Meet Petra

Petra Schwarthoff, violin

Sponsored by Michelle Crawforth

Petra knows the trick to becoming a fine musician is practice. Lots and lots of it. Fortunately, her husband Hubert understands. He knows that music is central to her life. Even during vacations, she makes and takes time to practice. Her practice time is now enhanced by using a Baroque bow which she says has made a wonderful difference.

There was a time in their lives when listening rather than playing music became critical to relieving rising stress. Petra and Hubert were looking forward to the birth of twins. But when the boys arrived prematurely, the new parents had to leave them for over two months in a hospital located an hour from their home. Listening to music was a tremendous antidote to the anxiety of that intense time. The boys are now 15, and another child, a daughter, has joined the Schwarthoff family. Though Petra has provided her children with foundational music training, the trio seems uninterested in studying music further. That is okay, says Petra, because music is her dream, not theirs; she wants each of the children to find and follow their own respective dreams.

Petra’s life continues to be filled with music, and although she continues to love classical music, she is reaching into new genres. Currently she is exploring bluegrass and jazz and studying on line with Darol Anger through ArtistWorks. As we discussed the learning curve, she laughed recalling that she anticipated ‘fiddling’ would be easy to pick up and less difficult than playing her violin in the classical manner. She found just the opposite to be true. She feels that, “classical music requires discipline and precision to produce the notes just as they are written on the page while bluegrass and jazz include improvisation which requires pulling music from the heart and soul.”

She’s also discovered pleasure in working with numbers and with computers. This has been fortunate for the Boise Baroque Orchestra. In addition to playing in the orchestra, she is currently serving as the orchestra’s webpage manager, the BBO’s Music Librarian, and does considerable data analysis as well. And even in these tumultuous times Petra knows how to have fun. You might catch her biking or heading off to the mountains to go camping. Or you might find her at Boise’s Powderhaus Brewing Company on the 4th Monday of the month, playing violin or cello with her bluegrass friends or her new duo partner, composer Scott Carter.

Petra is a continual ambassador for the Baroque Orchestra. She hopes every member of the BBO family will spread the word about this wonderful ensemble. For example, one evening at a performance of the Boise Philharmonic, Petra struck up a conversation with a woman in the next seat. Petra told her about the BBO. That person, Helen Carter, is now president of the Boise Baroque Orchestra Board. Petra is fortunate to be one of the Orchestra’s sponsored musicians. She is delighted that patrons like her sponsor, Michelle Crawforth, have stepped forward to recognize members of the Orchestra. And the Boise Baroque is fortunate that Petra Schwarthoff is part of the Orchestra’s family.