Praised for her intensity and “stunning” performances (The Brooklyn Rail), MARINA KIFFERSTEIN is a violinist based in NYC. She is a full time member of TAK ensemble and The Rhythm Method string quartet, and has performed with a wide range of ensembles and organizations in the US and internationally, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), JACK Quartet, the Nouveau Classical Project, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Shattered Glass, Contemporaneous, the Manchester Festival Players, the MATA festival, the American Composers Alliance, the New York Composers Circle, the Lucerne Festival, and others.
A strong supporter of new music, Marina has performed and commissioned an extensive repertoire of music by living composers. She has worked closely with many of the most prominent composers of our time, such as Pierre Boulez, Helmut Lachenmann, Philippe Manoury, Lewis Nielson, Chaya Czernowin, Martin Bresnick, and Julia Wolfe, as well as a multitude of both established and emerging composers. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has premiered hundreds of new works. A composer herself, her work has been performed in the U.S. and Europe.
Marina has held residencies at the Avaloch Farm New Music Initiative and Mount Tremper Arts, and fellowship positions at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, The Manchester Music Festival, the Institute and Festival of Contemporary Performance at Mannes, the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She was a member of the Louis Moreau Institute in New Orleans in 2015-2016, and is a regular guest artist at the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont. She was selected to be a member of the Lucerne Festival Young Performance Ensemble for Fensadense, a project developed with composer Tod Machover and choreographer Shila Anaraki, which premiered at the Lucerne Festival 2015 and saw subsequent performances around Europe throughout the 2015-2016 season.
Recent concerto solo engagements include the premiere of Ryan Pratt’s K. Tracing with the Wet Ink Ensemble under the direction of Eric Wubbels, Luciano Berio’s Corale with the Tactus ensemble under the direction of Kyle Ritenauer, as well as the North American premiere of Hindemith’s Kammermusik No. 4 with the Oberlin Wind Ensemble under the direction of Timothy Weiss. As an orchestral musician, Marina has held concertmaster positions with numerous orchestras including the Orchestra of Lucerne Festival Alumni and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra for the Next Century, and has played under the batons of conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Matthias Pintscher, and many others. She has performed solo, chamber music, and orchestra concerts across America and internationally, in venues such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall and both Isaac Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as well as across Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, Iceland, China, and Singapore in venues such as the KKL Lucerne, Kölner Philharmonie, La Salle Pleyel, the Beijing Concert Hall, Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, and the Esplanade in Singapore.
Outside of the realm of performance, Marina is a contributor for WQXR’s Q2 Music, the blog I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, and was formerly a staff writer for the Oberlin Conservatory Communications office. She is also the founder and curator of Vox Hebraica, a concert series at the Actors’ Temple in NYC that presents diverse perspectives on the contemporary Jewish experience. Marina holds a teaching position at the Washington Heights Community Conservatory of Fine Arts, and is on faculty at the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. Former teaching positions include the Long Island City Academy of Music and Oberlin Conservatory (secondary instruction). She has held chamber music residency positions at Columbia University, Rutgers University, and New York University.
Marina holds a Masters degree in contemporary performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she was the recipient of a full scholarship in the studios of Curtis Macomber and Laurie Smukler. She received a BM in Violin Performance and a BA in English with a Creative Writing Concentration from Oberlin College and Conservatory in 2012 as a student of Milan Vitek, where she was the recipient of a Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award and a John Frederick Oberlin Scholarship. Other influential teachers include Katherine Gerson, Alexander Yudkovsky, Darrett Adkins, Peter Takacs, Tim Weiss, and Per Enoksson.
Marina plays a modern Hungarian violin by Zsolt Feleghazy.