April 2, 2010

Avant-Garde Violinist Carla Kihlstedt to be In Residence at NEC, April 7—9

Will Discuss Her Work, Coach String Ensemble, Lead Performance of Her Music

Carla KihlstedtCarla Kihlstedt Avant-garde violinist, vocalist, composer Carla Kihlstedt will spend three days in residence at New England Conservatory, April 7—9 during which she will work discuss her “hydra-headed career,” coach a student string ensemble and work with students in a performance of her music.  The residency is presented by NEC’s Contemporary Improvisation department. 

A classical trained violinist, Kihlstedt was born in Lancaster, PA and was given a pint-sized fiddle when she was five by her Hungarian great-aunt, herself a professional violinist.  She went to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. But her career trajectory has been anything but conventional.  Since moving to San Francisco’s Bay Area, she has explored as many different approaches to music-making as she could find, continuing to push the boundaries of sonic vocabulary on both the acoustic and the electric violin. She has always been drawn to chamber music, and to this day, chooses to work with small ensembles of various sorts.

She is a founding member of Tin Hat Trio (now renamed Tin Hat), Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and The Book of Knots. Other musical projects include 2 Foot Yard, Charming Hostess and Carla Kihlstedt & Satoko Fujii. She has also worked occasionally on projects with Tom Waits and Fred Frith, and recorded numerous albums as a guest or session musician.

In addition, she continues to keep her hand in more classically oriented genres. Composer Lisa Bielawa, former composer in residence of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, has composed works especially for her, including the Double Violin Concerto and Kafka Songs. She's also collaborated with a number of symphonic ensembles.

The residency events are free and open to the public.  The schedule follows:

Wednesday, April 7
3pm- 4:45pm    Jordan Hall 118
The Music of Carla Kihlstedt - a dialogue

Thursday, April 8
3pm— 5pm  Jordan Hall 124
Open String ensemble

Friday, April 9
10am—12PM  Jordan Hall 124   
Improvisation Master class
2pm— 3:45pm  Jordan Hall 124 
Music of Carla Kihlstedt Performance

For further information, check the NEC Website or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122.  NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. St. Botolph Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115