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Violinist, Harris Shilakowsky
Violinist, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger & conductor

violinist & conductor

Currently...Harris Shilakowsky is the founder and first violinist of the Shilakowsky String Quartet. He teaches violin to all levels and ages of students and also beginning piano students
Mr. Shilakowsky is also the director of the Orchestral Instrumental program at Foxborough Regional Charter School. He teaches all instruments and directs bands and orchestras and teaches related courses including musical composition.

Past Performance: In 1994, Mr. Shilakowsky, performed as a guest leader (a position leading the violin section) of the London Symphony Orchestra performing recording sessions, tours and performances under music director Michael Tilson Thomas and Sir George Solti, Sir Colin Davis and André Previn in performances with Jessye Norman, Yuri Bashmet, Peter Zimmerman, and Kiri Tekanawa, among others. Upon returning to the USA, Shilakowsky was called to serve as concertmaster for the Bocksch Concerts Production of My Fair Lady, the European Tour with Maximillian Schell.

Harris Shilakowsky is a former concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra (D.Stahl), the New Orleans Symphony under Maxim Shostakovich, the Omaha Symphony directed by Bruce Hangen, the Grand Rapids Symphony (Semyon Bychkov), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Las Palmas and the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. He has also worked with the Boston, Chautauqua and Nashville Symphonies, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Handel-Haydn Society of Boston, and the Opera Company of Boston. Other recent U.S. free-lance work includes guest-concertmaster work with Vermont Symphony, the Granite State Symphony and the Nashua Symphony.
He was also Concertmaster/contractor of professional orchestras for Nutcracker performances with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre at the Collins Center in Andover, Massachusetts.

As solo violinist, Shilakowsky has appeared with the New Orleans, Omaha and Charleston Symphony Orchestras, the New England Conservatory and Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestras performing Mozart, Bach and Dvorak Violin Concertos, Vaughan-Williams' "Lark Ascending" and Ravel's "Tzigane", the Brahms Concerto and Chausson "Poeme" and in live recitals on NPR Stations in Boston, Omaha and Nashville. He performed recitals in 1999 in Brockton, MA at Temple Beth Emunah, in 1998 at the Newton Free Public Library & Jewish Community Center in Newton, MA, and in Johannesburg & Pietersburg, South Africa.
He also performs with the Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Pops, the Boston Ballet, Pro Arté Chamber Orchestra, and the American Symphony. He was a first violinist and on-stage solo musician for the Really Useful Group 'Frankfurt-1995' production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard. In 1995, he completed a three month contract of West Side Story performing at the Schiller Theater in Berlin, Germany.


Shilakowsky is the Orchestra Director at the Foxborough Regional Charter School in Massachusetts. He also founded, directed & performed as violin soloist of the Bristol Chamber Orchestra, a professional ensemble dedicated to performing music of all periods in diverse settings, educational concerts & special events including choral concerts. He founded and directed the Sharon Community Chamber Orchestra and has also directed rehearsals with youth orchestras in Burlington, VT and at New England Conservatory of Music. In 2002, Shilakowsky was guest conductor of the Rocky Ridge Music Festival Orchestra (YAS program). He has conducted chamber orchestra concerts in Grand Rapids and Baroque readings in Germany with international musical colleagues. He was also the Founder & Director of the Strauss Orchestra of Boston and conductor of fund-raising concerts for Pro Arté Chamber Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic.

educational background

Shilakowsky earned his Bachelor of Music cum laudé from New England Conservatory of Music and a Master's Degree from Yale University. His teachers include Joseph Silverstein, Koichiro Harada, Nancy Cirillo, and Leo Panasevich of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, David Cerone, Vali Bluttner and Yair Kless, chamber music with Joseph Gingold, Louis Krasner, Rudolph Kolisch, Eugene Lehner, master classes and chamber music with Oscar Shumsky and members of the Tokyo Quartet at Yale. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1955. He is a Tanglewood alumnus, and is an active composer. He has been listed in 'Who's Who in Musical America'. He has taught at several schools, including the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, the Thayer Conservatory @ Atlantic Union College, and The South Shore Conservatory, where he was the head of the string department, and as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston.
Currently teaching privately.

Shilakowsky performs on a violin by Dom Nicolo Amati made circa 1725.

With his experience in the recording studio, on stage with symphonies and chamber music, and performing in the pit and on stage in theatre productions, writing, composing, arranging, and working with actors, singers and instrumentalists, Shilakowsky has branched out to include coaching and producing emerging artists. He is the archival recordist for LiveArts concerts in Franklin MA and is a staff recording engineer for Saucer Sound Studio in Norton MA.

teaching violin & piano
violin lessons

benefits of studying with Shilakowsky

  • increase coordination
  • improve posture
  • increase self-confidence and self-image
  • improve your state of mind
  • get you thinking in another dimension

"Research shows piano students better equipped to comprehend mathematical and scientific concepts"

"Preschoolers were divided into three groups: One group received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received no training. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34 % higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others--even those who received computer training. "Spatial-temporal" is basically proportional reasoning--ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. This concept has long been considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and science. Reference: Neurological Research February 28, 1997"

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