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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 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 30 string instruments) eg. the tromba mariner, environmental performance (eg. the double piston wheeling violin in the Australian outback, new instrumental techniques (tested sometimes in uninterrupted marathon concerts of up to 12 hours long), both analogue and inter-active electronics ( bowing to Midi systems)... plus using the mediums of radio (over 40 major International productions for radio stations like ABC, BBC, WDR, SR, BR, Radio France, RAI, ORF, SFB, etc), live-performance (he is arrested in this one playing in front of the Opera House)- video, film, and television to create a new, alternative, personal and revised history for THE VIOLIN.

Jon Rose performs 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, invitations from such places as Podewil, Berlin in 1998, or Tonic, New York in 2000. He also provided his spectacular giant sonic ball project for Mona Foma in 2011, and the opening of National Sawdust in New York 2016, and he is the instigator of many community projects such as the bicycle powered Pursuit 2013.

He has appeared on over 90 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, Veryan Weston, Chris Cutler, Barry Guy, Fred Frith, Joelle Leandre, Connie Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Thomas Lehn, Otomo Yoshihide, Ilan Volkov, Bob Ostertag, Gerry Hemingway, 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, Paul Rutherford, Simone de Haan, John Russell, Luc Houtkamp, Joel Ryan, Peter Kowald, Tristan Honsinger, Mari Kimura, Johannes Bauer, Dietmar Diesner, Peter Hollinger, The Soldier String Quartet, Borah Bergman, Sainko, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Cor Fuhler, karl-Heinz Blomann, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Malcolm Goldstein, Jim Denley, Greg Kingston, Louis Burdett, Rik Rue, David Moss, Miya Masaoka, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, George Lewis, Gunter Christmann, Davy Williams, Misha Mengelberg, Elliott Sharpe, Elena Kats Chernin, David Watson, Robin Fox, Tony Buck, Chris Abrahams, Robbie Avenaim, Joe Williamson, Aleks Kolkowski, Matthias Bauer, Lauren Newton, Uli Gumpert, Christian Marclay, Richard Barret, Clayton Thomas, Erkki Veltheim, Meinrad Kneer, Pierre Henry, Daan Vandewalle, 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.

Rose is also the originator of 4 books - The Pink Violin and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (both published by NMA, Melbourne); Music of Place: Reclaiming A Practice - a call to arms for the revival of live music, and rosenberg 3.0 - not violin music- which includes 133 definitions of 'music in the 21st century'.

Since 2001 Jon has worked extensively in the Australian Outback with environmental projects such as The Great Fences of Australia, and with remote indigenous communities on projects like Wreck and The Wild Violins of Warmun.

In 2009 The Kronos String Quartet and The Sydney Opera House commissioned Music from 4 Fences. Kronos also commissioned BEAK in collaboration with Hollis Taylor for The Adelaide Festival 2023.

The Rosenberg Museum does actually exist with over 1,000 violin related artefacts and takes up more of his time in recent years since its return to Sydney in 2015. The Museum is currently housed in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) where the concert series of new music Corrugations also takes place.

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.

What's New

April 2023
'Rock/Paper/Scissors' - first performance of a radical new interface between violin improvisation, composition, orchestra, and conductor. Highlights here.
KNM, Berlin
March 2023
'Beak' - Kronos Quartet plays the world premiere, a composition based on the song of a Pied Butcherbird by Jon Rose and Hollis Taylor.
Adelaide Festival
March 2024
'Night Songs' celebrates an interspecies multi-media engagement between the ancient music of a uniquely Australian songbird - Cracticus nigrogularis (the Pied Butcherbird) and Australia's premiere new music group Ensemble Offspring. Documentation here.
The Adelaide Festival
Latest Stuff
jon rose with clockviolin
berlin 1985
earlier on in the story
circa 1959
jon rose multiple bow performance 1980
playing the 19 string cello
live at victoriaville festival
victoriaville - 1987
Jon Rose with
interactive bow 1990
The cover of CD
Die Beethoven Konversationen
Jon Rose at The Stone, NYC, 2013
website by jos berkers