'Gruen’s band swirl and flow fascinatingly around her, in obvious thrall to her
fearless and commanding playing.' - Froots
Gundula Gruen is a virtuoso violinist and singer who has travelled extensively, transcribing melodies that she learned first-hand from Romani and folk musicians. Described by Songlines Magazine as ‘a shining star in the UK’s Balkan music scene’, her unique performance style showcases a technical ability acquired through intensive conservatoire training as well as a colourful and charismatic personality. Her arrangements and compositions, whilst drawing influence from her love and extensive knowledge of Romany Gypsy music, are original and highly personal.
Gundula also is a passionate and highly experienced tutor. She loves teaching children and adults of all ages and abilities, inspiring them with her love of making music, her own hard study to master violin technique, and her wide experience of studying classical, jazz, Romani and folk styles the traditional way.
Her latest venture was a master’s degree in Ethnomusicology, at City University, London, which she completed with Distinction in September 2018 at City University London. Her research focussed on Macedonian music, and her dissertation is the first comprehensive piece of academic work on Čoček, a Macedonian Romani music and dance genre.
As a performer, musical leader, arranger and composer, she works with her group Tatcho Drom, performing arts projects as well as for international events and functions. The latest performance project, Macedonian Inspirations, showcases music and dance of her latest research trips throughout Macedonia, telling the stories of her encounters in music and dance. Other still running performance projects, which are regularly performed as special moments for private and corporate events are The Russian Gypsy Soul and Balkan Express.
Originally from Bavaria, Gundula has completed a Bmus in violin and a diploma as piano tutor at the Konservatorium Augsurg, and a postgraduate degree in jazz in Munich. Parallel to that, she had studied Alexander Technique extensively and singing less intensively. Later, she followed her passion Eastern European Romani music and went on regular music discovery journeys to Eastern and South-Eastern regions of Europe. In the last 25 years she has performed as well as conducted workshops and other projects to great acclaim. Her most legendary project was the 45-piece London Gypsy Orchestra which she had founded and directed for 10 years.
Her work has taken her throughout the UK and Europe to festivals, cultural centres and theatres. TV productions include the documentary How Music Works on UK TV’s Channel 4 and a music documentary for TRT (Turkish state television). She has also been a guest and performer on Radio programs for BBC6, Resonance FM and others.
“Bavarian-born violinist Gundula could well have been raised in the Balkans, for her playing imparts the true soul of Gypsy music, full of colour and passion, an explosion of energy…” Vesti News, Serbian diaspora newspaper
‘...huge musical talent and impressive energy...’ - Songlines Magazine
" … most of all I loved her playing and singing: unaffected and full of life… with her musicality and lifelines she is giving out
something so precious and important in this muddled world!" – audience quote