Dr. Carl Donakowski


Professor, Cello
String Area Coordinator

Carl Donakowski pursues a international career in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Early in his career he was a finalist in the Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin. Since then, his recital performances have been enjoyed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Merkin Hall in New York City; and aired on WQRS Detroit, WQXR New York, and Südwestfunk Baden- Baden. He has performed at the Manitou, Fontana, Staunton, Tanglewood, Blue Lake, and Beethoven music festivals. Mr. Donakowski has performed on four continents, most recently (2017) in Guangzhou, China. As a member of the Arcos Trio, he was awarded an Artistic Excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to perform and record piano trios by Latin American composers on the Centaur label. Of his performances at the Fontana Festival a reviewer wrote “Cellist Carl Donakowski is ideally suited to perform these romantic works. His tone is rich in resonance and passionate in approach, displaying the big sound that could sustain a charming longing.”

Donakowski is Professor of Music (Cello and Chamber music) at the James Madison University School of Music in Harrisonburg, VA where he received the distinguished teaching award. For over a decade he was Artist-in-Residence at the Bay View Music Festival. He has served on the faculties of Central Michigan University School of Music and Alma College. He is a frequent presenter at the American String Teachers Association national conference and a contributor to American String Teacher. He served as president of the Michiana Cello Society and currently edits the Cello Forum for the Virginia String Teachers Association. Donakowski was a student of Janos Starker at Indiana University. He also studied with Timothy Eddy Gary Hoffman and William Pleeth. 

Strings Professors and Instructors

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