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Biography
Born 1951
For detailed Jon Rose CV, download pdf file here



Jon Rose started playing the violin at 7 years old, after winning a music scholarship to King's School Rochester. He gave up formal music education at the age of 15 and from then on, was mostly self-taught.

Throughout the 1970's, first in England then in Australia, he played, composed and studied in a large variety of music genres - from sitar playing to country & western; from 'new music' composition to commercial studio session work; from Bebop to Italian club bands; from Big Band serial composition to Sound Installations. He became the central figure in the development of Free Improvisation in Australia, performing in almost every Art Gallery, Jazz and Rock club in the country - either solo or with an international pool of improvising musicians called The Relative Band.

In 1986, he moved to Berlin in order to more fully realise his on-going project (of some 25 years): The Relative Violin). This is the development of a Total Artform based around the one instrument. Necessary to this concept has been innovation in the fields of new instrument design (over 20 deconstructed violin instruments including the legendary double piston triple neck wheeling violin, environmental performance (eg. playing fences in the Australian outback using the violin as a bow), new instrumental techniques (tested sometimes in uninterrupted marathon concerts of up to 12 hours long), both analogue (built into the violins themselves) and the more recently inter-active electronics (3 bowing to Midi systems)... plus using the mediums of radio (over 20 major International productions for radio stations like ABC, BBC, WDR, SR, BR, Radio France, RAI, ORF, SFB, etc including 'Eine Violine für Valentin', 'The Long Sufferings of Anna Magdalena Bach' and 'Breadfruit'), live-performance-film, video and television to create a new, alternative, personal and revised history for THE VIOLIN.

Jon Rose performs his group projects and solo music in upwards of 50 concerts every year - in North America, Japan, Australia, South America, China, Scandinavia and just about every country in West & East Europe. He is featured regularly in the main festivals of New Music, Jazz and Sound Art e.g. Strasbourg New Music Festival; New Music America; Moers New Jazz Festival; European Media Festival; The Vienna Festival; Ars Elektronica; The Northsea Jazz Festival; Dokumenta; Roma-Europa Festival; Festival D'Automne; Festival Musique Actuelle; The Berlin Jazz Festival, etc. Rose has also been invited to curate Contemporary Music Festivals in Germany (e.g. Berlin Urbane Aboriginale) and Austria (e.g. Wels 'Unlimited'). He has curated his own festival "String 'em up" of radical string players and their instruments, taking place in Podewil, Berlin in 1998 and Dodorama and V2, Rotterdam in 1999, Tonic, New York in 2000, Mains D'Oeuvres, Paris in 2002, and IPR, New york in 2010.

Jon Rose has appeared on over 100 records and CD's; He has worked with many of the innovators and mavericks in contemporary music such as The Kronos String Quartet, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Barry Guy, Fred Frith, Joelle Leandre, Connie Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Chris Cutler, Otomo Yoshihide, KK Null, Alex Von Schlippenbach, Toshinori Kondo, Francis-Marie Uitti, Alvin Curran, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Phil Minton, Shelley Hirsh, Mark Dresser, Ben Patterson, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joel Ryan, Peter Kowald, Borah Borgmann, Tristan Honsinger, Mari Kimura, The Soldier String Quartet, Borah Bergman, Sainko, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Cor Fuhler, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Bob Ostertag, Malcolm Goldstein, Jim Denley, David Moss, Miya Masaoka, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, George Lewis, Gunter Christmann, Davy Williams, Misha Mengelberg, Elliott Sharpe, Lauren Newton, Uli Gumpert, Christian Marclay, Richard Barret, Pierre Henry, etc).

In 1989, in co-operation with New Music Festival 'Inventionen' (Berlin), he directed the first 'Relative Violin Festival' with over 50 violinists from around the world.
In 1991, he directed "Das Rosenberg Museum", a surrealist satire commissioned by German Television's ZDF, this piece later became the first interactive video ever to be controlled by a violin bow. Other films/videos include 'Café Central' and 'Shopping' (both made for ORF, Austria).

Jon Rose is also the originator of 2 books - The Pink Violin and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (both published by NMA, Melbourne). Jon Rose is currently performing Palimpolin - Hyperstring 4, one of a number of highly acclaimed works for violin and inter-active software. In addition there are performances of Violin Factory featuring large string orchestras and interactive video in Europe and Australia. His group projects include Strung, Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (with the likes of Chris Cutler, Lauren Newton, Otomo Yoshihide, etc); the infamous Berlin Noise-Impro-Rock Band Slawterhaus (with Johannes Bauer, Dietmar Diesner & Peter Hollinger); The interactive 'Badminton' game Perks, based on the musical innovations and perversions of Australian freak composer Percy Grainger; and there are five established improvising trios which are currently available... The Exiles (with Tony Buck & Joe Williamson), and The Kryonics (with Aleks Kolkowski & Matthias Bauer), Artery (with Chris Abrahams and Clayton Thomas), Futch (with Thomas Lehn and Johannes Bauer), Strike (with Clayton Thomas and Mike Majkowski) and the bicycle-powered chamber orchestra composition Pursuit.

The duo Temperament was formed in 2000 with pianist Veryan Weston, specialising in improvisation with different tunings (Just, 19 tone, etc) for the keyboards and various scordatura for the violins.

Other on going projects are Australia Ad Lib which documents alternative music practice in Australia and the duo Great Fences of Australia, a collaboration with US violinist Hollis Taylor.

Since 2001 Jon Rose is again based full time in Australia: in 2005 he finished a major commission Pannikin for The Melbourne Festival, and was awarded a 2 year fellowship from The Australia Council to research and develop The Ball Project.

In 2009 The Kronos String Quartet and The Sydney Opera House commissioned Music from 4 Fences.

From 2008-2010 Jon Rose collaborated with Robin Fox on the Transmission Project and he received a further grant in 2009 from The Australia Council to work with KMI in the USA, on the K-Bow. He is also a member of the Advisory Council for The International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM).

The Music Board of The Australia Council has honored Jon Rose with its most prestigious award for life time achievement and contribution to Australian music, The Don Banks Prize 2012.

Currency House has recently published his call to action "Music of Place: Reclaiming A Practice".




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