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EXCLUSIVE: Monica Germino on New England Conservatory, 'RACHE' Murder Premiere and Why She's Finally Ready to Play Michael Gordon's ‘INDUSTRY'
-May 27, 2015 | Lisa Helfer Elghazi
21 March, 2018. Excerpts translated from Dutch
Contemporary music has a reputation for being difficult. The tired cliche of dry, impenetrable music played to empty halls still exists. But De Doelen in Rotterdam is overthrowing the stereotype with a lively and accessible new music series. It's called Red Sofa, and celebrates its tenth anniversary this week with the six-day Spring Loaded festival. A film concert, a bicycle ride to secret concert venues, a 'pop-up artist,' world premieres, and of course the red three-seater sofa as the center for informal talks before and after the concerts. "I put everything into this festival that makes Red Sofa into Red Sofa," says Programme Director Neil Wallace.
The pop-up artist is the adventurous violinist Monica Germino. She will open the festival and perform a number of interventions. Germino is a fervent admirer of the Red Sofa series: "Neil Wallace has achieved something you also see in modern art museums: people aren't apprehensive, they’re curious and open to new discoveries."
The Red Sofa formula revolves around this curiosity, says Wallace (1953). "We have built a community of interested people who are not afraid of new notes. I’m probably the only new music programmer in the Netherlands who has no worries about what I present – people will come anyway.”
As the pop-up artist, Monica Germino will decide what she will actually play in the moment. It will certainly be soft, because a few years ago Germino was diagnosed as 'sensitive to sound,' which means that her ears are more prone to damage [from high decibel levels]. She had to say goodbye to the high-octane soundtracks and louder works for electric violin, giving up many pieces she had often performed.
She is now "more curious than sad," says Germino. Playing quietly opens up a whole new dimension; and apart from a reflection on silence and listening it can also be "an antidote to the relentless noise of our world." She has amassed a huge collection of mutes (sourdines) and plays a rare 'frame violin' from ca. 1870, an instrument without a sound box which therefore plays at a very low volume. Germino: "Neil wants me to play the frame violin in the Main Hall without any amplification; for me that's a thrill, an adventure." Wallace: "You will hear a pin drop.”
Spring Loaded Festival: 10 years of Red Sofa. 21-26 / 3 De Doelen Rotterdam. Inl . www.dedoelen.nl
strings magazine, september 2014
Monica Germino featured in September 2014 edition of Strings magazine
- by Laurence Vittes
"Whether she was playing the violin, electric violin, adapted violin, whispering, talking, or singing, Germino conveyed her passion with tour de force virtuosity and burning vulnerability. ...Armed with a Joannes Baptista Ceruti (Cremona, 1802), on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation, and a custom-made electric "violectra," the Amsterdam-based American/Dutch musician played a major role...read more
CLASSICAL TV, April 2014
"Germino and La Giro" : interview about La Girò
AN EXCHANGE WITH MONICA GERMINO
"La Girò is a dramatic piece with many elements at play - storytelling, a nightmare, singing and playing, even shrieking and whispering. The piece took certain twists and turns as a direct result of a long and treasured collaboration...." click here to read more about La Girò
The New York Times, 16 June 2013
"Monica Germino Puts Electronics and Violin Together, and Myriad Sounds Ensue"
- by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim
click for complete review online
The Strad, September 2013
-by Bruce Hodges
Theater Dakota Concert Series, 27 August 2012
St. Petersburg Times, 23 February 2010
-by John Fleming
The New York Times
TimeOut New York: Critic's pick
Philpedia: La Girò
-by Thomas May
the soloist’s role expands into a kind of performance art: along with playing the violin, she uses her voice, which is enlisted to sing and narrate.
NEC Alumni Profile Interview with Monica Germino, February 2015New England Conservatory Alumni Profiles: an in-depth look at a few of NEC alumni and their paths beyond NEC.
NEC: "...and what’s next on your schedule?"
MG: "Next up: together with Marcel Wierckx and Frank van der Weij I’m finishing up a music video of my version for adapted violin of Michael Gordon’s ‘Industry’, to be released in April by Cantaloupe Music. AMERICAN WIZARDRY, a new show with my duo with sound engineer Frank van der Weij with new pieces for violin and sound design by American composers/wizards Molly Joyce, David Dramm, Missy Mazzoli, Annie Gosfield, Julia Wolfe. I’m also developing a show with my group ELECTRA called RACHE (‘Revenge’), featuring the stories of four women who murdered for revenge, that will premiere in the Dutch Opera Days in Rotterdam...." Continue reading
VPRO Gids, November 2011
Timbres magazine, Issue Nr. 12, Fall 2012
- by Didi de Pooter
Violectra Concerto with ensemble De Ereprijs, 10 November 2012: "Soloist for the violin concerto 'Violectra Concerto' by Renske Vrolijk is the sensational violinist Monica Germino…"
Stringendo Magazine (Australia), Volume 23, Nr. 2, 2001
click to read: Profile in Stringendo Magazine
Editor Rosemary Duffy talks with Monica Germino
Editor remarks, Stringendo Magazine
Editor Rosemary Duffy talks with Monica Germino
Noord Hollands Dagblad (NL), 2008
"Monica Germino: wereldster op Provadja-podium, dan New York"
"Monica Germino: international star on stage at Provadja, then New York"
List of authors and publications
• Hodges, Bruce. (September 2013) “Sophistication and showmanship” – The Strad magazine.
• Fonseca-Wollheim, Corinna. (June 16, 2013) "Monica Germino Puts Electronics and Violin Together, and Myriad Sounds Ensue" – New York Times.
• Fleming, John (February 23, 2010). "Get ready to get wild … at a violin recital" – Tampa Bay Times (formerly published in the St. Petersburg Times).
• Holden, Anthony (November 25, 2007). "Nowt like a good tune" – The Observer (London, UK).
• Hewett, Ivan (November 19, 2007). "Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music: Music Lives in Everything" – The Telegraph (UK).
• CGNY (May 29, 2013). "Violinist Monica Germino & sound engineer Frank van der Weij perform as part of the Bang on a Can Marathon" – Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, Dutch Performing Arts Events.
• Deemer, R (June 16, 2013). "Bang on a Can Marathon 2013 Live Blog" – NEW MUSIC USA, NEW MUSIC BOX.
• Deneuville, Thomas (June 26, 2013). "Bang on a Can Marathon 2013" – I CARE IF YOU LISTEN magazine.
• Swed, Mark (February 29, 2012). "Two Louis Andriessen premieres at Green Umbrella" – LA Times.
• Hughes, Roisin (November 23, 2010). "Deviation" – website article, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
• Eichler, Jeremy (July 19, 2009). "Spinning local, a batch of new CDs from the BSO and Boston artists" – The Boston Globe.
• Matthews, Peter (November 14, 2008). "String Singers" – Feast of Music.
• Redactie (October 18, 2008). "Monica Germino: wereldster op Provadja-podium, dan New York (Monica Germino: international star on stage at Provadja, then New York)" – Noord Hollands Dagblad.
• Kozinn, Allan (May 17, 2004). "What Do You Get When You Combine Minimalism With Complexity?" – The New York Times.
• Bouma, Anne and Kurvers, Joséphine and Wolsink, Ennio (March 13, 2011). "Grand Theatre over de Vloer" – 3voor12VPRO.nl.
• Adlington, Robert (August 2004). De Staat – Ashgate Pub Ltd.
• Trochimczyk, Maja (August 2002). Music of Louis Andriessen – Routledge.
• Davidson, Robert A. (July 27, 2001). "Louis Andriessen & Orkest de Volharding: seeing is hearing" – RealTime Arts magazine (AU).
• Duffy, Rosemary (Fall 2001). “PROFILE: Monica Germino” – Stringendo Magazine, Australia.