About Me

James H. Kontrabecki is a native of Hamburg, New York. James currently holds the position of Elementary Instrumental Music in the Orchard Park School District in Orchard Park, New York, as well as Adjunct Professor of Violin SUNY Fredonia.  He is the former Professor of Strings at St. Bonaventure University and Villa Maria College where he taught Violin, Viola and Chamber Music.   

Mr. Kontrabecki studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY with teachers such as the late Mitchell Stern of the Manhattan School of Music, and Charles Haupt of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. While at Eastman, he played under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Krystoph von Dohnanyi, Mendi Rodan and David Effron. He received both his Bachelor's and Master's of Music in Performance from Fredonia. James studied and was a graduate assistant with Professor Janet Sung, for whom he taught private violin lessons, chamber music, technique classes as well as violin/viola pedagogy. In May of 2010, James graduated with a second baccalaureate degree, summa cum laude, in Music Education and is currently New York State Certified to teach Music grades K-12.

Winner of the annual concerto competition in 2000 at Fredonia, James Kontrabecki was featured soloist with the Fredonia College Symphony and Fredonia Chamber Orchestra as well as the Orchard Park Symphony, all of which he has served as concertmaster. He has toured with numerous ensembles down the East Coast, as well as Italy and Jamaica. He was a section violinist with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra for several years, and served on the Board of Directors. James has been invited to teach at several of Western New York's and North Eastern Pennsylvania's String Programs and Workshops, such as the Erie Youth Philharmonic, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony, Chautauqua Institute Summer Festival, and NSOA-ASTA String Conference, ECMEA Winter Conference, as well as adjudicating for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra and ECMEA festivals. James is an active private instructor and freelance violinist, performing with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, SUNY Buffalo's Slee Sinfonietta, and the Oakgrove String Quartet. James has been invited to conduct the NCMEA elementary orchestra, ECMEA Junior High North Orchestra, and the Orange County All-county elementary string orchestra. James is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity, for which he was awarded the Martha Barkema Award for excellence in music and leadership, board member of Southtowns Youth Orchestra the American Federation of Musicians, Local 92, The National Association for Music Education (MENC) and the New York Chapter of The American String Teacher's Association (ASTA).