Iva Bittová, a folk-inspired avant-garde violinist, vocalist, composer, and improviser, gives a moderated pre-concert discussion of her music, career, and perspectives on Czech music since the Prague Spring of 1968.
Stay afterward for a 7 pm performance of her music.
Sponsored by the Student Union in coordination with the Revolutions Series of the Oberlin Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, this event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the political liberalization of Czechoslovakia known as the Prague Spring, as well as the Soviet-led invasion that brought it to an end in August of '68.
Bittová will discuss her musical style/influences, current projects engaging her family's Romani background, memories of Czechoslovakia’s liberalization and occupation, and the nature of improvisational/avant-garde performance as she started her career in post-occupation Czechoslovakia and in the years since then.
Bittová draws upon influences from East European folk music and increasingly from her family's Romani heritage. She will present her diverse repertoire in a solo violin/vocal performance that is free and open to the public.
About the Presenter
Iva Bittová has performed widely as a violinist, vocalist, and actress and has collaborated with such musicians as Bang on a Can All Stars, Pauline Oliveros, Bobby McFerrin, Calder Quartet, Fred Frith, Jiří Stivín, Lisa Moore, Pavel Fajt, Škampa Quartet, and Vladimír Václavek. She was born in 1958 in Bruntál in northern Moravia in what was then Czechoslovakia and nowadays the Czech Republic.
She gained admittance to the Music Conservatory in Brno, often called the Czech Republic’s second city, and graduated in the drama-music program.
In 1982, she started studying with Professor Rudolf Šťastný, the first violinist of the Moravian String Quartet. After living in the countryside near Brno for 17 years, she relocated to the United States and settled in Upstate New York in 2007.
In 2015 she finished her studies at the Academy of Ancient Music/Musicology at the Masaryk University in Brno, receiving a bachelor's degree, and in February 2018 she received a masters degree. Since 1985 she has released 37 CD recordings.