About Caroline


I took my first steps at the Beethoven Music School in my hometown Mödling. Very soon I performed the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in a concert for young talents and got a great write up in the papers.

I really enjoyed the experience, and from then on I was hooked.

I decided to become a professional violinist.

I was only fifteen when I was accepted to study violin performance at the Vienna Music Academy and studied with G. Pichler and later on T. Kakuska from the Alban Berg Quartet. The way they played had an enormous influence on me and still does up to this day.

I got to know Kató Havas OBE at one of her Summer workshops and I decided to move to England to continue my studies with her.

She was also the director of the Summer Music Festival in Oxford, when I was a student and I gained invaluable experience performing violin concertos as soloist with the Festival Orchestra.

My performance of the Viotti Violin Concerto in particular was much acclaimed by the critics.

I finished my studies with a performers diploma with distinction.

Masterclasses with S. Vegh and Ion Voicu in Salzburg Mozarteum followed, where I made great friends and learned a lot.

I then spent many years being a ”citizen of the orchestra”. I had permanent positions in NPO South Africa and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria as a first violin.

I collaborated with Orchestras such as Rai Scarlatti Napoli, Orchestra Sinfonica San Remo, Radio Orchestra Munich, Volksoper, Tonkünstler and the ORF in Vienna just to name a few.

It was found particularly inspiring for me to work with conductors and players such as M. Rostropovich, P. Eötvös, Pierre Amoyal, Frank Peter ZimmermannNicholas Hooper (Harry Potter composer) and Simone Young.

These days I am a freelance musician based in Vienna. I divide my time between teaching my students who are so important to me, playing solo and chamber music and going on exiting tours with orchestras and ensembles.

I love the enriching experience travelling and performing in different cultures, and sharing the stage with wonderful colleagues.

So far, my concert activities have led me throughout Europe, China, JapanRussia and parts of America. It’s such a privilege to be able to communicate in a universal language everybody in any part of the world understands…MUSIC!

Having worked abroad for long periods of time I picked up Italian and Spanish as well as speaking German and English, something that proves very useful now when I teach international masterclasses.

   Some orchestras occasionally call me in as guest leader and I had some interesting ventures into contemporary music, especially memorable a tour I did with Ensemble Modern and the wonderful Pierre Boulez.

My first Step

Bach Violin Concerto in a concert for young talents in Mödling (Austria)

"The talented violin soloist Caroline Duffner played beautifully. Someone to watch out for in future."
Mödlinger Bezirkblatt

A few Reviews and Opinions​

Katò Havas International Music Festival, Oxford, Patron Yehudi Menuhin

"Caroline Duffners Viotti performance in Oxford was a virtuoso's delight. A beautiful and deeply personal interpretation rooted in the viennese tradition she grew up with."
Oxford Times
"Duffners Viotti concerto was magnificent, a performance not to be missed"
John Summerfield, University of London
"I was privileged to hear violinist Caroline Duffner play the Sonata 3 Ballade by Eugene Ysaie and was amazed at her virtuosity. She played with great musicality and facility, with confidence and authority."
Dorothy Diggs, violin and viola, Milwaukee Symphony, USA
"Caroline Duffner has studied with me for 5 years and completed her studies with me with a performers diploma with distinction (LRSM). I found Caroline a born performer. She has great technical facility and her brilliant playing is always combined with a sense of musical intuition and integrity. She was Soloist in my International Festival and gave many excellent performances. Her beautiful tone quality and striking individuality has the ability to profoundly move and capture an audience."
Kató Havas

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Opus 35

"Former orchestra leader Caroline Duffner, now a professional violinist based in Vienna, returned to the fold for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Opus 35. The composer’s intended soloist, Leopold Auer, was apparently uncomfortable with the technical demands of this piece, but Duffner had no qualms, and she dazzled with her virtuosic handling of Tchaikovsky’s melodic and rhythmic gymnastics, while her impressive double stopping and glissando in the extended first movement cadenza was mesmerising in its brilliance."
Oxford Time

Dvorak Tercetto

"I still remember so vividly your playing 1st violin in Dvorak Tercetto! We all marvelled at the almost other-worldly beauty that we had just heard (1981 Oxford)."
Bill Klein, San Francisco, former student of Kató Havas