Executive Director and Founder
Baroque and Modern Viola, Baroque Violin
Based in New York City, Kristina Giles (neé Hendricks) enjoys a creative and varied musical career. Trained as a classical violist, she has become known for her artistry on both the violin and viola and their baroque counterparts. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and China, and recorded solo improvisations on folk and country albums. As a curator she always has something cooking: past projects include The Sequenza Show, a series of performances featuring all of Luciano Berio's Sequenzas. She is the founder of The Colonials, an innovative mixed-period ensemble that brings together old and new works to inspire fresh dialogues about music.
Kristina’s love of new music has led her to work with Mason Bates, Gunther Schuller, Joan Tower, Harrison Birtwistle and Oliver Knussen and other prominent composers on their chamber and solo works. Equally passionate about period Baroque performance, and she has collaborated and studied with Manfredo Kraemer, Arthur Haas, Jeanette Sorrell, Robert Mealy and Jörg-Michael Schwarz. She is a member of NYC-based groups SIREN Baroque and The Colonials, and performs frequently with REBEL Baroque and Brooklyn Baroque. Before moving to NYC in 2008, she performed with the Dallas Opera, Kansas City Symphony, and Huntsville Symphony, and played in various festivals including Aspen, Sarasota, Longy Baroque Institue and Kneisel Hall.
Ms. Giles has a great passion for teaching, a vocation that began when she acquired her first student at age 15. She received her D.M.A. at SUNY Stony Brook in 2011. Kristina maintains private violin, viola, and piano studios in New York City and Poughkeepsie, NY and, and runs the Violin program at Alexander Robertson School. She enjoys giving lecture-style concerts about new music with the goal of making it more accessible to listeners.
Kristina grew up outside of Kansas City, and started her musical training on piano at age five. She began playing viola in public school when she was nine. Her principal teachers include Peter Slowik, James Dunham, Katherine Murdock and Daniel Panner, at Oberlin Conservatory, Rice University and SUNY Stony Brook.
Hometown and places lived:
Overland Park, KS hometown
Lived in Oberlin, Houston, Dallas, Stony Brook, NYC
Violin, Viola, baroque violin and viola, piano
What music turns you on:
I warm up at home, and then spend my time at the venue chatting with people and generally avoiding my instrument until I have to perform. At that point, the music is a mindset that is best left to the stage. I used to feel pressure to warm up like everyone else, but I've realized by now, that's how I roll best.
Favorite drink post concert?
A frosty glass of white wine!