Will Haapaniemi is a violinist born in Los Angeles from Finnish ancestry. He is thrilled to have joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2014 alongside his wife, violinist Heidi Han. Will always wanted to be a violinist, from the time he saw Itzhak Perlman play on Sesame Street when he was a little over two years old. Many other interests competed with practice time; some of his favorites were the martial art Capoeira, dance, and training for his sailplane pilot’s license.
Much is owed to Will’s master violin teachers, Yoko Takebe and Michael Gilbert of the New York Philharmonic while Will attended Manhattan School of Music. In high school, Will was fortunate to study with Mark Kaplan, and fondly remembers lessons with Ruggiero Ricci in his home in Palm Springs. Also a great influence, Will’s cousin Paul Roby of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and his aunt, Linda Grace, whose tireless support encouraged him to be the musician he is today. And of course, without the support of Will’s parents, none of this would have been possible.
Will is active as a soloist and chamber musician, and has played viola since high school.