Timoteus Racz Tribute & Photo Page

To express your thoughts on this page, send an e-mail to Victoria at info@oregonchamberplayers.org for consideration.  Thank you!


My family and myself are so deeply touched by this.. Our son Jared and our family truly loved being a student, and friend of this man. He will be surely missed in our hearts and thoughts! Music in our lives live on through him....It is truly a loss, and our hearts and love go out to his family, especially his wife Victoria..... We will never forget his legacy and love for music........ Aloha dear friend Timoteus...... We love you!!!! We shall meet again! Thank you for your music and life education, it was an honor to have known you! sob sob sob..

Rod Veriato
Dad of Jared - a former violin student and JSV member

A stunning loss of the most passionate, dedicated, and caring man and artist! My heart and prayers are for Victoria, my tears are for all of us who have lost a rock of integrity; but Timoteus' legacy and influence will live on through his students, families, and all he touched. Rest in Peace, Tim.
Kathy Partin (Mom of two of Tim's former students and JSV members)
A shattering loss. He touched the lives of so many with his music, his wit and his love. He will be sorely missed.

Dorinda Toner
Mom of Hannah - a JSV Cellist.  Dorinda is an actress, and was our OCP Red Carpet Hostess for our October 2011 OCP Night At The Movies.  (Photos on our site in OCP Gallery Page)

I am TRULY sorry!I loved Tim. I would look forward everyday to my lesson on Tuesdays with him. He was so funny! I can't even express how sad I am. He was the best music teacher ever. He might not be here, but he's in our hearts. I knew him for about 3 years. He wasn't just some person I took music lessons from. He was a part of my life. I can't even process that he's gone. The JSV WON'T ever be the same without him. With his European hat and his long black coat and the fancy suits he always wore and that little shop on the corner. The OCP is going to be so different. The passion that he had towards violin was like Peaunt Butter and Jelly! He was a role model to me. I can't even IMAGINE how hard this must be for you. I am SO SORRY. I wish everything to go well. I feel so BAD! Anything I can do, just let me know :(
                              God Bless,
                                   Antimony Berkeley
(P.S. I LOVE HIS CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Zuzu and I were heartbroken to learn about Tim today. We had a good long cry on the sidewalk outside his studio. He was an incredible and unique human being. I will miss sharing those moments he had with my daughter, as well as the friendship he and I were beginning. Our talks on reality, German automobiles, Italian fashion and his sister's art work... the last time we met, we spoke of how both of us would enjoy having dinner together. I even told him I would dress appropriately...We looked forward to those lessons too; both of us. They got a little longer every week as well, because Tim and I would talk about all manner of things until Zuzu gave us the look, and then I'd go take my seat until after the lesson, when we'd start back up where we left off. It gave Zuzu a good opportunity to work on her patience skills...He definitely had a eye for figuring out what made people tick. I think he really enjoyed discovering how Zuzu worked at a mechanical level, and then tried by trial and error to move her in the direction he wanted. He didn't seem to be afraid to focus that perception on himself, either. I think that was one of the reasons I was drawn to him. We talked once about where his passion for fine clothing came from- growing up inheriting clothes from his siblings. I think one of the biggest smiles I saw on his face was when I told him how much I liked a particular jacket he wore. And thank you, Victoria, for answering that email back in December- the one from the skeptical father and the persistent daughter. Thank you for replying that, "Timoteus would be the perfect teacher for Zuzu." You were right.

My family's hearts and thoughts are with you. If there is anything we can do to help out in any small way, please let us know. Tears and smiles in equal parts,

Cameron and Zuzu

Our hearts were so saddened and shocked when we heard the news of your beloved husband. He was Lauren's favorite teacher and put so much love and passion into his teaching. We all loved him. It was very sad news when we heard this. She mentioned that she did a silent cry that Thursday when she realized she didn't have any lessons. Time with Mr. Racz was more than just lessons. He made her enjoy performing and made her laugh and smile, no matter the occassion. It will be difficult to find that kind of teacher. There are so many reasons we like many others.. mourn his loss. He was a good man and touched the lives of many.  We will miss him dearly. He touched so many lives in his love for music. Please let us know what kind of service is being offered for him. 

We would love to attend and extend our condolences. 

Thank you and God's blessings,

-Danny, Esther, Lauren and Marcus Kim Family

This is Steve Zinck, father of Alena Zinck, who was one of Timoteus’ students for the past year.  Alena and I first want to express our deepest condolences to you on your loss.  We only knew him for a short time, but his impact on my daughter was immeasurable.  Timoteus was first recommended to us by my good friend, Howard Lazarus.  My daughter is still struggling greatly with his loss, as I know you and countless others must be whose lives he touched even more deeply.  Alena already had a spark for music when she began to work with him.  He turned that spark into a flame, and is now more motivated than ever to continue with the violin and become the best musician she can be, because as she puts it, she loves the violin, and wants to honor Timoteus’ memory.  He was an amazing man, and his loss to our community is immeasurable.

Steven Zinck 

"...Tim was a brilliant and incredible person, and I am so blessed and honored to say I knew him. Every Sunday for 8 years he enriched my life with wisdom, patience and lessons that I carry with me each day. He taught me so, so much more than how to play the violin. 

The two of you have played a tremendous role in who I am today, and I will forever cherish that.

Thank you, and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers."

Meg Janssen

"The memorial concert was so beautiful - Tim's music/compositions are so inspirational. I feel such sadness that he is gone, I know the angels are celebrating his arrival into heaven. He was truly a gentleman!

Ann Kosanovic Brown
(friend and former OCP bassoonist)

I was just googling Tim.  I wanted to send him a music file of my son Zack (one of his Marylhurst students) playing in a blue grass band.
Tim, had an incredible impact on all of our lives.  ...Zack practiced 6 nights a week while under Tim's tutelage.  His violin is most important possession.  I really don't know if there are words to express our sorrow, but would like to thank him for being one of the "difference makers" in our lives.
Stephen Lovas

When Timoteus walked through the shop door, dapper and upbeat, he exuded something unique.  He just may have been the individual responsible for the word  "passion", something rare in our daily lives.
One day he flew through the door, and with much fanfare, declared that he wanted to play his composition for us.  Waving at our customers up in the playing room, he invited them to listen too.  "I will give you a performance.  Please, please listen!"  He played the piece beautifully, and touched, we applauded loudly.  He then presented us with a copy of the score and we immediately requested a signature.  He signed it--we framed it-- and it has hung in our entry since. 

When other customers were present, he engaged in friendly conversation, always the Gentleman!  If there were children, he paid SPECIAL attention, asked questions about their playing experiences, ("How many years have you been playing?"  "How many hours do you practice?"), and encouraged them to "keep practicing!" as they said their good-byes.  The kids always lit up.  Somehow he understood these things and knew that they were important.

Tim, you were one of a kind, and so very very kind.   We miss you.  The shop misses you too.  It knew when you walked in---  the violins paying attention,  noting the vibration of each footstep and cheerful vocal greeting!  Carry on in the Heavens, arranging & taping your musical manuscripts-in-process on the walls, rearranging, and composing to your hearts delight!   A candle will always burn at Geesman Fine Violins.

Ed Geesman

Lavonne Heacock


Dear Victoria,

Just want to personally thank you for sharing in a hugely giving, loving and
enormous way, your Timoteus, by giving that Memorial Concert.

The choice of music with the exquisite OCP artists - ALL led first by
Timoteus seated beside Tatiana (he truly was THERE and Tatiana was possessed
by his spirit & musical understanding), the presentation/display of
Lilies, the candles, the wonderful video/photos organized by you, the lighting,
the sharing afterwards,...all a perfect tribute to your One-Of-A-Kind Timoteus.

That was one of the most Perfect Musical Experiences I have ever attended in
my entire life. Each instrument sounded at "full-capacity of Beauty" for
each given instrument. (That is the first time I've heard that organ. What a
revelation & up-lift for me to hear Handel on it!)  Thank you again,
Victoria, and please thank every single OCP artist for giving their all &
best last night.
Not only Timoteus was proud, but so were Handel, Mozart, Haydn and Hidas
(great fun & rich sounds, a little bit of Gershwin here and there...)!

My suggestion:
Always have the First Chair for Timoteus, hat/coat/special "items" on stage for every performance, even rehearsal.
That was beautifully done, EVERYTHING.

Thank you forever, Victoria and Timoteus.

Linda Keeler Burmister

P.S. -
I loved your entire Program notes!



I just wanted to drop a note to let you know how beautiful last
night's memorial concert was. Tim (and you) are loved by so many,
and  it was clearly evident by the many who attended, spoke sweet
words of  Tim, and surrounded you with comforting arms. I'm sorry I
did not get a chance to thank you in person for letting me be a part of
it. It was an  honor.

I continue to keep you close in my heart and thoughts.

Much love,

Erin Ferree
(OCP Musician and "Team Tim" Member)

Hi Victoria,
What I appreciated immediately from meeting you and Tim recently was that you made the OCP experience like being in a family. I think that the audience senses that as well. The honor and respect that you and Tim showed each other will live on in everyone's memory just like the memory of good parents.
Bestest wishes, Lisa Taylor
OCP Clarinetist

"...As a teacher, an artist, and a friend, Tim had an immeasurable impact on our lives. We will never forget his commitment to Stella, the joyous times they shared, and the role he played in her development. I know she will always remember him as one of the most important influences in her life."

Dan, Susie and Stella Kaplan


Timothy Racz was an exotic commodity when he burst upon Portland and Vancouver's classical music scene like a Thoroughbred in the early 1990s as a concertmaster, violinist, conductor, composer, violin teacher, entrepreneur and business owner. With his Hungarian accent (similar to Zsa Zsa Gabor’s), his rakish good looks, his impeccable attire and neatly-trimmed beard, and his infectious high spirits and good humour, he was a vibrant contrast to many Americans.

At that time, I had a modest understanding of where Timothy Racz was literally coming from; I had visited Romania in the 1970s during a period when many people there yearned for and tried to escape to the west. Timothy and his family suffered at the hands of the Romanian regime; he was fortunate to get out of the Hungarian (Transylvanian) region of Romania when he did in the 1980s, first settling in Germany, where his musical talent was recognized and nourished.

Once in the U.S., Timothy embraced American culture and opportunity as only grateful immigrants do. Everything ‘American’ was to his liking – Classic American cars; overt displays of patriotism; opportunity based on merit rather than connections, bribes or family help; establishing orchestras and opening a business on a wing and a prayer and making them successful through hard work and limitless enthusiasm.

I was privileged to have known and collaborated with this extraordinary person and artist. More than anything, Timothy Racz had great integrity. If he promised you something, you could take it to the bank. His sense of ethics and values were old-fashioned in that they evinced self-discipline, persistence, perseverance and self-reliance, all without complaint or playing the victim.

Timothy Racz's great love for the violin and its music profoundly influenced hundreds of people during his twenty years of performing and teaching in the Pacific Northwest. More important, perhaps, was the example he set for how to live a life with passion, honor, integrity, flair and dedication. 

Anthony Armore
Conductor and General Manager
Blue Danube Musikimpresario/Blue Danube Violins
Vienna, Austria

"Tim’s absence still leaves a hole in our lives. He was such an important positive influence on our daughter’s life. She appreciated his caring about her well being and her musical skills. Clara responded well to Tim’s teaching style. They just had a good understanding of one another. She still values his opinions many subjects. As parents, we enjoyed post-lesson conversations with Tim. We are grateful that Tim and Clara worked well together, and that we all had the opportunity to know him. Tim has inspired us all. He’s a permanent piece of the universe."

Carolyn Mastin


Oregon Chamber Players hold Memorial Concert in Woodstock
The Oregon Chamber Players ensemble is known for soulful-yet-joyful presentations in Woodstock concerts – such as the jubilant Children’s Concert featuring actor David Ogden Stiers this past February, described in an article in the March BEE.
But the atmosphere was unexpectedly sorrowful at Woodstock’s All Saints’ Episcopal Church at the Players’ May 5 concert, and no admission fee was charged.
The sadness felt by the standing-room-only audience of 500 people, who filled the church sanctuary, arose from the sudden passing of the Oregon Chamber Players’ Artistic Director, Timoteus Racz.
In the special program notes, his wife Victoria wrote: “Timoteus was born in Bucharest Romania, April 30, 1956; he died in Vancouver Washington, April 2, 2012.
“Once upon a time there was a little boy who wanted nothing more than to play the violin. He was growing up in a land filled with danger and surrounded by the evil of the communist regime, but that didn’t stop him on his quest to fulfill his dream.
“His life became more difficult when his older brother was murdered by the Romanian secret police.  He took a vow that he would carry on in his brother’s musical footsteps.”
Racz moved to the United States in 1984 to pursue his musical studies in Chicago at DePaul University. “Before leaving, he received two meaningful gifts from his dad. One was a beautiful custom-made suit; the other was an Amati violin.”
The memorial concert opened with “Song for a Violin”, a melody composed by Racz in his younger days, and then set to manuscript in 2007. “It was to honor the memory of himself as a child, yearning for a chance to make music,” reflected his wife, oboist Victoria Racz.
The lights dimmed, and the strains of that “Song for a Violin” wafted into the church, being played unseen in another room by Tatiana Kolchanova, one of Racz’s co-instructors, herself a Laureate of a USSR radio competition.
The concert went on to include more works written by Racz, as well as compositions by Handel, Mozart, and Haydn.

Mr. Racz working with student.

Mr. Racz working with another student.

Mr. Racz performing a duet with a student.

Tim & Clara


"...Zuzu was absolutely beaming at the praise she got in her lesson today. I think she'll be practicing a lot more this week.  Before she went to bed tonight she was drawing a picture of "Mr. Racz". I didn't see it, but she said she gave him an eye patch.

Only cool people get the eye-patch.

Watching the two of them interact is hilarious.  I try to keep quiet, but I haven't made it through a lesson yet without cracking up."

C. Hunziker
March 2012


Mr Racz,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet us yesterday. It was a pleasure meeting you and hearing you play. I truly enjoyed playing violin with you. I'm encouraged by your comments and the help that you gave me!  I regret that I live so far away that I could not take regular lessons with you.  
I wrote of you on my online journal...
Jennifer Bonato
December 10, 2010

  Mr. Racz has been our violin instructor for 5 years. He is challenging and very knowledgeable. He is caring and understanding. He connects well with kids and teaches at a level they understand while providing instruction in complicated music. We really appreciate the opportunity to have him as our instructor.

Hollis Brown
May 4, 2009

"Superb Violin Instruction"

Timoteus Racz is one of the finest violin teachers you could ever hope to find. Passionate, knowledgeable, skilled, thoughtful, and fun, he offers a rare, inspirational experience that defies the prescriptive approach to violin instruction so prevalent today.

Dan Kaplan April 27, 2009

Dear Mr. Racz,....and you have been an amazing role model for my son. Since he began lessons with you everything has changed in a positive way....his grades have improved and he has even started to dress better!...

Mrs. Sargent

September, 2005"Dear Mr. Racz,Thank you for what has been a wonderful part of my life. You have been the best violin teacher I could imagine..."David Limoges

Dear Mr. Racz,

Before we walked into your shop on a whim 3 years ago I had been playing at my school and was studying privately with someone else in the area. My lessons were uninspiring and I had been planning to quit music altogether when my Mom and I went by your shop and decided to drop in. Even though you were just getting ready to leave (I remember it was late at night and we were even pleasantly surprised that you were still open) you were so gracious to spend time with us. I didn't have my instrument with me and you lent me one of your many violins to use and we played duos together. You even played a special serenade just for my Mom. It was so much fun! Plus I learned more in that half-hour or so than I had in all those years of previous lessons. I didn't quit violin and I even stayed with my school orchestra with your encouragement.

I am now so sorry that we are moving before the start of the school year as my Dad got a new job in Ohio. I will miss my lessons with you very much and I know it will be difficult to find a new teacher. Anyway, I wanted you to know how much I appreciate everything.

From your FAVORITE student always,

Natalie B.
(August, 2005)


Click to Read the full Obituary of Timoteus Racz

 To express your thoughts on this page, send an e-mail to Victoria at info@oregonchamberplayers.org for consideration.  Thank you!

Racz European Violin Studio


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