Andrew Raciti


Andrew Raciti was born in Milwaukee in 1975.  He began playing the violin as part of a public school Suzuki string program at age 4.  After playing violin for 8 years, he quit and played sports for a few years.During his junior year in high school, Andy wanted to play the violin again, but a broken wrist suffered while playing football limited the range of movement for the turning of his left arm, so the wise orchestra director of his high school, Ronald Melby (who had also been one of his violin teachers), drove to Andy’s house and dropped off a bass.During the summer before his senior year in high school, Andy began private lessons with Milwaukee Symphony bassist Laura Snyder, his first teacher. She spent the next 7 months helping him prepare for auditions for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and college music school, teaching him how to read music, and making fun of his red hair. Andy then spent 5 years studying with Richard Davis at UW Madison, also playing in the Madison Symphony and many jazz, pop, and Brazilian music bands. He also met his wife Rachel in piano class, where they had to play a duet.  In an eerie sign of things to come, Rachel completely carried the show. After graduation, they moved to Houston, TX where Andy got his graduate degree studying with Paul Ellison at Rice University, and Rachel taught bilingual pre-kindergarten for the Houston Independent School District. In 2001, Andy Raciti won a job with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Edo DeWaart in Australia, performing in the beautiful Sydney Opera House.  In 2004 Andy won the audition for associate principal in the SSO.  While in Sydney, he performed with many of the worlds’ greatest conductors and musicians, including Lorin Maazel, Charles DuToit, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Emmanuel Ax, Sabine Meyer, Bryn Terfel, Barbara Bonney, and many others.  Beginning in early 2006, within a span of 6 months, Andy won the audition for assistant principal in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, he and Rachel had a baby boy named Miles, and the they made the 30 hour trip to move back to Wisconsin with a 3 month old baby, bass in flight case, and as many clothes as they could fit in the allowable luggage.  Andy now plays in the MSO in the same section as his first teacher, who still makes fun of his red hair.