Amy Schwartz Moretti, Violin

Director, and Caroline Paul King Violin Chair

Violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, has served as Director of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings since its inception in 2007, accepting the position after eight years as Concertmaster, first with The Florida Orchestra, then the Oregon Symphony.  She is often invited for guest concertmaster appearances and has appeared several times with the New York Pops and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, as well as the festival orchestras of Brevard, Colorado and Grand Teton.  She has also been Concertmaster of CityMusic Cleveland, a chamber orchestra bringing free concerts into the neighborhoods of northeastern Ohio.

Additionally, she is a member of the Ehnes Quartet with violinist James Ehnes, violist Richard O’Neill, and cellist Robert deMaine.  They recently recorded the Barber String Quartet, Op. 11, and two Shostakovich string quartets, Nos. 7 & 8, for Onyx Classics.   She is also violinist of Cortona Trio, a new piano trio with her Mercer colleagues, cellist Julie Albers and pianist Elizabeth Pridgen.  They were featured in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for their debut with the Macon Symphony in the opening concert of the 2012-13 season, music director Ward Stare conducting.  She continues to perform with her husband, jazz drummer and percussionist Steve Moretti, in the Moretti Duo, and with the Georgian Chamber Players in Atlanta.She often collaborates with Robert McDuffie, international artist, founder and visionary of the Center for Strings, as well as the Center’s distinguished artists and guests.

Instrumental in the development of intensive summer chamber music workshops for young musicians in both Florida and Oregon, Ms. Moretti now coordinatesthe Young Artist component of the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy where Center students have study abroad opportunities, and the Labor Day Festival for Strings where exceptional high school musicians are invited to experience Mercer and the McDuffie Center.  She also coordinates the Fabian Concert Series bringing internationally renowned musicians to Macon for concerts and master classes.
A frequent performer on the Mercer University campus, Ms. Moretti leads the MCS Ensemble, presents master classes, coaches chamber music, and teaches violin.  Her dedication to collaboration and performance inspires her teaching.  The successes already achieved by the Center’s young musicians, including individual growth, opportunities for future study, and performance engagements as competition winners, are a source of deep satisfaction.

An expressive and versatile artist with an affinity for chamber music, award-winning violinist Amy Schwartz Morettihas an extensive performing career appearing at artist series and music festivals across North America and in Europe.  She made her international recital debut at the San Miguel de Allende Music Festival as violin winner of the Irving M. Klein International String Competition.  Her New York solo concerto debut was in Carnegie Hall.  Recent and upcoming engagements include appearances in Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Macon, Miami, New York City, Old Lyme, Omaha, Pasadena, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Seattle, Montréal, London, Paris, Rome, and Tilburg, Netherlands.  

In the summer of 2013, she gave the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winning composerKevin Puts’ “Seven Seascapes” at the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival in New York, joined Philadelphia Orchestra principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales and concert pianist Anna Polonsky in a live recording of Ives’ “Largo” at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and recorded Prokofiev and Bartók duos with Canadian virtuoso James Ehnes for Chandos Records in England.  The Prokofiev Duo, Op.56, was released in a two-CD set, James Ehnes plays Prokofiev: Complete Works for Violin.  In September, she joined LA Philharmonic principal cellist Robert deMaine in performances of the Brahms Double Concerto with the Omaha Symphony, music director Thomas Wilkins conducting.  In the spring of 2013, she previewed “Shades of Blue,” a concerto written for her, jazz trio, and orchestra.  Commissioned to write this concerto merging jazz and classical elements, composer Matt Catingub directed the preview debut from the piano, showcasing Ms. Moretti on violin, anchored by double bassist Kurt Muroki and drummer Steve Moretti, who were joined by the MCS Ensemble at the Fabian Concert Series.

Many of her live performances have been streamed online and recorded for broadcast on classical FM including “Performance Today.”  In December 2013, Ms. Moretti appears in a PBS Special “A Grand Mercer Christmas” recorded for national telecast from Macon’s beautiful, historic Grand Opera House.  She has recorded for CBC Records/Les disques SRC in Toronto, and Dorian/Sono Luminus released her first solo album in 2011 featuring works for violin and piano with Elizabeth Pridgen.  Kaleidoscope also includes Robert McDuffie joining them for the Moszkowski Suite.

Through the generous efforts of the Stradivari Society* of Chicago, Ms. Moretti was recently awarded the use of a beautiful G.B. Guadagnini violin from Piacenza known as the “Canadian.”  This outstanding instrument on extended loan to her dates back to 1744.

Ms. Moretti’s Bachelor and Master of Music degrees are from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with distinguished artist/teacher Donald Weilerstein, graduating valedictorian.  She was coached in the Intensive Quartet Seminars led by Peter Salaff and the Cavani String Quartet.  The Institute honored her with an Alumni Achievement Award in 2005.  Mentored by the Cavani Quartet, she performed and coached with them at outreach residencies in Ohio, Oregon and Minnesota sponsored by Chamber Music America.  Invited by Isaac Stern to participate in his Chamber Music Workshop in Carnegie Hall and twice awarded fellowships from the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies directed by Earl Carlyss, she was coached by some of the finest chamber musicians of our time.  Preparatory studies were at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with concertmaster emeritus of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra Zaven Melikian.  The Conservatory has invited her to be their first Prep Fanfare Honoree in January 2014.  Earlier studies were with Suzuki pedagogue Joanne Bath in North Carolina and with long-time Juilliard faculty member Margaret Pardee during summers at Meadowmount in upstate New York.  Born in Wisconsin, raised in North Carolina and California, Ms Moretti now lives in Georgia with her husband and two young sons.

*The Stradivari Society is a unique organization that supports the very highest level of string playing by assisting Patrons who own the most precious antique Italian instruments and choose to make them available to artists of exceptional talent and ability.

Updated October 2013



Robert McDuffie Center for Strings