James H. Kontrabecki is a native of Hamburg, New York. James currently holds the
position of Adjunct Professor of Violin at SUNY Fredonia. He also teaches Elementary
Instrumental Music in the Orchard Park
School District in Orchard Park, New York, as well as Professor of Violin at Villa
Maria College of Buffalo. He is the former Professor of Strings at St. Bonaventure
University, where he taught Violin, Viola and Chamber Music.
Mr. Kontrabecki studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY with teachers
such as the late Mitchell Stern of the Manhattan School of Music, and Charles Haupt
of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. While at Eastman, he played under such conductors
as Robert Shaw, Krystoph von Dohnanyi, Mendi Rodan and David Effron. He received
both his Bachelor's and Master's of Music in Performance from SUNY Fredonia. James
studied and was a graduate assistant with Professor Janet Sung, for whom he taught
private violin lessons, chamber music, technique classes as well as violin/viola pedagogy.
In May of 2010, James graduated with a second baccalaureate degree, summa cum laude,
in Music Education and is currently New York State Certified to teach Music grades
Winner of the annual concerto competition in 2000 at SUNY Fredonia, James Kontrabecki
was featured soloist with the Fredonia College Symphony and Fredonia Chamber Orchestra
as well as the Orchard Park Symphony, all of which he has served as concertmaster.
James' active performing schedule includes master classes, as well as solo and chamber
music performances throughout Western New York and North Eastern Pennsylvania. He
has toured with numerous ensembles down the East Coast, as well as Italy and Jamaica.
He has been a section violinist with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra for several
years, and serves on the Board of Directors. James has been invited to teach at several
of Western New York's and North Eastern Pennsylvania's String Programs and Workshops,
such as the Erie Youth Philharmonic, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, Chautauqua
Institute Summer Festival, and NSOA-ASTA String Conference, as well as adjudicating
for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. James is an active private instructor and
freelance violinist, performing with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, SUNY Buffalo's
Slee Sinfonietta, and the Oakgrove String Quartet. He is co-founder of the Mason
String Quartet and teaches privately both in Erie and Chautauqua Counties. James
is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity, for which he was awarded
the Martha Barkema Award for excellence in music and leadership, the American Federation
of Musicians, Local 92, The National Association for Music Education (MENC) and the
New York Chapter of The American String Teacher's Association (ASTA).