Monica Germino


Amsterdam-based, American/Dutch violinist MONICA GERMINO 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, Bimhuis, MASS MoCA, Le Poisson Rouge, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Other Minds, Holland Festival, MITO, Berliner Festspiele, International Bartók Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Queensland Biennial Festival, November Music, Grand Teton Music Festival, Bergen International Festival, Ultima Festival, and the Prague Spring International Festival. Highlights include solo appearances with London Sinfonietta, LA Philharmonic, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, MusikFabrik, Orkest de Volharding, Clazz Ensemble, Savaria Symphony Orchestra, Ostravská banda, and Oslo Sinfonietta. She has recorded for Attacca Records, Basta Music, BMOP, Cantaloupe Music, and New Amsterdam Records, and with the Asko|Schönberg Ensemble for Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, and Philips.

Germino is challenging the violin's conventional limits by creating innovative programs with a constantly expanding, eclectic repertoire. The Observer (UK) praised ‘the dazzling violinist Monica Germino’ for her performances of new works combining singing and playing. Many composers have written works for her, including Louis Andriessen, Nicholas Brown, Donnacha Dennehy, David Dramm, Heiner Goebbels, Michael Gordon, Annie Gosfield, Huba de Graaff, Molly Joyce, Catherine Kontz, David Lang, Missy Mazzoli, Joanne Metcalf, Arnoud Noordegraaf, Rafael Reina, Jacob TV, Renske Vrolijk, Marcel Wierckx, Nick Williams, Ian Wilson, Julia Wolfe, and Robert Zuidam. She has also worked with composers Michel van der Aa, Martin Bresnick, John Cage, Alvin Curran, Michael Daugherty, György Ligeti, and Christian Wolff.

Together with sound designer Frank van der Weij, she has presented multimedia programs worldwide, revolutionizing the concept of a solo violin recital. Several research and performance grants supported their work, and each new piece led to a new round of discoveries. HCMF and the Gaudeamus Foundation co-commissioned the radically gripping DEVIATION program. Germino's raucous and reflective carte blanche show at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam was a catalyst for the show ROADMAPS & DIARIES II. The duo was chosen for Reviewers’ Choices for Best Musical Events of 2013 by Seen and Heard InternationalThe New York Times, about the duo: “a gloriously free and wild fiddle tantrum . . . virtuosity and mischief-making . . . Van der Weij’s digital wizardry amplified, distorted, fragmented and multiplied the voice of the solo violin." Her latest solo program, MUTED, is a collective work for violin, voice, whisperviolin, frame violins, a multitude of mutes, and light design. Created in response to Germino's high sensitivity to sound, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe joined forces to create a piece that explores the limits of audibility. The three composers invited Louis Andriessen to join them in the experiment, fulfilling a long-held wish to collaborate. Floriaan Ganzevoort designed a light object based on sound waves, controlled live in performance. MUTED was commissioned by a prestigious international consortium of presenters and is produced by De Doelen in Rotterdam. 

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, the band Electric Barbarian, and theatre companies ZT Hollandia and Nieuw West. She is artistic advisor and co-founder of the international ensemble ELECTRA. Germino has led master classes and introduced new music in Vietnam, Canada, Australia, the United States, and throughout Europe. She was an artist-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, Boston Conservatory, Illinois Wesleyan University, and the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, and has curated concerts at the Cornish College of the Arts, Birmingham Conservatoire, and the Robert Helps Festival. In 2009-2010, Germino was appointed visiting professor of violin at the University of South Florida’s School of Music.

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 Association 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. She plays a Joannes Baptista Ceruti violin from Cremona, anno 1802, on permanent loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation, along with a custom-made Violectra and an assortment of modified violins.