by Iva Bittová
“For many years, I have worked in a range of musical styles, including jazz, rock, folk, classical, and opera. What truly inspires me is total silence and an absolutely positive atmosphere. While deciding on a label for my style of music is: far from settled, everyday life, nature, and silence are the most important conditions and surroundings in which my ideas spring to life, having a significant impact on my music. Being a part of musical culture, not only as a musician but also as a listener, nourishes my sense of being in tune with the Earth. Every moment is a new vibration, a new resonation, channeling new ideas and new messages from the universe. Despite all my educational experiences, it is the live, human-to-human, creative musical process that brings power to the planet. It is extremely important for new voices to emerge and resonate; safe nature is such a big source of inspiration for all of us.
My performance of solo violin and voice is mostly improvisation, it is the liberated vibration of my present being.”
“My approach to music is based on contact with nature. To access a natural, present musical moment within the group, I encourage students to center themselves away from the noise and distraction of technology and stressful day-to-day activities.
Lessons will include breath training, vocal or instrumental scales and exercises, polyphony and overtone technique, circle singing, choral songs, improvisation, and (most importantly!) listening to the silence and the sound of the woods. Every practice is influenced by, and adapted to, the capabilities of each student who will, in turn, focus on their own individual expression, developing their unique vocal or instrumental message through our shared space.
As your guide, I will encourage you to separate your abilities from your fears, either with baby steps or giant leaps and, by learning many different approaches and styles of technique, we’ll be able to play with this new knowledge as freely as we would as children.
My goal is to foster inspiration for everyone, and to this end, I will give as much energy as I can to each person!
Music makes us very happy! This is what we need!”
Iva B.Rhinebeck 2019
“Iva Bittová’s countryman Milan Kundera wrote how Europe’s “small nations” form another Europe. 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.” by Ken Hunt
Iva Bittová was born in 1958 in Bruntál in northern Moravia in what was then Czechoslovakia – and nowadays the Czech Republic. Both of her parents were musicians. Her mother Ludmila was a pre-school teacher who spent most of her life with her family; her father Koloman Bitto – Bittová is the surname’s female form – was a musician strongly influenced by the land of his birth – southern Slovakia. His main instruments were string bass, cimbalom, guitar, and trumpet. This exceptional ability to play almost any instrument he laid his hands on, whether performing in classical or folk music styles, proved a major influence on his three daughters as they grew up. Both of Iva’s sisters – her older sister Ida and her younger sister 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.
Around this time she also featured as an actress in radio, TV and movie productions. Later on, 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 1982, Iva started studying with Professor Rudolf Šťastný, the primarius (first violin) of the Moravian String Quartet. In the intervening years the violin has become her life’s passion and the most inspiring musical instrument in her professional life. Iva firmly believes that, as playing the violin places extreme demands on musicians, the composer’s work depends utterly on commitment and diligence.
After living in the countryside near Brno for 25 years, Iva decided to relocate her personal and professional life to the United States. In the Summer of 2007, she settled amid the splendours of nature in upstate New York. Iva shares her Hudson Valley home with her younger son Antonín (born 1991) – also a dedicated musician and another chip off the Bitto block.
In 2015 she studied at the Academy of Ancient Music / Musicology at the Masaryk University in Brno and received a bachelor’s degree and in 2018 graduated on her master degree.
Some Press quotes:
“Ms. Bittová is a true cosmopolitan, but she remains grounded in local expressions, and her own physicality. She takes on the role of the singer as town crier whose voice animates the old myths and current news. Ms. Bittová’s town is her self, ruled by the rhythms of sexuality, the flights of her imagination and the realities of modern social life. –The New York Times
“The Czech violinist, vocalist and composer Iva Bittová is one of Europe’s great musical innovators and traditionalists. She is also one of those truly rare musicians capable of an artistic balancing act that maintains a nodding acquaintance with the musical rule book while having a passionate affair with non-conformity.” –Jazzwise, UK
Mondays till Fridays
Times of this workshop:
11:00 – 13:00 and 14:30 – 17:30
Performance-Concert on Sunday, August 23rd by Iva Bittová
Entrance fee is a 10€ contribution.
For more information, click here.
Price of workshop:
Registration fee of 80 euro required (as part of the 250)