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Jon Rose : Represented Artist

Jon Rose has created a body of radical music, and an alternative cultural context for the violin, its practice and its history.

Random Audio Sample: Warm up exercises (violin with pre-recorded sound) by Jon Rose, from the CD [Pulled muscles


Photo of Jon Rose

Photo: Franz Kricki

Artist website: http://www.jonroseweb.com

Born in 1951 in Rochester, UK, Jon Rose started playing the violin at seven years old, after winning a music scholarship to King's School Rochester. He studied violin with Anthony Saltmarsh (exponent of the Knud Vestergaard 'Bach' bow). He gave up formal music education at the age of 15 and from then on was primarily self-taught.

Throughout the 1970's, first in England and 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. In 1977-78 he studied jazz arranging and counterpoint with Bill Motzing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. 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, with fellow improvisers like Louis Burdett, Serge Ermoll, Edy Bronson, Jim Denley or with an international pool of improvising musicians called The Relative Band. The collaborative LP Tango (Hot Records) in 1983 with Martin Wesley-Smith was a world first in violin and (Fairlight) sampling improvisation.

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, environmental performance and new instrumental techniques.

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. Rose also curates his own on-going 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 and Mains D'Oeuvres, Paris in 2002.

In addition to appearing on over 60 records and CDs, Rose is the originator of two books - The Pink Violin and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping, both published by NMA, Melbourne.

In 2000 Rose formed the duo Temperament 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 include Australia Ad Lib, an innovative website which documents alternative music practice in Australia.

2003 sees Jon Rose again based in Australia.


Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2006

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2009 Classical Music Awards - Long-Term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music Finalist

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Internal combustion (violin with chamber ensemble) Commissioned by Matthias Osterwold of Maermusik.