Helen Chang Haertzen joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2003. In 2006 she appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Orchestra under Andrew Litton’s direction. At Orchestra chamber concerts she has played works of Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Ravel and Mozart.
Haertzen, who formerly was associate and principal second violin of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany, has toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and played with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She also served on the faculty of Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, teaching orchestral training and chamber music to international students. As soloist, Haertzen has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade and Junge Philharmonie Erlangen, and with the Staatsorchester Braunschweig.
Growing up in the Boston area, Haertzen studied under Bo Youp Hwang and Roman Totenberg. She attended Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute, the Salzburg Mozarteum and the San Francisco Conservatory. Her principal teachers also included Szymon Goldberg, Felix Galimir, Ruggiero Ricci and Camilla Wicks. Haertzen was a prizewinner of the Karol Lipinski-Wieniawski Competition in Poland. In 2017, the Minnesota State Arts Board awarded her the Artist Initiative Grant.
Haertzen is a member of the Isles Ensemble and has performed as a guest artist with the Walden Chamber Players and the Bamberg String Quartet. She has taken part in innovative collaborations with dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and collaborated with the Boston Ballet in a performance of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending. In Boston, she has appeared at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Goethe Institute. She played the Jascha Heifetz 1742 Guarneri del Gesu violin in recital at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor and has appeared as a recitalist throughout Europe. In 2005 Cavalli Records released Haertzen’s recording of the Bach Partitas for Solo Violin, which drew critical acclaim from the American Record Guide. In addition to performing, she enjoys teaching. Her students have gone on to study at top conservatories and music festivals, and to win orchestra positions.