Michaela Paetsch

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Michaela Paetsch Neftel
Michaela Modjeska Paetsch Neftel (12 Nov 1961 in Colorado Springs - 20 Jan 2023 in Bern, Switzerland).jpg
Michaela and her violin
Michaela Modjeska Paetsch

(1961-11-12)November 12, 1961
DiedJanuary 20, 2023(2023-01-20) (aged 61)
Bern, Switzerland
OccupationConcert Violinist
Years active1971–2023
  • Klaus Neftel
    (m. 1990)
RelativesJohann Sebastian Paetsch (brother)

Michaela Paetsch Neftel (born Michaela Modjeska Paetsch; November 12, 1961 – January 20, 2023) was an American violinist who was born in Colorado Springs. She was known for being the first American female to have recorded all 24 Paganini Caprices for solo violin.

Early life[edit]

Michaela Paetsch was raised in a large musical family - with parents (Gunther and Priscilla), two sisters (Phebe and Brigitte) and four brothers (Johann, Christian, Engelbert and Siegmund) - in Colorado Springs. She studied first with her parents at the age of three, then with Ivan Galamian at Meadowmount, later with Szymon Goldberg at Yale University, and at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Musical career[edit]

Paetsch made her debut as a soloist at the age of eleven with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

Throughout her career she performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician in the major musical centres of the world, including New York's Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Library of Congress in Washington. She also played in major festivals such as the Marlboro, Tokyo, Davos, Berlin (Brandenburg Summer Concerts), Banff, Boulder, and "Mostly Mozart" in New York.

Paetsch was invited as soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonics of Osaka, Japan, Seoul, Liège and Bergen; the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Residentie Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and the BBC Symphony, among others. She performed under such conductors as Kent Nagano, Dmitri Kitayenko, Horst Stein and Myung-whun Chung.

As a soloist of international repute she performed in concert with, among others, the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig Germany, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Hallé Orchestra Manchester, La Suisse Romande and Montreal.[1]

From 1993 she had been the violinist for the quartet "ensemble incanto" with which she toured extensively and recorded regularly. She lived in Bern, Switzerland.

Personal life and death[edit]

Paetsch died in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, on January 20, 2023, at the age of 61.[2]


Paetsch won numerous awards, including first prize in the G.B. Dealey International Competition in Dallas and top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth and the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competitions.


Her extensive discography includes:


  1. ^ "A short Bio of Michaela Paetsch". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
  2. ^ Niles, Laurie (January 23, 2023). "Violinist Michaela Paetsch (1961–2023), First Woman to Record 24 Paganini Caprices". Violinist.com. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  3. ^ Bio from the Queen Elisabeth International Competition

External links[edit]