Andrew Tholl

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

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. The quartet’s recordings can be heard on Innova, Lakefire, Cold Blue, Darla, and Populist Records (which Tholl co-owns and operates with wild Up member Andrew McIntosh).

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, Gnarwhallaby, the New Century Players, Machine Project, and more. His works have been heard at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), 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 and older works for violin and viola. More recently, the performance of his adaptation of John Adams’ American Standard was described as “a refreshingly juvenile Ivesian death march” (New Music Box).

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 activities have included performing with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wadada Leo Smith, Busta Rhymes, Scott Weiland, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Vinny Golia, and more. Currently, he plays 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 collaborated with Domino Records recording artist Julia Holter on her albums Loud City Song (2013) and Have You in My Wilderness (2015), as well as performing as a member of her live band. Tholl also arranged and recorded strings for the recently released Ducktails’ album, St. Catherine.

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 and Moorpark College, and orchestra at the Pasadena Waldorf School. He lives in Los Angeles where he 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: