In the Orchestra’s days as the “Colorado Philharmonic,” sixteen-year-old Michaela Paetsch arrived in her cowboy boots as the youngest concertmistress in the organization’s history. Over her two years with the orchestra, she performed as a soloist five times and enjoyed the camaraderie found in collaborating with her young colleagues. Her first appearance with the orchestra was in 1977, Carl Topilow’s first year as Music Director and Principal Conductor.
Ms. Paetsch had worked with Maestro Topilow around Denver, in the top positions, with the Denver Young Artists Orchestra and the Colorado All State Orchestra, alongside her siblings. She experienced success both as an orchestral player and as a soloist, including winning first prize in both the MTNA and ASTA solo violin competitions in Chicago. Performing with her family is a large part of Michaela’s life and she credits them with her continued passion and success in music. Ms. Paetsch performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto for the first time at the age of twelve with the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra.
In Switzerland her achievements include having performed with pianist and politician Simonetta Sommaruga, who later became President of the Swiss Federal Council. Through Ms. Sommaruga, she also performed for the official visit of Ex-President Holland from Paris in Bern. Michaela has appeared more frequently in Colorado over the last few years with such notable performers as pianist and composer Peter Biro and pianist Abe Minzer. In the last few years Mr. Biro has written four Sonatas exclusively for Ms. Paetsch and himself. Mr. Minzer runs the “Classically Alive” series in Colorado Springs and in this intimate and lovely venue, his own Minzer/Schreuder residence, he will perform alongside Ms. Paetsch and cellist Norah Clydesdale on September 22 of this year as well as an appearance together in Canon City on September 24.
Michaela now lives in Ligerz, Switzerland with her family and two cats and is thrilled to return to the NRO to share her 40th anniversary with Carl.