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Jon Rose Web

the violin in question

Hello, welcome to the website of Jon Rose - violinist, composer, improviser, instrument builder, multi-media artist, inventor of the interactive violin bow, and cultural critic.

His primary life's work is The Relative Violin. This is the development of a total artform based around the one instrument - it includes innovation in the fields of new instrument design, environmental performance, new instrumental techniques, radiophonic works, and the development of inter-active electronics - while interrogating and intervening in the history of music itself.

He performs his group and solo projects world wide. In a 45 year career, he has been featured regularly in the main festivals of New Music, Jazz, performance and Sound Art such as Ars Elektronica, Festival D'Automne, Maerzmusik, Dokumenta, North Sea Jazz Fest, New Music America, the Vienna Festival, the Berlin Jazz Festival, Moers Festival, The Melbourne Festival, etc.

Jon Rose has appeared on over 90 albums and CD's; he has worked with many of the innovators and mavericks in contemporary music such as Derek Bailey, Alvin Curran, Otomo Yoshihide, Ilan Volkov, Christian Marclay, or John Zorn.

Since 2009, Jon Rose has been commissioned by the Kronos String Quartet to write and build Music from 4 Fences for the Sydney Opera House; realised his bicycle powered Pursuit project at Canberra 100; performed an improvised solo part for the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; created major radiophonic works for the BBC, ABC, DR, and ORF; toured in Europe with his current improvisational groups; performed his interactive multi-media composition Internal Combustion for violin and orchestra at The Philharmonic, Berlin; been apprehended by the Israeli Defence Forces at the Separation Fence near Ramallah in the occupied territories, and arrested for playing the violin in front of The Sydney Opera House.

Jon Rose is probably the only living violinist with his own museum (The Rosenberg Museum). This radical cornucopia of over 1,000 artefacts of violinography has been exhibited throughout Europe and was brought home to Australia in 2015 where it has been exhibited at Carriageworks (Sydney) and Substation (Melbourne) amongst other smaller venues.

In 2012 Jon was honored with The Music Board of The Australia Council's senior prize - the Don Banks Award for a life-time's achievement and contribution to Australian music.

His book about the state of music today Music of Place: Reclaiming a Practice is published by Currency House Press.

In 2018, Contemporary Music Review honoured Jon with a complete edition of the magazine dedicated to articles on his life's output - Jon Rose: The Rosenberg Museum.

What's New

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
July 2022
'Fringe Benefits 1977​-​1985' - Historic glimpses of Improvised and Experimental Music in Australia; making available recordings from the original vinyl and cassette catalogue on Fringe Benefits.
May 2021
'State of Play' titles my double album featuring duo improvisations and recent projects with a cast of great collaborators...out now!
ReR Recommended Records, London
May - October 2021
'Whistling in the Dark' embraces a set of duets between various pied butcherbirds (from field recordings in outback Australia) and virtuosic human musicians (in home lockdown) performing transcriptions of this extraordinary avian music.
On Line Project available September
November 2021 - Premiere
'Mendel's Mix' - A commission for Brno Contemporary Orchestra. Finally after many Covid-19 delays, the work is performed. Inspired by the 'father' of genetics, Johann Gregor Mendel, and based on the structure of DNA, you can mix your own version here.
Brno, Czech Republic
Latest Stuff
jon rose with violin clocks, Berlin 1994, © Kontanze Binder
Jon Rose at The Galapogas club NY 2010, © Jill Steinberg
jon rose plays 19 string cello at Quartier Latin, Berlin, 1987
website by jos berkers