Biography

Tanya Kalmanovitch is a musician, writer and ethnomusicologist based in New York City. Trained at the Juilliard School, her work as a violist bridges classical, jazz and experimental improvised music and has been profiled in Jazz Times, DownBeat, the Globe and Mail and the New York Times. She performs and teaches regularly in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, and is a faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston and Mannes College The New School for Music in New York. Kalmanovitch’s research in theoretical psychology and ethnomusicology has explored the history of science, postcolonial identities and musical globalization and has been published in The American Psychologist, World of Music and New Sound. She is currently working on book examining the role of music and professional musicians as agents of social change around the world.

Associate Professor and Coordinator of Entrepreneurship, Mannes College the New School for Music

Faculty, Department of Contemporary Improvisation, Department of Entrepreneurial Musicianship, New England Conservatory 

 


Reviews

Kalmanovitch is an exceptional musician.In soloing she thinks compositionally, with an expressive contrast between the astringent chromaticism of her lines and compositions and her warmly malleable tone. Her quartet shares an uncanny mutual awareness … characterised by sometimes austere beauty and a remarkable unity between the written and the improvised. Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times

Best New Talent 2004  All About Jazz New York

The disc’s 18 short, gemlike free improvisations include mysterious textural scrabbles and aggressive jousts, microtonal meditations and limpid, drone-based reveries. The most impressive quality of the set is the sheer selflessness with which two strong players merge into a common spirit.  Steve Smith, Time Out New York

This is an exceptional and welcome venture that brings together free-jazz improvisation, contemporary music and rock, creating one of the more engaging recordings heard in some time … Listen to Rara Avis, a stunning tone poem, and her poetic sorties on the seven vignettes that are the core of this session and you will hear a musician who is alive with creativity and ideas. These collective improvisations beg for discovery and repeated listening." Irwin Block, Montreal Gazette

The young Canadian artist Tanya Kalmanovitch showcases her not inconsiderable talents on viola (and occasionally violin) on this accessible and fascinating album in which she leads a tuneful, compatible quartet that performs her often mournful compositions with a graceful sensitivity. Kalmanovitch produces a richly sonorous conservatory-based tone that exudes a lovely consistency, not unlike a rich, full-bodied wine … There are beautiful sounds emanating from this group, and lots of pregnant potential, particularly from its leader whose writing and improvisational skills are often worth exploring. Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

The original Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Dixie Dregs are obvious musical reference points for Kalmanovitch’s quartet — in instrumentation, compositional approaches and the use of unison lead lines. Kalmanovitch’s use of the viola on most of the pieces provides full-bodied foil for Rick Peckham’s guitar … The band is at its best with the riff-driven, rhythmically varied structure of Guilfoyle’s “Hidden Agenda” and the leader’s title song, where the blend of their voices creates dense textures. James Hale, DownBeat

...another engaging station stop in the career of a talented improviser and leader whose technical virtuosity and creative vision are on full display. Steven Loewy, All Music Guide

...the rapport between these two is electric, throughout.  Mike Shanley, Jazz Times

Don’t let Canadian viola player Tanya Kalmanovitch’s Juilliard pedigree fool you into thinking she can’t cut it in a heated improv setting. For proof, check out the two excellent CDs she made with her quartet,Hut Five — both the crafty, tuneful self-titled debut and the freewheeling, spontaneous follow-up, Out Where the Trains Don’t RunTime Out New York

Classically trained Juilliard grad Kalmanovitch plays a mean viola - an instrument rarely heard in jazz - as well as violin. Her work with very impressive guitarist Rick Peckham, bassist Ronan Guilfoyle and drummer Owen Howard is startlingly good with great collective improv and dark and stark treatments of composed pieces. Especially stirring cuts on her sophomore CD are “Hidden Agenda” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression”. Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star

The viola may be seldom heard in jazz, but Kalmanovitch’s instrument sounds entirely at home in the company of Rick Peckham’s guitar, Ronan Guilfoyle’s bass and Owen Howard’s drums. This band of old associates do considerable justice to the jagged melodies and angular forms of the leader’s compositions, making them sound easy (almost!). This is an engaging album, bristling with energy … Kalmanovitch’s playing is forceful and direct, and the superb Peckham sounds like a man possessed. Cormac Larkin,  The Sunday Tribune (Ireland)