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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
February 12, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Julie Baumgartel



B. Music Performance, Indiana University

Graduate Performance Diploma, Freiburg Conservatory

M. Music, University of Toronto

Julie Baumgartel has performed with Tafelmusik and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra across Europe, North America and Asia and recorded on the Sony, Harmonia Mundi and Analekta lables. Since moving to the Waterloo Region in 2000 she has focused her activities as close to home as possible- the Music Room, Maureen Forester Recital Hall, the Registry Theatre and the Centre in the Square being her favoured venues –mainly, among other reasons, because they are within easy biking distance to her house. Having toured many months a year in her pre–KW life, she is more than happy to stay put in her chosen home. She performs frequently with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Nota Bene Baroque Players. She has also played chamber music at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, the Elora Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and co-founded the Grand River Baroque Festival near Ayr, Ontario with her husband oboist James Mason. Julie appears on various chamber music series in southern Ontario including The Gallery Players of Niagara, Classics at the Registry and the InnerChamber concert series in Stratford. She performs on and is inspired by her gorgeous 1740 Paulo Antonio Testore violin.

Julie’s OTHER passion, is raising her two little boys, Zack and Buzzy, with her husband Jim. In early 2010, as her kids grew to the age when they would be starting to learn instruments, Julie became fascinated with the very first stages of learning the violin and started to look for children whom she could teach. She had studied pedagogy with Mimi Zweig during her undergraduate BMUS degree at Indiana University and started to immerse herself in pedagogical books, DVD’s and discussion with other teachers. Influences on Julie’s teaching have come from all over the place: Mimi and also, more recently, Mimi’s pedagogical DVD’s have been of inestimable help, not only in starting beginners but as a way to teach herself about the physicality of playing the violin. Stanley Ritchie, Julie’s baroque violin teacher at IU, and also the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra have shaped Julie’s music making enormously. Julie has also had fabulous violin teachers along the way, including Lorand Fenyves, Rainer Kussmaul, Henryk Kowalski and Gwen Thompson. And lastly, Julie’s husband, Jim Mason continues to be her main musical inspiration and teacher. Julie is excited to have such a great opportunity to pass along all these influences to her students, along with what will hopefully be a lifelong love of music.

The Laurier String Academy welcomes Julie Baumgartel as our violin instructor. She is no stranger to Laurier and the Waterloo community, and more about her professional career and personal details are outlined below.