Alisa Rose BioGRaphy

Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as the rich American musical tradition, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin.  Alisa Rose has performed with a wide range of artists including the Real Vocal String Quartet, 2008 Rockygrass winners 49 Special, and Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Alisa performed and taught throughout Eastern Europe as an Ambassador of the State Department, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, NPR's Weekend Edition, the historic Carter Family Fold festival, TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Song of the Mountains on PBS, as well as numerous international tours. In 2015 Alisa premiered Richard Marriott's "Metropolis Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra" with the Dartmouth Wind Ensemble, and in 2016 premiered her own "Piano Trio for Luisa" as part of the Trinity Arts Chamber Music Festival. As a member of the Real Vocal String Quartet she appeared on the Feist album Metals, and in 2015 released an album of her cross-genre virtuoso works for solo violin entitled Fiddle Caprices and Pizzicato Pieces. Alisa teaches privately as well as in the pre-college division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her B.M. and  M.M.  in Chamber Music studying with Camilla Wicks and Bettina Mussumeli.


Alisa Rose - longer biography

Fiddler and violinist, composer and improviser, Alisa Rose is a modern musician who easily navigates between many musical styles. With roots in classical music as well as American traditional music, she attracts attention for her expressive lyrical voice on the violin.  She is a member of classical RossoRose Duo, Supermule, genre-melding Village Road Trio, bluegrass explorers Scroggins & Rose, and  extreme fidde duo Swift Rose 

Alisa was a member of the  Real Vocal String Quartet, a San Francisco-based vocal ensemble and string quartet that performs original music and arrangements broadly influenced by folk, world music, and pop. Recent RVSQ highlights include opening for Kronos Quartet at San Francisco's Stern Grove Festival in July, recording on Grammy-nominated Feist's 2012 album Metals & performing with Feist at Coachella and on the Tonight Show in 2012. Alisa Rose’s arrangement of Regina Spektor’s song Machine received over 30,000 views on YouTube.  The October 2013 Strings Magazine cover story featured RVSQ’s US State Department-sponsored tour of Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Macedonia, Lithuania, and Latvia as arts ambassadors through the American Voices Program. RVSQ has also been invited performers and workshops at University of Delaware School of Music and California Polytechnic Institute in Pomona.

Alisa Rose is also an active member of Supermule, a collective of diverse players who share enthusiasm for the forms and themes of traditional American music.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Supermule is a tough band to categorize, and that’s just one of the reasons its new self-produced EP, 'Northern White Clouds,' ought to be on your permanent playlist.” Alisa Rose is also a member of the Club Foot Orchestra, who performs modern music with silent film.  In 2013 she performed Richard Marriott’s original score for “Metropolis” at the SFJAZZ Center and “Le Gong Dance of the Virgins” with Gamelan Sekar Jaya at the Castro Theater. 

From 2008 to 2012 Alisa performed with and arranged music for classical crossover specialists Quartet San Francisco; their record QSF Plays Brubeck was nominated for a Grammy in 2009, for which Alisa was featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. Rose’s tours with Quartet San Francisco included China, Seoul, Korea, Japan, and Turkey.  U.S. appearances included New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Yoshi’s Jazz Clubs in San Francisco and Oakland, the Brubeck Room in the Wilton, Connecticut Library, as well as with the Tulsa Symphony, Marin Symphony and San Jose Chamber Orchestras and with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead.

Alisa is also an active composer and arranger. In addition to her work for ensembles in which she performs, her arrangements of fiddle tunes have been published by Strings Letter Publishing under the title “American Fiddle Tunes for Beginning String Orchestra:  Cluck Old Hen, and Angeline the Baker.” An experienced teacher, Alisa teaches young violinists at her private studio, the SF Friend’s School and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music preparatory department.  Previously Alisa was director and creator of SFCM’s outreach string program at Starr King Elementary School. Alisa has taught adults “Advanced Bluegrass Fiddle” at the Nimblefingers Old-Time and Bluegrass workshop in Sorrento, B.C., and classical high school string players alternative string styles at the Cougar String Camp in Pullman, Washington

 Alisa is a San Francisco Conservatory-trained violinist and chamber musician (BM ’02, MCM ’07 student of Camilla Wicks and Bettina Mussumeli) who balanced her formal training with forays into Bluegrass, Old-Time and crossover music from an early age. She started violin study at age 3, and in her teens she played with the Southern Wisconsin Old-time Fiddler’s Association and was lead trumpet in her high school jazz band.  Shortly after graduating from SFCM, she was invited to perform Brahms D Minor violin sonata at Carnegie Hall with the Keisa Duo and at Cleveland’s Reinberger Chamber Hall with the Picasso Quartet.  

While a student at SFCM and thereafter, Alisa also continued her studies of other styles. She fiddled with bluegrass band Homespun Rowdy, Americana band A.J. Roach and the Strange Pilgrims, and later contemporary bluegrass band 49 Special. Alisa’s performances with Homespun Rowdy included the Grass Valley Bluegrass Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, and Bluegrass Music Festival in Parker, AZ.  With A.J. Roach and the Strange Pilgrims, Alisa toured throughout the states, as well as the Netherlands and Great Britain.  Highlights include performances at the historic Carter Family Fold festival in Virginia, on PBS “Song of the Mountains,” at the Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands, and four performances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.  Alisa appeared with the bluegrass band 49 Special at the 2010 Rockygrass Festival where they took first prize in the acclaimed Rockygrass band competition in 2009.  49 Special released an eponymous CD in 2010, and performed and taught in bluegrass festivals in Colorado and Alaska. Alisa’s other collaborations as a fiddler include performances at TEDx Alcatraz with Bob Weir, Michelle Shocked in Belfast and Dublin, Ireland and with Josh Ritter.