Zachary Carrettin


ZACHARY CARRETTIN has performed as orchestral and choral conductor, violinist, violist, and cellist da spalla in more than twenty-five countries on four continents, and has established a reputation for presenting thoughtful, dynamic and diverse programs which feature repertory from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. He performed as soloist at the opening ceremonies of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the Dayton Center for the Performing Arts, the Museo del’ Arte Rovereto-Trentino (Italy), and was featured at the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts Face of America Series, the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, at the Stavanger Festival (Norway), and in a private concert for the Sultan and Royal Family of Oman, in Muscat, in the capacity of Music Director of Project Bandaloop, (1999-2004). He has since conducted orchestras across the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, and the National Symphony Orchestras of Moldova and Bolivia. He conducted the first recording of Bolivian composer Gustavo Navarre’s Sinfonía, and conducted the first known performance of Capuzzi’s ballet music, L’Impostore punito. Carrettin has performed and recorded numerous works in manuscript following several research trips to archives in Bergamo, Milan and Venice.  


In the field of historically inspired period instrument performance, Carrettin appeared several times as concerto soloist with the American Bach Soloists, and as guest concertmaster and soloist with numerous baroque period instrument ensembles including the GRAMMY-nominated recording of Hasse’s Marc’ Antonio e Cleopatra with  Ars Lyrica Houston, the U.S. premiere of Vivaldi’s rediscovered opera Montezuma with Musica Angelica and  Long Beach Opera, critically-acclaimed recording of baroque chamber music from the New World Villancicos y Cantidas with El Mundo, and several productions of opera, oratorio, and instrumental music with American Bach Soloists. He toured internationally performing Mexican baroque instrumental and vocal chamber music with the ensemble El Mundo, and toured the California mission churches performing baroque music of the New World with renowned choir, Chanticleer. Carrettin’s recording of Schubert sonatas on original instruments with pianist Mina Gajić was released in March, 2020 on the Sono Luminus label, and the following month hit No. 9 on Billboard Charts "Traditional Classical."

He recently recorded Bach Cello Suites #'s 1, 2, and 3 (on baroque viola) during Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. That recording, titled "Metamorphosis," is now available on all platforms. 


In chamber music Carrettin has collaborated with the Tokyo Quartet, the Assad Brothers, Joyce Yang, Richie Hawley, Kenneth Goldsmith, Cho-Liang Lin, Ian Hobson, Martin Beaver, and in Baroque/Classical/Romantic period instrument ensemble performances with Giovanni Antonini, Richard Egarr, Nicholas McGegan, Monica Huggett, Mahan Esfahani, Manfredo Kramer, Reinhard Goebel, Sherezade Panthaki, and Nicholas McGegan. Formative orchestral experience included serving as a first violinist in the Bergen Philharmonic (Norway), as principal viola in La Jolla Summerfest Chamber Orchestra, and on period instruments as a first violinist with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival Orchestra, and as principal second violin with Houston Grand Opera baroque opera orchestra. An advocate of diversity in music, Carrettin toured one-hundred cities with Yanni and shared the stage with Ray Charles, the Black Crowes, Cake, Joan Jett and many others at festivals internationally, as soloist with Project Bandaloop. His original music and recordings have been heard on Late Night with David Letterman, at the Kennedy Center, on CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, and PBS. Colorado Public Radio designated his unaccompanied Bach as a Top 15 studio recording in 2015, and the New York Times wrote of his solo Bach: 


The Preludio was played freely, as though improvised, while the fuga was unusually delicate. 

-New York Times 


Recent review of Schubert recording on historical instruments: 


Immediately apparent is the duo’s uncanny unity of phrasing. In each gesture — whether long sequences of harmony, punchy statements, delicate lifts, or phrases that come to a halt at the edge of an emotional cliff — Carrettín and Gajić share the same sense of propulsion, giving their playing a lean power and an extra glimmer of energy...daring virtuosity, tossed off with glee...they partner brilliantly here...Boundless is an excellent snapshot of a year in Schubert’s life as portrayed by a duo joined musically at the hip, with instruments that will fascinate you.

-Early Music America 


Recent review of Bach Cello Suites recording on baroque viola:


He plays Bach not only as music but as speech, line, colour, dance, harmonic sonority, balance and clarity of contrapuntal lines...And everything is infused with poetry. 

-Gramophone Magazine


Accolades for his work as music director of Boulder Bach Festival include: 


Noble ... revelatory ... an overwhelming experience. Carrettin rendered the famous Chaconne for solo violin in a spellbinding interpretation that was fresh and adventurous, including some improvisation but never becoming indulgent.  

-Daily Camera 


This may have been the most complete realization of the B-minor Mass I have heard. Creative, provocative, and sensational ... It is this kind of creative rethinking that keeps the great masterpieces alive in our times. 

-Sharps and Flatirons 


Every musician on stage ...was inspired ... an amazing range and depth of mood which was absolutely exhilarating. His tone was incredible and his sense of phrasing and voicing would surely have pleased Bach. 

-Opus Colorado 


Carrettin holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Rice University Shepherd School of Music, a Master of Music degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Professional Studies Certificate from the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania. He served on the faculty at University of St. Thomas as Orchestra Director, Sam Houston State University as Director of Orchestral Studies, the University of Colorado at Boulder as interim Director of Early Music Ensembles and later as guest Music Director of Eklund Opera’s production of Händel’s Ariodante. His primary mentors in violin, viola and period styles include Kenneth Goldsmith and Sergiu Luca, and in ensemble conducting, Dumitru Goia.  


Carrettin begins his tenth year as Music Director of Boulder Bach Festival, and in that capacity is founder of the BBF’s ensemble-in-residence, COmpass REsonance. His latest recording in collaboration with pianist Mina Gajić, "CONFLUENCE: Balkan Dances and Tango Nuevo," was released in the first quarter of 2022 on the Sono Luminus label. In 2022-2023, Carrettin and Gajić tour the U.S. and Italy in duo recitals and guest artist teaching residencies.