Dear expert,

I am a violinist/violist from Russia.  next year I will finish my Doctor degree, and then I am planning to go to America to develop my career.  to be a soloist , or teaching in conservatory or playing in orchestra in U.S, if it is possible, could you give me some suggestion?I'm really in serious consideration this problem, I need your help. please reply me . Thanks so much.


Hi Domenico,

I am compelled to give you the conventional advice: a career path as a soloist, or even as an orchestra violinist in the United States has become exceedingly difficult in the recent decade. Teaching positions are also hard to find, tenured full-time teaching jobs being almost non existent to my knowledge.

This is not to say you can't survive as a performing and teaching musician in the United States; but it's unclear whether making the trip from Russia will bring you more opportunity. As in any career path, if your skills are exceptional and you produce great work tirelessly, you will eventually be noticed wherever you go. But it's important to choose wisely. Your doctoral degree alone won't carry the day.

You have proposed three widely differing career paths; few people can claim to be exceptional in more than one.

The best thing I can tell you is to be completely honest with yourself about your strengths and forge a plan along a single path. You must decide what you want to do, and work toward that specific goal every day.

The worst thing you can do, is to upend your entire life with with no clear idea of the reason behind making that big change.

Good luck on your violin journey!

--Bill Alpert


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Bill Alpert


BEFORE YOU ASK, PLEASE NOTE: I cannot answer questions about instrument repair or value. You need to visit a reputable local violin shop for such assistance, or do some reasearch online: I can answer questions related to the study of the violin, teaching violin and the performance of concert (classical) music. I'm happy to assist anyone who is serious about his/her violin journey as a pathway to personal growth and musical achievement.


I am a professional symphony violinist, studio recording musician and also a private studio teacher specializing in the Suzuki Method. I've arranged music for small ensembles and voice, and have contracted musical performances in a variety of venues.

American String Teachers Association, Suzuki Institute of the Americas

B.A. Music, UCLA, California State Polytechnic University, Suzuki Pedagogical studies at the Suzuki Institute of Colorado and at Occidental College.

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