1984 Immanuel graduate Wolfgang Tsoutsouris made a career out of music. After twelve years of playing violin professionally, he has now started worked his way up in an investment firm. Before making the decision to go into music while in high school, Wolfgang performed at Immanuel’s church. He explained, “Having a performance venue with a supportive audience was very helpful, and it was enriching to work with a church musician as knowledgeable as Bill Ickstadt”. Along with playing his violin in church, Wolfgang remembers singing in the choirs directed by Mr. Ickstadt, especially in the Christmas Eve services.
Along with Mr. Ickstadt, Robert Boetel was an Immanuel educator who was very encouraging of Wolfgang’s musical interests. His creativity and high standards for his students left a lasting impact on his students. Once a student protested that Boetel was asking too much of them. Boetel’s answer is one that Wolfgang still remembers (and often uses with his own kids): “If someone asks too much of you, you should take it as a compliment”.
When explaining his career change, Wolfgang said, “I just feel lucky that I was able to perform with so many fantastic musicians from all over the world in a wide variety of musical genres. But I was also pretty burned out. I decided to explore some of my latent interests”. He enrolled in a part-time MBA program at Baruch College in Manhattan and got a job as an assistant at an investment firm; the same firm where he works today.
When asked what advice he had for current Immanuel students Wolfgang said, “Know yourself and don’t run away from difficult/painful issues or questions.”