Katrina Wreede, composer and violist, is a tireless proponent for strings in jazz and contemporary chamber music. In addition to creating new works and performance opportunities in unusual venues, like her Drive-By Violas inside a Boston fruit stand and a bus kiosk, she has been a professional symphony musician, a member of the ground-breaking Turtle Island String Quartet, a concert soloist, a belly dancer, a police finger-printer, a strolling, rhinestone- studded “alto violinist” for royalty, a non-denominational wedding officiant, a student of Italian, Tango Nuevo, Persian, and Roma music and a composer and performer for chamber ensembles, orchestras, film, and dance. Jazz historian, Leonard Feather, credited her with having “extemporaneous mastery, rare, perhaps unique, in the annals of the viola.”
Her compositions are performed and broadcast internationally including by the Ahn Trio, David Parsons Dance Troupe, the Omaha Symphony, Boston Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Tassajara Symphony, the Mill Valley Philharmonic, and Orchestra Rosario in Argentina and durch Einsamkeiten in Germany. Vlazville Music publishes and distributes her sheet music and recording.
In 2008, she founded and directs Composing Together, an organization that brings professional composers and musicians into schools, creating and performing almost 100 new works in its first 6 years, collaborating with over 2000 Bay Area middle and high schoolers. There are currently 15 musicians and composers on the CT roster. She is a founding faculty member of the John Adams Young Composer Program at the Crowden School, designed and led Berkeley Symphony’s Junior Composer Program, created and led the Berkeley Young Composers Ensemble, is a Certified Teaching Artist for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, a member of the Teaching Artists Guild, and was a Composer in the Schools for the American Composers Forum-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter for nine years, including creating their handbook for composers working with teens. She has been on the Young Musicians Program faculty at the San Francisco Community Music Center for 8 years, where she started as a commissioned composer-in-residence, fell in love with their mission, and never left.
She conducts educational clinics around the country, including “My Goldfish Died- Blues for Strings”. In 2009, she held workshops serving every string teacher in the state of Montana, helping to create blues and improvisation programs for their classrooms, and has provided in-service programs for San Francisco USD, Bronxville, New York USD, and Nevada County USD. Her CD, Add Viola and Stir, features some of her jazz, contemporary classical and “character” works for viola and is heard world-wide on radio and streaming sites. She is a contributing author of the American String Teachers Association book, Playing and Teaching the Viola and has contributed articles to the ASTA Journal, Journal of the American Viola Society, Strings Magazine, and many other musicoriented periodicals and newsletters.