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BIOGRAPHY

Violinist Nicolette Andres has created a musical career with breadth in teaching, performing—internationally, and she continues her own education with expert teachers all over the country and world. Nicolette shares her work and skills in the community through her position as faculty violin instructor at Boulder Suzuki Strings, and as founder of the Boulder Irish Workshop.

Nicolette began formal study of violin at age five, with a Suzuki violin teacher in Evergreen, Colorado. She followed her passion of music in college while studying at the University of Puget Sound. In her string pedagogy course with Dr. Maria Sampen, Nicolette's teacher and mentor for many years, Nicolette's interest piqued at the opportunity to share her love of music with students in small, achievable steps. Nicolette began formal teacher training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas in 2015. She nurtured her own studio of over twenty students, ranging in age from three to seventy years old, in the South Sound area for two years before return to her home state of Colorado. 

During Nicolette’s undergraduate degree at the University of Puget Sound she spent six months abroad in Cork, Ireland where she studied with violinist and conductor Tom Crowley. While in Ireland Nicolette played in the Cork Institute of Technology School of Music Symphony and also absorbed the incredible folk music of Ireland. Nicolette picked up the bodhrán (Irish frame drum) and studied with Colm Murphy of the internationally known group De Dannan. Upon returning to the Northwest, Nicolette continued as a member of the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra and Opera Orchestra, and was featured on violin as part of a jazz combo directed by composer Rob Hutchinson. Nicolette studied jazz in a formal setting at the University of Puget Sound, and also with her violin teacher in Ireland, Tom Crowley. In the classical realm, Nicolette performed in multiple chamber ensembles at the University of Puget Sound and was asked to rejoin the Symphony in Spring 2017 for a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony.

Nicolette gravitates towards music of many genres, and has a particular passion for playing swing, jazz, rock and traditional folk. Nicolette began to find a new voice on her violin when she was asked to perform for her local yoga studio’s evening classes in 2016. She began improvising more, composed original music, and was drawn to the powerful environments a musician can create during live performance. In Spring 2017 Nicolette joined touring Steampunk band Abney Park based in Seattle, WA. Nicolette performed with Abney Park for crowds of up to three thousand people across the world. A few destinations toured were  Denver, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia; and Niagara, Ontario. In addition to playing electrifying live shows with the band, Nicolette composed handfuls of her violin parts for Abney Park and did work in the recording studio. She also added backing vocals during live performances. In addition to Abney Park, Nicolette has also performed with various bluegrass and gypsy jazz bands at venues across Denver, including two performances at Dazzle Jazz. Through these networks of musicians Nicolette was able to take a lesson with renowned gypsy jazz violinist Christiaan van Hemert of The Rosenberg Academy. She has also participated in workshops with jazz violinist Mads Tolling, and finds great inspiration from the artists Stuff Smith, Regina Carter, and Andrew Bird. 

In December 2020 Nicolette began studying the Hardanger fiddle (Hardingfele in Norwegian) with Rachel Nesvig. Through a loan program from the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America, Nicolette was accepted to study and loan an instrument for two terms. The Hardanger Fiddle is the national instrument of Norway, and is a trove of history of music passed down by ear. Nicolette is passionate about oral traditions of music, and let that guide her to plan her first trip to Norway in May 2022 to visit the Ole Bull Akademiet. Nicolette now regularly plays for Scandinavian dance nights in Boulder, Colorado on her own Hardingfele, and looks forward to continue to study in the tradition.

With a deep love of folk music, in April 2022 Nicolette helped initiate and found a program called the Boulder Irish Workshop, which offers instruction and tune learning to all musicians age twelve and up who are interested in learning more about Irish music, and learning by ear. Nicolette was awarded the Alex Wilson Legacy Fund grant to help fund and support this project, and bring the community into a tradition of music that is based on truly listening, and preserving a cultural tradition. In this role, Nicolette arranges guest artists, teaches tunes to students on various instruments, and fosters community gathering.

Nicolette believes that studying an instrument in great depth develops skilled musicians, yet the most important part of the journey is that these skills spill over into all parts of our lives. Students of the violin will practice close listening, building focus, awareness, patience, sensitivity, kind hearts, as well as the technical skills that are used to play the instrument. This creates healthy, well-rounded individuals, and seeps into our communities. 

In addition to many years of private lesson teaching experience, Nicolette has presented at Suzuki workshops in Colorado and California, and loves meeting new students in these settings. In addition to her musical studies, Nicolette holds a 200-hour yoga certification and blends her knowledge of anatomy and movement with teaching the violin in order to let people play comfortably for as long as they would like. Nicolette also records music, performs, and consults.

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