was 8 years old when, influenced by stories of her conductor/violinist grandfather, she decided to study violin. Her formal training began before college at the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Marylou Speaker-Churchill, Principal 2nd violin of the Boston Symphony, and performed under Ben Zander, traveling with that orchestra to Romania and the USSR. She also studied string quartets at the All Newton Music School with Robert Ripley, and attended Tanglewood.
In college she studied with esteemed soloist Ruggiero Ricci at the University of Michigan School of Music, and Camilla Wicks at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree, she took on a graduate assistantship at Kent State University where she studied with Bernard Goldschmidt, Principal 2nd violin of the Cleveland Orchestra. While in Ohio, she held contracts with Canton and Akron Symphonies, as well as the West Virginia and Wheeling Symphonies.
Some of her summer studies include chamber music at the American Conservatory at Fontainbleu in France, and orchestral studies at the Grand Teton festival and National Orchestra Institute. She also performed in the Si-Yo Chamber Music Society and the Bedford Springs Music Festival.
Ms. Handler spent 7 summers as 3rd chair first violin and played chamber music with the Missouri Symphony Society. In 1995 she became a member of the New Hampshire Music Festival and has reguarded it as her beloved summer home ever since.
Before her son was born, Ms. Handler taught at the Gadsden Culteral Arts Center and for ten years sat assistant principal second violin in the Tuscaloosa Symphony. Presently she is in her twelfth season with the Alabama Symphony and holds a private studio of fifteen violin students ranging from ages 2-80 years. Apart from music, Ms. Handler is quite capable as a drawer and painter. She enjoys children, animals, her mother’s farm in Maine, and hiking.