Artist of the day: Emiko Wennerholt

Published Aug. 1, 2013

She has played alongside Andrea Bocelli and heads up her own symphony. So perhaps it's no surprise that Emiko Wennerholt was only 2 when she discovered her life's passion: the violin.

"When I was 2, my parents took me to a church to see a great string quartet," Wennerholt, who lives in Port Richey, said. "I was still wearing diapers and I was so mesmerized. I walked up to the front and sat before the violinist playing in the group. After the concert I told my mom and dad, 'I want to play violin.' "

The New York native picked up her first violin at age 5 and — while being raised in Tokyo — received 11 years of training on the Suzuki Violin Method. She went on to graduate from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, then to earn a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Miami and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. At age 32 she has played with the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra the past two seasons.

For more on Wennerholt, click here for Megan Hussey's profile.