Monica Germino

Violin & Electric Violin

Violinist Monica Germino (USA/The Netherlands) is on the cutting edge of new music. Hailed by The Sunday Times (UK) as a ‘striking presence’ whose ‘virtuosity was exhilarating’, she has premiered innovative works in such venues as Queen Elizabeth Hall, Barbican Centre, Alice Tully Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Bimhuis, MASS MoCA, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center, Other Minds, Holland Festival, MITO Settembre Musica, Berliner Festspiele, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Queensland Biennial Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Bergen International Festival, Ultima Festival, and the Prague Spring International Festival. She has soloed with London Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, MusikFabrik, Orkest de Volharding, Clazz Ensemble, Ostravská banda, and Oslo Sinfonietta. Germino is co-founder of the international four-member ensemble ELECTRA, which commissions composers from all over the world. She has recorded for Attacca Records, Basta Music and BMOP, and on numerous discs with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble for Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, and Philips.

New Music

Germino is challenging the violin’s conventional limits by creating innovative programs with a constantly expanding, eclectic repertoire. Since 2003, when she commissioned a custom-made ‘Violectra,’ she has been exploring the unlimited possibilities for the electric violin. The Observer (UK) praised ‘the dazzling violinist Monica Germino’ for her performances of new works combining singing and playing, a skill she developed in recent years. Many composers have written works for her, including Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, David Dramm, Heiner Goebbels, Catherine Kontz, Arnoud Noordegraaf, Jacob TV, Nick Williams, and Julia Wolfe. She has also worked with composers Martin Bresnick, John Cage, Alvin Curran, Michael Daugherty, Michael Gordon, György Ligeti, and Christian Wolff. Germino’s years of work with Frank van der Weij have evolved into a rewarding partnership between violinist and sound engineer, revolutionizing the concept of a solo violin recital by transforming sound, executing unconventional feats, and exploiting new technologies. The duo has conceived and produced critically acclaimed multimedia programs such as ‘plugged & unplugged’, with a sold-out UK premiere at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and tours to Canada, Europe, and the USA. HCMF and the Gaudeamus Foundation subsequently co-commissioned a sequel, the radically gripping ‘DEVIATION’.

Breaking barriers

A versatile artist, Germino has broken barriers in exciting collaborations with the dance companies NDT, Krisztina de Châtel, Club Guy & Roni, and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam; choreographers Nanine Linning and Dylan Newcomb; film director Hal Hartley, singer Cristina Zavalloni, pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama, and theatre companies ZT Hollandia and Nieuw West. Germino has led master classes and introduced new music in Vietnam, Canada, Australia, the United States, and throughout Europe. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, Illinois Wesleyan University, and the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. In 2009-2010, she was appointed visiting professor of violin at the University of South Florida’s School of Music.

Honors

Germino holds diplomas with honors from New England Conservatory and Yale University, where she received the Charles Ives Scholarship for Outstanding Performance and the Yale Alumni Prize. Her principal teachers were Syoko Aki, James Buswell, Jaap Schröder, and the Tokyo String Quartet. After winning a Frank Huntington Beebe Grant, she studied with Vera Beths at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and is now based in Amsterdam. She plays a Joannes Baptista Ceruti violin from Cremona, anno 1802, on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.