teaching artist, Evelyn frequently does residencies in strings, composition, and musicianship with organizations such as the Center for Arts Education, LeAp (Learning Through Expanded Arts Programs) NYC, the Noel Pointer Foundation, the Little Orchestra Society, and the Very Young Composers of the New York Philharmonic. She is also the co-founder of East Lake Expression Engine, an El Sistema inspired program in Chattanooga, TN which offers holistic musical instruction to underprivileged children.
Evelyn received her M.M. in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with renowned violinist Pamela Frank. She earned a double bachelor’s degree in Music and English from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, studying with Jay Christy. Throughout her training, she was chosen as a leader and was a concerto competition finalist and scholarship winner at both the Heifetz International Music Institute and the Masterworks Festival. In recent summers she has participated in workshops with the Chiara String Quartet, Community Music Works, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.