Since aTonalHits’ formation in 2011, the group has been dedicated to bringing contemporary and lesser known works of music to light. Its founding members are Illya Filshtinskiy (piano) and Katha Zinn (violin), although aTonalHits has swollen its ranks with many collaborators in music, film, design, composition etc.
Beyond the standard violin and piano repertoire, Illya and Katha first found a taste for newer music in the work of Alfred Schnittke. They have released an album of Schnittke Sonatas, as well as an album entitled “1910-1920”, which focuses on a variety of different violin and piano music within that decade. The latter was funded through an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, in which the group raised 233% of their original goal. Their newest recording, ‘ORIGINS: aTonalHit plays New Music’ is a compilation of premiers by young composers from around the globe.
aTonalHits has performed in numerous styles of venues, from outreach to the concert hall, to conducting masterclasses and a TEDx event. They play regularly around the globe, including a tour of both Holland and Turkey, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, Mexico- and closer to home at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Liederkranz Hall, Symphony Space, and Spectrum among others. aTonalHits has also worked closely with the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, presenting a recital with three of Québec’s foremost composers, including a premiere of Jean Lesage’s “Portrait of a Sentimental Musician in a Distorting Mirror”. Largely dedicated to new music, they have premiered over 100 works.
The group has also recently designed two books for beginning violin and piano students- ‘Toogo’s Piano/Violin Adventures on Earth’, and ‘Toogo Goes Home’. The books take beginners through Toogo’s adventures with the help of creative illustrations and by introducing interesting techniques. Their teaching studio has expanded tremendously, as Katha and Illya devote more of their time to passing their knowledge of music onto the next generation.
They have been featured artists on the websites of the Juilliard School, Mannes the New School for Music, MySpace, and Avaloch Farm Residencies. Aside from performing, the group regularly focuses on video and music work, producing many classical and new music films, as well as a documentary focusing on John Cage’s “Sonatas and Interludes” and Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Dancer on a Tightrope.
aTonalHits also reaches beyond live performance to the halls of the internet. Videos of their work are posted regularly on their YouTube and Vimeo sites, with footage not only of them playing, but of their animation, artwork, and video art.