and started studying privately around age nine.
My first professional job was at age sixteen and I made a living
playing violin for the next twenty five years.”
– Cody Minnick Free
My first teacher, Janet Williams, was an incredibly kind and talented violinist. Mrs. Williams gave me weekly private lessons until I was fifteen. At sixteen she said it was time to start studying with her teacher, Noumi Fischer. Maestro Fischer had been a child prodigy and was a genius on the violin. Students came from all over the world to study with him. He was renowned for his fingerings.
I learned profound life lessons from Mr. Fischer as much as I did music. He instilled rigorous discipline and was a stickler for practicing the basics: SCALES! INTONATION! RHYTHM! Maestro Fischer was also very gracious, generous and inspiring. His teachings have helped me in every area of my life.
These are among the pieces in my repertoire that I played in my heyday:
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto * Beethoven Violin Concerto * Vitali Chaconne * Mozart Violin Concertos No’s 4 & 5 * Bach Double Violin Concerto in D minor * Franz Schubert String Quartet No. 14 “Death and the Maiden” * Bach Sonata No. 1 in G Minor * Vivaldi Four Seasons *
I have been a member of some very fine orchestras and ensembles. Reno Philharmonic * Beverly Hills Symphony * The Burbank Symphony * Ventura Symphony * Long Beach Civic Light Opera * The Center Strings Chamber Ensemble * Cesare Pascarella String Quartet * Symphony of the Canyons * A Little Night Music String Quartet * Santa Barbara City College Symphony *
In my twenties, I performed in Lake Tahoe and Reno showbands with such artists as: Sammy Davis, Jr. * Tony Bennet* Johnny Mathis * Mel Torme * Liberace * George Shearing * Englebert Humperdinck * Pointer Sisters * Mac Davis * Lou Rawls * Diana Ross * Cher * Shirley Maclaine* George Benson * Kenny Rogers * Doug Henning * Louis Prima * Rich Little * Wayne Newton * John Denver * Glen Campbell * Tom Jones
Most recently I’ve been playing for fun and for free in the SBCC Symphony under the magical and inspiring baton of James Mooy. Playing the violin is a wondrous thing and I feel blessed and lucky to have been given the heart of a musician. Maestro always said, “Music is an international language.” It’s an honor and a privilege to pass along his teachings.