Dynamic and engaging, violinist Carla Ecker is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1999. She has performed with such orchestras as the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, El Paso Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony. Ms. Ecker has also maintained an active performing schedule throughout the U.S. while residing in Tucson. Since 1993, Ms. Ecker has spent her summers as a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Other highlights of her career include a national tour with guitarist Ottmar Liebert and solo appearances with the El Paso Symphony and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Ecker was also a featured artist at the 2007 Arizona Bass Player’s Festival performing with composer Frank Proto in his Duo for Violin and Bass.
A native Tucsonan, Ms. Ecker is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she was a student of Dr. John Ferrell. She is a strong advocate for live classical music in Tucson and as such has performed as Concertmaster for such local organizations as the University Community Chorus, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, and Nederlander Broadway Productions held at the TCC Music Hall. Ms. Ecker actively participates in various local chamber music ensembles and is a founding member of the DayStar Chamber Players, as well as performing her own solo recitals. In addition, Ms. Ecker has a private violin studio and is frequently in demand as an orchestral string coach for youth orchestras throughout the southwest.
When did you start playing the violin? When I was 10 years old.
Why did you choose your instrument? Well, my older brother was already playing the violin and then he started fooling around with that huge string bass. Somehow I convinced him to stick with that so I could have his violin!
Are you from a musical family? I'm the only one who plays the violin for a living, but my mother plays the guitar, and my three siblings played instruments through high school.
What other instruments do you play? I can play the spoons, and once I played the kazoo.
What makes the violin special? It can sound so beautiful it can even make you cry. And some violins are really old...even HUNDREDS of years old, and they sound better and better the older they get! It's positively amazing!
What advice would you give to aspiring violinists? Be patient. Don't be in a hurry when you are learning something new. Take a few minutes at the end of each practice session to play something fun!
Guilty musical secret: I love the opera!!!
Funny musical experience: The time I got to arrive late on stage in fuzzy slippers and a bathrobe.
Most exciting musical experience: Soloing with the TSO.
If not music, what other career would you have considered? I would have loved to be a writer or a journalist.
Hobbies: Running, reading, hiking, and shoes.
Favorite composers: Most of them.