Iva Bittova + Antonin Fajt
Wednesday, May 24, 8-10pm
29 Church St.
“Iva Bittová is an extraordinary artist. Raw and refined, passionate and contained, she has the soul of a gypsy, the voice of a troubadour, and the mind of a genius.”– NPR/All Things Considered
“Her vocal and instrumental technique is formidable, but what is most impressive is the imaginativeness of her excursions. (She) plays music that mixes elements of both deep ethnic traditions and the classical avant-garde. At its best, it really does have the strengths of a self-created folk music, unique and idiosyncratic, but with the stark power of Balkan singing or Hungarian fiddling.” –The Boston Globe
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 splendors 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.
Antonin’s music combines elements of folkloric traditions of Eastern Europe, jazz and classical composition. Toni grew up in Lelekovice, in the Moravian region of Czech Republic in a musical family. His mother, Iva Bittová is a singer, violinist and composer, and his father, Pavel Fajt is a drummer and composer. Antonín moved to the Hudson Valley, NY in 2007. He likes to work with preparations, folk materials, sampling, texture, and repetition. Toni holds a BA in music from Bard College ’14, where he studied under the mentorship of the composer Joan Tower. Besides music, he likes to cook, work outside, make events, and pretend to know things. He’s been fortunate to work with wonderful musicians such as Dean Sharp, Niloufar Shiri, Window Quartet, Andrei Kvapil, Henry Birdsey, George Mráz, Jessika Kenney, Eyvind Kang, Michael Dessen, PUBLIQuartet, or the ICE ensemble. He can be heard with his group Mantis with Niloufar Shiri, in duo with Iva Bittová, or in improvised music scenes in New York and southern California. He holds an MA from the Integrative Composition, Improvisation and Technology program at UC Irvine where he is currently finishing his PhD dissertation and composing a larger musical work centered around the Hudson River and it’s two-way flow as a representation of time.