Renata Artman Knific, Violin
Professor, Chair of the String Area, Western Michigan University. International career began in London when she joined the English Chamber Orchestra at the age of 21. Tours of Europe, North and South America, and Asia followed, with artists such as Herman Bauman, Barry Tuckwell, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Maurice Andre, Pinchas Zuckerman, Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Murray Perahia. She worked closely with conductors Daniel Barenboim, Simon Rattle, Edo De Waart, and Christoph Eschenbach, and recorded dozens of records for the EMI, Decca, and CBS labels. As violinist of the Merling Trio, Knific performs 20 to 40 concerts annually throughout the world, including appearances at Merkin Hall, Carnegie Hall, St. John’s, London, and the Banff Center for the Arts. Released three CDs with the trio and premiered many works written for the group. The Merling Trio was a finalist for the Naumburg Foundation Chamber Music Award in 1994. Numerous appearences in chamber music festivals and as a soloist throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada. Summer engagements include the Encore School for Strings, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Lancut Festival in Poland. Former students perform in the Cavani, Pro Arte, and Cypress quartets and in orchestras throughout the world including the Cleveland, Houston, Honolulu, and Sao Paulo, Brazil symphonies. Founding member of the contemporary ensemble, OPUS 21, and has premiered nearly two dozen works by many leading composers in recent years. In 2003, released “West of Everywhere,” a crossover recording featuring her with a variety of jazz greats including Gene Bertoncini, Sir Roland Hanna, John Abercrombie, Jamey Haddad, and Billy Hart. Leonarda Records released her premiere recording of Marga Richter’s concerto for piano, violin, cello, and orchestra entitled “Variations and Interludes on Themes from Monteverdi and Bach” in 2004 to critical acclaim. Recent recordings include works for violin and piano by William Bolcom, at the composer’s request, for MSR Classics Records.