Cookie Segelstein received her Masters degree in Viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until moving to California in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony Orchestra, as well as on the music faculty at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz ,The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik, has performed with Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank London, Klezmer Fats and Swing with Pete Sokolow and the late Howie Leess, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys and The Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Cookie has presented lecture demonstrations and workshops on Klezmer fiddling all over the world, including Yale University, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marshall University in Huntington, West VA, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, University of Oregon in Eugene, Pacific University and SUNY-Cortland and at Klezmerwochen in Weimar Germany.
She is a regular staff member at Living Traditions' KlezKamp , KlezKanada, KlezCalifornia, Klezmer Festival Fürth, and has been a performing artist at Centrum's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Wash. She was featured on the ABC documentary, “A Sacred Noise”, heard on HBO’s “Sex and the City”, appears in the Miramax film, “Everybody’s Fine” starring Robert De Niro, and heard on several recordings including the latest Veretski Pass award winning CD, Poyn, A Gilgul with guest Joel Rubin, Budowitz Live, the Koch International label with Orchestra New England in The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives, Hazònes with Frank London, A Living Tradition with the late Moldovan clarinetist, German Goldenshteyn and many others.
She is also the publisher of "The Music of..." series of Klezmer transcriptions. Active as a Holocaust educator and curriculum advisor, she has been a frequent lecturer at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Niantic, CT. She is on the boards of both the North California Viola Society, and the American String Teacher Association, Bay Area chapter. Cookie lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Josh Horowitz, her dog Luca and her occasionally visiting adult children.