Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series Presents Jazz Violinist Diane Monroe

Erie, PA, August 23, 2007 --( The Erie Art Museum’s Contemporary Music Series will present violinist Diane Monroe in concert on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007 at 8 p.m. at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street. Admission is free; a $10 donation is suggested. This performance is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by the Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and Meet the Composer.

About Diane Monroe

Monroe is a violinist whose versatility and expressive artistry consistently bring both classical and jazz audiences to their feet. Critics here and abroad warmly praise her ability to interpret and communicate varying styles and periods in both European classical and American jazz traditions. Her solo debut recital, enthused Bernhard Holland of the New York Times, “had at its center a heart of gold.” Her jazz work, Jim Ferguson proclaimed in a Jazz Times magazine CD review, displayed “stunning musicianship and bright creative spark.”

Monroe had the honor of appearing at the very first Fiddlefest, at Carnegie Hall, where she shared the stage with such legendary performers as Arnold Steinhardt, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Ani and Ida Kavafian and Mark O’Connor. Her rich rendering of Stravinsky’s Fairy’s Kiss and her amazing unaccompanied version of Amazing Grace won her instant acclaim. Her initial Fiddlefest success led to appearances in Alan Miller’s documentary film Small Wonders and the recent Meryl Streep film Music of the Heart. (She performed for the film previews at the Ziegfeld and Apollo Theatres in NYC.) Concurrently, she was invited back for Fiddlefests at Alice Tully Hall, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Central Park, and Switzerland’s Tonhalle.

Monroe is frequently heard at such renowned venues as the Marlboro, Caramoor, Sitka, Verbier, North Sea Jazz, and Mellon Jazz festivals. She has appeared in concert with Yo-Yo Ma, performing the string quartets of Henry Cowell at BAM, Ethos Percussion Ensemble in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, and as guest soloist in both Wall to Wall presentations of Kurt Weil and Irving Berlin at Symphony Space in New York City. Her debut recitals throughout the U.S. include Town Hall and Merkin Hall of New York City, Schoenberg Hall of Los Angeles, Renwick Gallery of Washington D.C., and Pickman Hall in Boston.

An advocate of new music, Monroe is frequently called upon by composers to premiere their works. David Baker, Anthony Davis, Julia Wolfe, Steven Dembsky, Joseph Nocella, Leslie Burrs, and Robert Moran have all had their solo works premiered and repeated by her. Monroe performs these new works, in addition to the standard classical and jazz repertoire, with a spectrum of respected orchestras and ensembles that includes the Delaware Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Brooklyn Philharmonic Contemporary Ensemble, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Network for New Music, Relache Ensemble, New York Chamber Symphony, U.S. Air Force Symphony, Jupiter Symphony, String Currents Orchestra, Central Iowa Symphony, and the Atmos and Ethos Percussion Ensembles.

Before devoting all her time to solo engagements, Monroe was first violinist of the Uptown String Quartet and the Max Roach Double Quartet. She made appearances with these critically acclaimed jazz ensembles on The Cosby Show, CBS News Sunday Morning and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and recorded with them on the Philips, Soul Note, and Mesa/Bluemoon labels. Her four seasons with the String Trio of New York were highlighted by appearances with saxophonist Joe Lovano, Bang On A Can All-Stars, and by a CD release on Black Saint Records.

A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and student at Oberlin Conservatory, University of the Arts, and Michigan State University, Ms. Monroe studied under distinguished pedagogues Ivan Galamian, David Cerone, Charles Castleman, Richard Young, Walter Verdehr, and Joyce Robbins. She has worked intimately with great chamber music masters such as Karen Tuttle, Felix Galimir, Mischa Schneider, Julius Levine, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland Quartets.

Monroe taught on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory, and is currently at Temple University and Swarthmore College. Her distinguished awards include the 2002 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of the Arts, the Pro Musicis Foundation Recitalist Award, The Alan and Wendy Pesky Award, and two Grants from Meet-the-Composer.

Tickets for the workshop are $5 (and include a $5 rebate on concert admission), while tickets for the concert are $12 for general admission, $10 for Museum and JazzErie members and $6 for students and seniors.

About the Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series

Celebrating over 20 years of great music, the Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series is a highly regarded performance series that includes some of the most creative, adventurous and accomplished musicians of our era. The Erie Art Museum brings exciting new music from nationally and internationally renowned artists to Erie each year, encompassing a wide variety of jazz, blues and world music. Each performance is accompanied by a multi-day workshop with the performers, where they work hands-on with students and community members often in conjunction with a current exhibit.

The Contemporary Music Series is sponsored by Connoisseur Media.

For additional information, visit or call (814) 459-5477.

Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche