Austria-born, NYC-based, Classical- and Jazz-trained, Genre-bending Singer/Songwriter and Electric Violinist ROSE BARTU
“A dream has come through,” says singer-songwriter and electric violinist Rose Bartu. “I always wanted to work with a producer, who completely understands me and my music and can see me reaching people all over the world.” For her upcoming EP she is working with Steve Greenwell, who has worked with legends like Joss Stone, Diane Birch and Andy Grammer among many others. “It has been the most challenging and satisfying experience in my musical life! It is also very humbling. I get constant reminders of how much more there is for me to learn! But I trust Steve completely. He is giving his all to my songs and artistry, and I gave him full permission to develop a new fresh sound for me!”
The first single FREEDOM is an anthem for freedom, justice and respect for all people and garnered close to 500,000 plays on Spotify. Her new sound reminds us of legendary bands like Portishead and Massive Attack, and more recent artists like Haim and CHVRCHES.
Previously, she stepped out as “Roswitha” (her birth name, which means strength and success) as a singer-songwriter and violinist on her self-produced album, DESTINY, which made it into 10 categories on the Grammy ballots for a potential nomination. She embraced her total musicality and tastefully integrated her instrumental virtuosity within a musical style she described as World Soul. It’s an elegantly eclectic blend of jazz, classical, R&B, hip-hop, rock and pop that showcases her gorgeous compositions, soulfully angelic vocals and some of the best musicians of the NYC scene on 13 original songs. She led her own bands performing at celebrated venues like The Blue Note, Metropolitan Room, Knitting Factory and touring Europe. In addition she has notched over 70 production, arrangement, composition and performance credits on over 24 released albums, videos and film soundtracks. Her “DESTINY LIVE in NYC: the concert film” (Roberta Flack surprised her as a guest and stayed for the whole concert) made it onto the 57th Grammy ballots for Best Music Film.
Before that, Rose Bartu has had an esteemed career as “Queen Rose,” a topflight electric violinist. She has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, in the movie August Rush, at the Latin Grammys, and was featured on MTV’s Unplugged with Trey Songz. As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, she has performed with the likes of John Legend, Santana, Gloria Estefan and Patti LaBelle.
Rose Bartu was reared in a rural Austrian home surrounded by music in the middle of the Alps with her parents and five siblings. As a little girl she tinkered with any instrument she could get her hands on, whether it was a recorder, guitar or piano. Ultimately, the violin became her preferred, primary instrument and, by age 13, she began performing professionally and nurturing a dream of touring the world with her music. By 14, she moved out of her parents’ home and began her classical violin studies at the University for Music and Drama Graz/Austria while attending the Performing Arts High School Dreihackengasse. Later on, she fell in love with New York City.
Rose Bartu holds bachelors of fine arts degrees from the world-class, cutting-edge New School University Jazz Program, NYC, and Anton Bruckner Private University for Music, Drama and Dance, Linz, Austria.
Rose Bartu, the Change Agent
Rose Bartu’s activism started when she was a young teenager growing up in the Austrian Alps and wrote her first environmental magazine with her girlfriends, inspired by her parents. Winning the prestigious Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship “to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas,” allowed her to live her dream to study in the Big Apple.
Bartu’s songs often touch on social justice themes: Martin Luther King, Jr. was a big inspiration to Bartu when she graduated from high school specializing in African American History long before she thought of coming to New York City. She directed her BUILDING BRIDGES video in 2012, which she finished filming coincidentally on MLK’s Day at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, where she played violin for many years. The song featuring Mark Shine was the anthem of her former organization with the same name to create intercultural communication to foster peace. The Mayor of Selma, Alabama, George Patrick Evans, found the video online and used it for his re-election campaign before his second term in 2012. The song was also considered as the theme song for the European Song Contest in her home country Austria in 2015.
Her song ONE OF US off of her self-produced DESTINY album (under her name ROSWITHA) was written after Trayvon Martin’s killing in 2012. As the movement continues to end gun violence in the USA, she was asked to perform at a street naming after the fatal shooting of lawyer Carey Gabay, an aide to Governor Cuomo.
She released her latest FREEDOM single on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech while performing at Washington D.C.’s “Minister’s March for Justice”, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton (click here for press release).
In 2018 Rose Bartu released her FREEDOM music video 80 years and one day after Hitler’s Anschluss of her home country Austria. It includes footage of the 1. Women's March in NYC, a day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump (click here for press release). She created FREEDOM AROUND THE WORLD, her new organization producing ConcertTalks to create awareness of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which celebrated 70 years in 2018. The first ConcertTalk was successfully produced in August 2018 (click here for press release).
When she was a young teenager in Austria she heard the famous Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl speak live. His Logotherapy and book “Man’s Search for Meaning” speak of finding potential meaning in any situation, even when you suffer. In Rose’s words, “I want to inspire audiences with my lyrics, songs and ConcertTalks to find their meaning in life. Then you experience freedom independent from your circumstances.”