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Jon Rose

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 and 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 (of some 25 years): The Relative Violin).

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. He is featured regularly in the main festivals of New Music, Jazz and Sound Art. He has curated his own festival "String 'em up" of radical string players and their instruments. Jon Rose has appeared on over 70 records and CD's.

He has worked with many of the innovators and mavericks in contemporary music including: The Kronos String Quartet, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Barry Guy, Fred Frith, Joelle Leandre, Connie Bauer, Johannes Bauer, Chris Cutler, Otomo Yoshihide, 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, Joel Ryan, Peter Kowald, Borah Borgmann, Tristan Honsinger, Mari Kimura, The Soldier String Quartet, Borah Bergman, Sainko, Tristan Honsinger, Tony Oxley, Cor Fuhler, Steve Beresford, Eugene Chadbourne, Bob Ostertag, Malcolm Goldstein, Jim Denley, David Moss, Miya Masaoka, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, George Lewis, Gunter Christmann, Davy Williams, Misha Mengelberg, Elliott Sharpe, Lauren Newton, Uli Gumpert, Christian Marclay, Richard Barret, 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. In 1991, he directed "Das Rosenberg Museum", a surrealist satire commissioned by German Television's ZDF, this piece later became the first interactive video ever to be controlled by a violin bow. Other films/videos include 'Café Central' and 'Shopping' (both made for ORF, Austria).

Rose is also the originator of 2 books — The Pink Violin and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping (both published by NMA, Melbourne).

Other on going projects are Australia Ad Lib which documents alternative music practice in Australia and the duo Great Fences of Australia, a collaboration with US violinist Hollis Taylor.

in 2001 Rose began living in Australia again: in 2005 he finished a major commission Pannikin for The Melbourne Festival, and was awarded a 2 year fellowship from The Australia Council to research and develop The Ball Project. In 2009 The Kronos String Quartet and The Sydney Opera House commissioned Music from 4 Fences.

From 2008—2010 he collaborated with Robin Fox on the Transmission Project and he received a further grant in 2009 from The Australia Council to work with KMI in the USA, on the K-Bow.

He is also a member of the Advisory Council for The International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM). 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.

Date 
b. 1951
Selected works
John Gillies & Jon Rose: 2 Improvisations 1982
John Gillies & Jon Rose: 2 Improvisations 1982 – from 2 Improvisations