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Andrew Tholl

About this Artist

Andrew Tholl is violinist, composer, drummer, and improviser. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "vigorously virtuosic," his performances and compositions have been heard throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.

As a soloist and chamber musician he is dedicated to the performance of new music and the collaborative process between composer and performer. He has premiered over two hundred new works and has worked closely with composers such as Christian Wolff, Sylvano Bussotti, Roger Reynolds, George Crumb, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Arthur Jarvinen. He is a co-founder of the “superb” (Los Angeles Times) Formalist Quartet, an ensemble dedicated to the performance of adventurous new repertoire by both established and emerging composers. The quartet has held residencies at Princeton University, Stanford University, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and the Villa Aurora, and has premiered works by composers such as David T. Little, Harold Budd, Sean Friar, Nicholas Deyoe, Marc Sabat, and David Rosenboom. Most recently, the quartet has recorded the complete string quartets of Christian Wolff, and has just completed concerts at Universität der Künste (Berlin), Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemasse Musik, the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (Venice), and a performance with the Bill T. Jones Dance Company. The quartet's recordings can be heard on Innova, Lakefire, Cold Blue, Darla, and Populist Records (which Tholl co-owns and operates with Andrew McIntosh). Tholl is also a member of wild Up, a modern music collective for which he serves as violinist, drummer, composer, and creative advisor. The ensemble has held residencies at the Hammer Museum and with the American Composers Orchestra; performed in partnership with the Colburn School, The Industry, and CalArts; and was named as part of the best of classical music in 2012 by the Los Angeles Times.


As a composer, Tholl’s interest lies in the exploration of the passage of time, the physicality of making music, noise, nostalgia, memory, and the synthesis of diverse musical styles. He has been commissioned by wild Up, the New Century Players, Machine Project, Danny Holt, and more. His works have been heard at the Dartington International Summer Festival (England), Complice (Berlin), Beyond Baroque (Los Angeles), Princeton University (New Jersey), Listen/Space (New York), Gridlock (Vancouver), CNMAT (Berkeley), and the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). In 2013 his violin concerto, Asphyxiation, was featured at REDCAT (and performed by Tholl), as part of VLN & VLA, a concert presenting new, recent, and older works for violin and viola.

Aside from his work as a “classical” musician and composer, Tholl maintains a second musical life performing pop, rock, punk, noise and improvisational music as a violinist and drummer. His performing activities have included playing with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wadada Leo Smith, Busta Rhymes, Scott Weiland, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Vinny Golia, and more. Currently, he performs with the ensembles TempWerks, Paper Tiger Trio, and touchy-feely. Additionally Tholl has worked extensively in scoring for film, dance, and theater as both a performer and composer.

Most recently, Tholl has been collaborating with Domino Records recording artist Julia Holter, recording on her 2013 album Loud City Song (named album of the year by The Wire magazine) and performing as a member of her touring band. Notable performances include appearances at the Pitchfork Music Festival, OFF Festival, Green Man Festival, and Big Ears Festival.

Future engagements include performances as part of composer Anne LeBaron's portrait series at REDCAT (featuring the Formalist Quartet, Tholl's own compositions, and conducting the premiere of a portion of composer Andrew McIntosh's new opera Bonnie and Clyde), the Formalist Quartet's Microfest performance of Luigi Nono's Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima, and additional touring this summer with Julia Holter.

Tholl holds degrees from Arizona State University, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of the Arts, where he has taught composition, violin, music theory, and improvisation on and off since 2009. Currently, he teaches violin and viola at Ventura College, Moorpark College, and with Harmony Project. He lives in Los Angeles where he is working on his first solo album and continues to be involved with music for concert halls, art galleries, films, puppet shows, bars, garages, bedrooms, and coat closets. More info can be found at: