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Lydia Miller Choorapuzha
A native of Severna Park, Maryland, Lydia Miller Choorapuzha began playing violin at the early age of five. Her talent and enthusiasm for the instrument resulted in a scholarship to study at the preparatory division of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where she learned from world-renowned musicians during her seven years there. Lydia is, however, a scholar as well as a performer. She attended Boston University on a merit scholarship where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in the history and literature of music. There she studied with Peter Zazofsky, first violinist of the Muir String Quartet. In the spring of 2002, Lydia traveled abroad to Berlin, Germany, where she studied German language, history, and literature at the Freie Universitaet and violin at the Hochschule der Kunst, as a student of Rainer Kimstedt. In the spring of 2006 she completed her master’s degree in violin performance at the State University of New York College at Purchase, where she was a scholarship recipient and the teaching assistant for Laurie Smukler, founding member of the Mendelssohn Quartet. A decision to work more closely with her mentor Jorja Fleezanis, former Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, moved Lydia to the Twin Cities in 2006. She was an active member of the musical community until relocating to Pittsburgh in 2014.
Lydia maintains a busy schedule as a performer and teacher. She has performed around the world, including in countries such as Canada, Iceland, Scotland, Germany, England, and South Korea, and has played with such orchestras as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, and the World Symphony Orchestra, working with such conductors as Osmo Vanska, Roberto Abbado, Carlos Kalmar, Hugh Wolff, and Stanisław Skrowaczewskiand has shared the stage with such artists as singing legend Art Garfunkel, Barry Manilow, and Josh Groban. Currently, she performs regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010, Lydia founded the highly successful chamber music series Music on the Hill, set in the pristine chapel at Good Counsel in Mankato,MN, and featuring some of the best musicians in Minnesota. She continues to work as the Artistic Director of the series and is also a regular performer. Her live performances are broadcast regularly on MPR.
Lydia is a devoted teacher; her students participate regularly in the Music Development Program’s examinations, through which they have won State and National Gold Medal awards. In 2015 Lydia became a member of the Royal Conservatory’s prestigious College of Examiners. As such, she travels throughout the US and Canada administering exams to string students of all levels, providing valuable feedback to students and teachers. She is on the faculty of the City Music Center at Duquesne University and the PYCO School of Music in Wexford, PA.
Lydia lives in Pittsburgh with her wonderfully supportive husband Jason, their son Mark, and their adoring and adorable maltese dogs, Magnum and Bear.