MSO Musician Spotlight: Paul Hauer

Tagged Under: 2022.23 Season, MSO Musicians

Paul Hauer is a valuable member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s second violin section, but he is far from letting the grass grow under his feet.

“I love being a member of this incredible orchestra, but I want to give back to the community in other ways as well,” he says. During the pandemic, he established an active social media presence, setting up his own YouTube channel and posting one or more videos a week of himself performing on violin, often accompanying himself on piano. “I feel like I’m here to connect with people, and music is the vehicle,” he says. Posting videos helped him stay in playing shape, as well as teaching him new audio/visual skills. And during that time of separation, “it was nice to connect with friends that I wasn’t able to perform with in person.”

He also participated in broader projects that the musicians put together, such as the MSO violin section’s Bach Partita project. “It highlighted how much talent there is in our orchestra,” he says. The transition to the new hall was a revelation for him acoustically. In the spring of 2021, when the MSO was playing socially distanced chamber music in Allen-Bradley Hall for a mostly online audience, he remembers, “I was blown away by how reverberant the space was. And the smaller ensembles in our programs showed how Allen-Bradley Hall is perfect for chamber music as well as orchestral works.”

Now that the symphony is comfortably established in the Bradley Symphony Center, Hauer also enjoys taking advantage of the practice rooms in the basement. “During lunch breaks or after rehearsal, it’s nice to head downstairs with friends and work on whatever is coming up,” he says. Most recently, he and first violinist Alex Ayers used the space to practice for a performance at the Peninsula Music Festival February Fest in Egg Harbor. Hauer was also practicing for an international tour with the Fulton Chamber Players, visiting Taiwan with colleagues Amy Hess and Addison Teng for a three-city concert tour of Taipei, Tainan, and Taichung.

He maintains an active teaching schedule in the area with his private violin students – as a violin instructor at Maranatha Baptist University, String Advisor at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Faculty at the Fulton Summer Music Academy in Chicago. The summer intensive setting, he says, goes hand-in-hand with the teamwork skills needed at the MSO.