Bang on a Can and The Jewish Museum Present Violinist-Vocalist Iva Bittova
Bang on a Can and the Jewish Museum's 2017-18 concert season, which focuses on pioneering female artists, continues on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:30pm with a performance by Iva Bittová. Bittová is known foremost as a violinist-vocalist whose distinct music blends styles from many global music cultures - eastern European folk, western classical, Indian, Middle Eastern, and American rock 'n roll. Her solo performance at the Jewish Museum will reflect the central themes of cultural exchange and influence present in the exhibition Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. This acoustic program will feature a mix of Bittová's earlier original compositions and new works. Some of them are contemporary, while others are based on traditional melodies from Moravia, Slovakia, and Romania, but all are flowing with vocal and violin improvisations. On her role as a pioneering female artist, Bittová says, "The most important part of my journey as an artist is to be true to my own original independent style, which makes me very free and happy! Music is my healing meditation and source of creativity to send lot of important messages to the universe."
Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress, from the Collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem is the first comprehensive U.S. exhibition drawn from The Israel Museum's world-renowned collection of Jewish costumes and showcases over 100 articles of clothing from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. The extraordinary range of textile designs and clothing illuminates the story of how diverse global cultures have thrived, interacted, and inspired each other for centuries. This exhibition invites viewers to consider the language of clothing in all its complexity. Though this language can disclose information about gender, age, background, and custom, some important meanings remain vague and fluid. Clothing may accentuate or conceal; it may be transitory, but it may also be ageless and universal. These garments provide a unique testimony to bygone communities, to forms of dress and craft that no longer exist, and to a sense of beauty that still has the power to enthrall.
Writer/broadcaster Ken Hunt sings the praises of Iva Bittová: "The violinist-vocalist may be 'small nation' Czech but her musical worldview and visionary creativity acknowledge no borders. Her powers of spontaneous creativity are more bountiful than it is fair to confer on one person. Witness and marvel."
Iva Bittová was born in 1958 in Bruntál in northern Moravia in Czechoslovakia - currently the Czech Republic - into a family of artists. Both of her parents were musicians and sisters Ida and Regina are professional drama and music performers. Iva attended drama pre-school, specializing in violin and ballet. In due course she gained admittance to the Music Conservatory in Brno, often called the Czech Republic's second city. She graduated in drama and music. During her studies, Iva took part-time engagements as an actress and musician in Brno's Divadlo Husa na provázku (Goose On A String Theater). She cites these engagements as some of the most formative and influential of her life.
She has also been featured as an actress in radio, TV and movie productions. While working full time in theater, she re-kindled her interest in playing violin, an instrument she had set aside in her younger years. After her father's early death, she decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and by composing her own music. In summer 2007, Iva relocated her personal and professional life to the United Stated and settled in upstate New York. Iva shares her Hudson Valley home with her younger son Antonín (born 1991) - also a dedicated musician.
The 2017-2018 season marks the fourth year of the Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can's partnership, producing dynamic musical performances inspired by the Museum's diverse slate of exhibitions. The final performance of this season focused on pioneering female artists will feature Tomeka Reid Quartet on Thursday, April 27, 2018.
Tickets for the February 22 program are $18 general public; $15 students and senior citizens; and $12 for Jewish Museum members and Bang on a Can list members, and include exhibition admission prior to the performance. Further program and ticket information is available by calling 212.423.3337 or at TheJewishMuseum.org/calendar. The Jewish Museum is located at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, NYC.
Public Programming at the Jewish Museum is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
About Bang on a Can
Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Founded by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who curatored the first Marathon concert in 1987 and remain co-Artistic Directors to this day, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers; performs, presents, and records new work; develops new audiences; and educates the musicians of the future. "Bang on a Can plays "a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn't concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come" (The New York Times). Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People's Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program for young musicians; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can's extreme street band; and Found Sound Nation, a musical outreach program partnering with the U.S. State Department to create OneBeat, a program that bridges the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries. For more information, visit www.bangonacan.org.
About the Jewish Museum
Located on New York City's famed Museum Mile, the Jewish Museum is a distinctive hub for art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Founded in 1904, the Museum was the first institution of its kind in the United States and is one of the oldest Jewish museums in the world. Devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, the Museum offers intellectually engaging exhibitions and programs, and maintains a unique collection of nearly 30,000 works of art, ceremonial objects, and media reflecting the global Jewish experience over more than 4,000 years.