- Instrument First Violin
Violinist John Helmich, a Davenport, Iowa native, received his Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and his Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. While there, he was awarded the Howard Hanson Scholarship and graduated with High Distinction. His primary teachers included Oleh Krysa and Timothy Ying. During his studies at Eastman, he was coached extensively by the Ying Quartet with additional masterclasses and coachings with Zvi Zeitlin, Ilya Kaler, Marilyn McDonald, Miriam Fried, Pamela Frank, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet.
An avid soloist, as well as chamber musician, Mr. Helmich has performed in concerts and recitals throughout the United States. He is currently a member of the Derazey Piano Trio, the Belin Quartet, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Des Moines Symphony. He has performed on concert series at the Des Moines Art Center, the Des Moines Salisbury House, as well as for the World Food Prize, and the Iowa Gubernatorial Inauguration Ceremony. He has served as Principal Second Violin of the Des Moines Metro Opera and is currently Associate Concertmaster. He has also performed in opera productions with Drake University, Simpson College, and the University of Iowa.
John is currently a member of the first violin section of the Des Moines Symphony. In addition, Mr. Helmich has collaborated with today’s pop and jazz musicians including Josh Groban, Amy Grant, Max Wellman, and Mannheim Steamroller. He has also performed with numerous national touring Broadway shows. Mr. Helmich has served as a Teaching Artist of Violin at Drake University. He also teaches violin and coaches chamber music groups at the Des Moines Symphony Academy. His students have been accepted into the nation’s top music schools, including the New England Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, Oberlin, Northwestern University, and the Peabody Conservatory.
Member of the Orchestra since
Most memorable experience with the Orchestra
My most memorable experience with the orchestra was playing with Itzhak Perlman.
How I got started playing my instrument
I started playing the violin in the public school orchestra program.
Anything by Mozart
Favorite solo piece
Anything by Mozart