A VERSATILE MUSICIAN WITH A PASSION FOR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC.
Jannina Norpoth made her debut as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at age 14. Since then she has built a career as an innovative collaborative artist with a passion for contemporary music, genre bending and improvisation, a sought after arranger and orchestrator, and an advocate for a more inclusive and versatile landscape in classical music.
Her string quartet, PUBLIQuartet, is recognized for unique and genre inclusive programming, earning them the 2019 Visionary Artist Award from Chamber Music America, 2015 Adventurous Programming Award from ASCAP and Chamber Music America and New Music/ New Places Prize at the 2013 Concert Artist's Guild Competition.
Deemed "Leader's of the New School" by Symphony Magazine and "Independent Minded" by The New Yorker, PUBLIQuartet has served as an ensemble in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and National Sawdust, performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Detroit Jazz Festival and The Colbert Report, creating Requiem for Debate a live improvised sound track for the third Presidential Debate. Compositions from their programming concept MIND | THE | GAP: which melds musical genre's through improvisation were dubbed "ingenious hybrids" by Strad Magazine. This summer PUBLIQuartet will be the Keynote Speakers at Carnegie Hall’s educational conference PlayUSA and teach and perform newly commissioned work written by PQ.
"Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5 in an engaging,
pizzicato-laced transcription by Jannina Norpoth, one of the group's
violinists — so natural sounding that it could have been the
composer's original version."
—Bruce Hodges, Strad Magazine
A versatile musician, Ms. Norpoth performs and writes alongside her husband bassist/guitarist/songwriter John-Paul Norpoth in the folk/rock group HOLLANDS. Praised for their multi-faceted sound, HOLLANDS has been described as "provocative poetry sung over instrumentals laid out with such compositional intent" by Relix Magazine and "a is cherry mix of folk punk and free noise ... breezy melodies and whimsical cuteness" by Christopher Weingarten of the Village Voice. HOLLANDS has released two EPs; their recent LP debut was profiled by BBC as "pulsing indie pop that really puts a spring in your step ... mixing fun, folk, rock and elements of classical." In 2016 HOLLANDS, PUBLIQuartet and artist Amy Khoshbin created The Scheherazade Project (TSP), a multimedia song cycle inspired by the stories of One Thousands and One Nights. TSP was awarded a Sphinx MPower grant for it’s creation and received its debut at National Sawdust as part of the NYC Electro-Acoustic Music Festival and The New York Philharmonic’s Biennial Celebration, with support from MAC Cosmetics and DPA Microphones.
"Solo passages by violin player Jannina Barefield were as abrasive and
unhinged as a listener might expect from Sonic Youth guitarists
Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo."
—David Lindquist for the Indianapolis Star
Ms. Norpoth has performed internationally, including appearances at the Women of the World Festival at The Apollo Theater, Detroit Art X Festival, Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Saturday Night Live, VH1’s Save the Music, IFC's Dinner with the Band, and Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall. As a soloist she has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony, Casalmaggiore International Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble 212, and Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra.
"Further local color came in the form of Villa-Lobos’s Bachiana Brasileiras no.5,
arranged by PUBLIQuartet violinist Jannina Norpoth.The doubling of the violin
and viola in place of the wordless soprano part gave a full-bodied,
textured sound and an easy swing to the work."
— Robert Leeper, Feast of Music
She has been a featured performer alongside such acclaimed musicians as James Carter, Nadia Sirota, Regina Carter, Itzhak Perlman, Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Helga Davis, Marcus Belgrave, Dave Young, Mike Garson, A. Spencer Barefield, Jay - Z, Beyoncé, Anita Baker, Sheila E., Boys II Men, Dionne Warwick, My Brightest Diamond, Alexi Murdoch, and many others. As an arranger she has written and arranged strings for Keyshia Cole, Keri Hilson, Kat DeLuna, Black Dahlia Murder, Akron Family, John Legend, and Never Shout Never. Her recording credits include Keyshia Cole's Woman to Woman, Keri Hilson's No Boys Allowed, Black Dahlia Murder's Everblack and Ritual, Akron Family's Set em' Wild / Set em' Free, Sphinx Virtuosi Live in Concert, Bob Stewart's Connections - Mind the Gap and with her ensembles HOLLANDS and PUBLIQuartet. She may also be heard as a member of the "Hustla' Symphony Orchestra" on the bonus tracks for Jay-Z's live concert release on his 2006 Def Jam release, Kingdom Come. As a studio arranger and performer she has worked under grammy-winning producers Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis and Bryce Goggin.
"A charmingly salty and tango-esque arrangement of Villa-Lobos's Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by violinist Jannina Norpoth featured a Bachian violin cadenza on which Norpoth displayed a tone that sang beautifully in the echoey stone chapel."
— Jon Sobel, BlogCritics
Ms. Norpoth lives in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with her husband John-Paul and their puggle Vegas. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of a new adaptation of Scott Joplin’s Opera Treemonisha, featuring a collaborative orchestration with composer Jessie Montgomery and commissioned by Volcano: an experimental theatre company based in Toronto, as well as a duo recording of Prokofiev's Sonatas for violin and piano with pianist Maria Meirelles.