James Zabawa-Martinez is a D.M.A. student in violin performance at the University of Minnesota. He is currently serving as teaching assistant to the renowned violin pedagogue, Sally O’Reilly. As a soloist, Zabawa-Martinez has performed recitals around Europe, Central America, and the United States. He has been selected to participate in the Sphinx Competition, Premio Paganini, Music Teachers National Association, and Saint Paul Chamber competitions.
Zabawa-Martinez is concertmaster of the Buffalo Community Orchestra. Previously, he served in the same capacity for the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and Mississippi Valley Orchestra, among others. He has had the privilege of participating in masterclasses led by Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Ani Kavafian, Angie Fuller, Yair Kless, Jonathan Magness, Aimee Kreston, Vijay Gupta, Bruce Coppock, Gwen Thompson-Robinow, John Gilbert, and others. He obtained a Master of Music from the University of Texas-Austin, where he was a student of Brian Lewis. In 2021, Zabawa-Martinez will be releasing a recording of Eugene Ysaye’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin under the Orpheus Classical record label.