Kim Angelis
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Kim Angelis


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The best kept secret in music


"Gypsy's Soul"

Modesto Bee, The (CA)



Published January 12, 2007

Section: SCENE
Edition(s): ALL
Page: H10

See sidebar attached to end of story.


A whirlwind of energy on stage, Gypsy violinist Kim Angelis knows how to generate excitement.

Her show tonight at a medieval dinner at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys is sold out, and her performance Sunday at Congregation Beth Shalom's Sundays at CBS series in Modesto is expected to be packed.

Angelis, a longtime Calaveras County resident who now lives in Astoria, Ore., drew a large crowd to her last performance at the synagogue five years ago.

"Kim was one of, if not our largest attended concert," said Tina Driskill, who coordinates the concert series.

At both shows, Angelis will play a similar program filled with her original compositions (the medieval theme in Murphys was an addition by the winery). Accompanied as usual by her husband, Josef Gault, on guitar, she will perform several pieces from her latest album, "Gypsy's Odyssey."

The 48-year-old has been interested in Gypsy music since she was a child in San Francisco. The great-granddaughter of a British Gypsy, she grew up listening to the music in her mother's eclectic record collection and naturally gravitated to the style once she started playing violin at age 10. After just a few lessons, her violin teacher said "You play like a Gypsy."

Angelis doesn't know what the instructor meant, but guesses the comment referred to her exuberant performance.

Gypsy music is difficult to categorize because it's so diverse, Angelis said. Gypsies, or the Rom as they call themselves, incorporated different styles of music from all the European countries they lived in since leaving India about 1000 BC. Eastern-European Gypsy music, as one example, is very different than Spanish, better known as flamenco.

But most Gypsy music is filled with emotion, something Angelis emphasizes in her concerts.

"It is as passionate as I can possibly make it whether it's wildly energetic or whether it's beautiful," she said. "I just try to pour every ounce of my being into it."

Angelis, who has a world-music radio show on Astoria station KMUN, is inspired by a variety of folk music, including Russian, Hungarian and Celtic. She gets her motivation to compose music from her devout Christian faith.

"I really want everything I write to glorify God with all my soul," she said in a recent phone interview, "because to me, there's no (other) point anymore" to writing music.

One of the pieces she is planning to play in her upcoming concerts is "The Joseph Partita," based on the biblical story of Joseph's rise from slavery to power in Egypt. Like many of her compositions, the piece is an attempt to recount a tale without words.

"All of my music has a story to it, and I usually try to tell the story so people can visualize it in their head also," she said.

Over the years, her music has evolved from pop melodies to more complex classical works. Usually, she prays first, then writes the pieces at the piano.

"When I write music, there is no time," she said. "Time disappears. It does not exist at all."

Angelis and her husband lived in Calaveras County for 18 years before moving to Astoria on the northern Oregon coast three and a half years ago. She said they haven't regretted the decision and love being by the beach and surrounded by lovely Victorian homes. But they are both looking forward to seeing old friends in California and getting lots of hugs, Angelis said.

"It's going to be very emotional to be coming back."


WHAT: Gypsy violinist Kim Angelis

WHEN: 6 p.m. today (Murphys, with medieval-themed dinner) and 3 p.m. Sunday (Modesto)

WHERE: Ironstone Vineyards, 1894 Six Mile Road, Murphys; Congregation Beth Shalom, 1705 Sherwood Ave., Modesto

TICKETS: $28 (Murphys, sold out) and $7-$15 (Modesto)

CALL: 728-1251 (Murphys) or 571-6060 and 575-2571 (Modesto)

ONLINE: Hear Angelis' music at www.

Copyright © 2007- Modesto Bee, The (CA) and may not be republished, rebroadcast or redistributed without the express written consent of The Modesto Bee. - Modesto Bee

"Spirited Sounds"

Story last updated at 11:24 AM on Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gypsy music arrives on violin’s strings

Violinist’s passion and artistry captivate audiences

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff writer

  Photo by Irene Young
Violin virtuoso and composer Kim Angelis will perform in Seldovia on Nov. 10, in Homer on Nov. 13 and in Kenai on Nov. 18. She will be accompaied by her husband, guitarist Josef Gault.  
From the opening strains of “Gypsy’s Odyssey” to the CD’s last notes, listeners are held spellbound, caught in the passionate music’s whisper softness, thundering intensity, slow-moving grace and high-stepping frenzy. At the heart of the experience, is violinist and composer Kim Angelis, leading willing listeners into realms of mystery like a string-playing version of the Pied Piper.

This month Alaskans will have the opportunity to follow where Angelis and her husband Josef Gault, who plays flamenco guitar, lead, when the couple performs in Anchorage, Seldovia, Homer and Kenai.

“I first picked up a violin when I was 10 years old,” Angelis recently told the Homer News from her home in Astoria, Calif. “I’d been studying piano since I was 4, so I had the enormous advantage of already being able to read music. My mother had a very eclectic record collection, which included flamenco, classical, and exotic music. É Amongst my favorites of her old LPs were performances of Brahms’ ‘Hungarian Dances’ for violin, and the Max Bruch Violin Concerto. I really wanted to be able to play music like that.”

What Angelis heard clearly worked its way into her music. After a few lessons, her first violin teacher exclaimed, “You play like a gypsy.”

“I’m not sure what he was referring to,” Angelis said. “Perhaps I already played with a lot of energy and abandon.”

In addition to her mother’s musical influence, Angelis’ great-grandmother was a British Gypsy. According to the musician, the Rom people, Gypsies, left India about 1,000 B.C., settled in various countries and reached Great Britain in 1502. Wherever they resided, the Rom adopted that country’s culture.

“What we now commonly think of as Eastern European ‘Gypsy’ music was actually the folk music of that region, kept alive by Rom musicians,” Angelis said. “So, in a very inadequate way, I have taken the varied influences of classical music, flamenco music, and Eastern European folk music, and tried to combine them into a homogenous style of my own. A rather ‘Gypsy-esque’ thing to do, yes?”

“Inadequate,” said the musician who has performed in and out of the United States. Who won every available scholarship when she studied at the University of California, Irvine. Whose music has been performed on network television, PBS, and in the award-winning documentary film, “Saviors of the Forest.” Whose music was exclusively featured in the independent film, “Sweet Nothings” and nominated for Best Original Score by the California Independent Film Society and Best Score by the International Independent Film Tour.

“Inadequate” said this artist about whom the L.A. Weekly wrote, “Four of the most gorgeous strings to feel a bow are on the violin of Kim Angelis. Lullabies, folk tunes and new traditions are covered in her vast and highly respected repertoire.” From a musician whose music was selected by world champion gymnast Kui Yuanyuan of China for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, giving Angelis’ prime-time exposure to the world.

Asked to recall a memorable moment during her music-led adventures, this “violin voyager,” as Angelis has become known, recalled her and her husband’s second tour of Chile immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. After performing at the Universidad de Talca, they were driven to the small country village of Villa Alhue where they had volunteered to give a concert.

“But the gift was to us,” Angeles said. “We walked to the 16th century church where our performance was to be held, and as we walked down the dusty streets, children started to follow us. More and more children, all in school uniform. We were the Pied Pipers of Chile.”

The church filled, the excitement grew with each song played, and then someone called for silence.

“It was suggested that a prayer be offered up for the United States of America. And so, several hundred people, most of them children, prayed for us in perfect silence for five full minutes,” Angelis said. “The tears welled up in our eyes, we felt an incredible outpouring of love. And then the concert resumed. ... When it was all over, the children again followed us down the street. But this time we stopped, exchanged hugs and kisses on each cheek, and signed autographs — lots of them!”

Angelis and Gault have visited Alaska in the past, performing in Juneau, Skagway, Craig and at the Bald Eagle Festival in Haines.

“That was an epic experience,” Angelis said of the festival. “The majesty of the surrounding terrain — and th - Peninsula Clarion

"Vibrant Vision"

“A fiery, dreamy, saucy, dancing, vibrant vision with a glorious violin took the I.O.O.F. Hall by storm in a concert that will long be remembered by everyone in the enthralled audience. Kim Angelis’ mastery of the violin, combined with her lithe stage presence and heartfelt explanations of what inspired her to write each piece brought her music to the bottom of each persons’ heart and made each of us feel like we had made a new dear brought a prolonged standing ovation.” - Bob Toren and Wendy Marsh, The El Dorado Gazette (Georgetown, CA)
- El Dorado Gazette

"Gypsy Violin"

“Kim transforms herself from a soft-spoken, modest and spiritual person into a wild creature of the violin with flying skirts and hair, a few broken bowstrings and stomping heals. She is the composer and the performer with an international range of pieces written for specific stories and, like Vivaldi; paints the story with surprising color and detail. While her roots are from the University of California, Irvine, her violin plays like Paganini.” -Clancy Hughes, Inflection Point (Homer, AK)
- Inflection Point

"Legacy of Paganini"

“...elegant phrasing and seamless technique...Through thrilling use of spiccato, pizzicato and staccato, Angelis on the violin was born in the tradition of Romany and churned by the legacy of Paganini...Angelis’s compositions are an unending supply of surging joy and boundary-less adventure...” -Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune (Pacifica, CA)
- Pacifica Tribune

"Astounding Technique"

“Angelis has a technique which is astounding. Ceaselessly active on stage, she poured out music - and energy - in unbelievable quantity. Witness, anyone who can play at breakneck speed a descending glissando in thirds and in tremolo while dancing up a storm is remarkable to say the least. She has a full, rich tone, seemly total control of the instrument, and an inexhaustible store of music in was a tour de force, a tremendous performance done with flair and dramatic gestures and demonstrating a technique which is highly advanced.” - Elizabeth Widel, The Chronicle (Omak, WA)
- The Chronicle

"Inspired Performance"

“...inspired performance to a packed house, perfectly accompanied on the guitar by her husband Josef...Kim’s fiery performance of Gypsy inspired music, her complete mastery of the violin, held an audience spellbound, till they leapt to their feet in standing ovation. Kim IS her music! Tuck a violin under her chin and this otherwise slight and shy artist becomes a powerful, scintillating dancing presence, somewhere on the continuum between the spirituality of a fiddler on the roof and the ecstatic mysticism of a Sufi dancing.” - Len Atkins, The Sou’wester, Seaview, WA - Sou'westerings


CDs by Kim Angelis have been distributed throughout the world. For over ten years, "Violin Voyager" (1989) remained a consistent top-seller in Asia, with Chinese world champion gymnast Kui Yuanyuan selecting a composition from this recording as the music for her floor exercise at the Sydney Olympics. "The Messenger" frequently resided on "Top Ten" lists for 1992, and Kim's 1996 recording, "Esperanza", elicited highest critical praise. It seems to have an extended life, being recently nominated for Best Instrumental Album at the Nov. 2001 JPF Independent Music Awards! "Spirit of Adventure" (released in 2000), includes music used in the award-winning independent film, Sweet Nothings. The adventure continues with Kim's newest recording, "Gypsy's Odyssey" (2005), which has made “Top Ten” lists in places as diverse as Santa Cruz, CA, and Herford, Germany..


Feeling a bit camera shy


"...some of the most beautiful, moving music I've ever heard..." -Marilyn O'Malley, Victory Review
"...born in the tradition of Romany and churned by the legacy of Paganini." -Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune
“...Kim first charmed us, quite intentionally with her stunning virtuosity and incredible music; quite unintentionally with her sincere and heartwarming of our all time favorites!” - Bob Slater, Series Coordinator, San Juan Capistrano Multicultural Arts (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
"Kim transforms herself from a soft-spoken, modest and spiritual person into a wild creature of the violin with flying skirts and hair, a few broken bowstrings and stomping heals. She is the composer and the performer with an international range of pieces written for specific stories and, like Vivaldi; paints the story with surprising color and detail. While her roots are from the University of California, Irvine, her violin plays like Paganini." - Clancy Hughes, Inflection Point

Kim Angelis
Welcome to a musical adventure, guided by Kim Angelis. She is an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso and composer who has successfully transcended artistic boundaries - a free spirit blazing a melodic trail through the territories of classical, world, and multi-cultural music. Kim’s vision of a “Gypsy chamber music”, liberally flavored with passion, is exciting and inspirational. Kim Angelis has enthralled concert audiences from Ancud, Chile, to Alaska and over the seas to Asia with her dazzling virtuosity, romantic writing, and exuberant stage presence.
Kim Angelis majored in music at the University of California, Irvine, where she studied with the best violinists in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including concertmaster Sidney Harth and Ivan Galamian protegee Lori Ulanova. She won every available scholarship, and was featured soloist with the UCI Symphony, performing major works by Vivaldi and Saint-Saens. After graduating Magna Cum Laude, the violinist met and later married guitarist Josef Gault, who introduced her to World Music. “Josef really broadened my outlook,” she enthuses. “One hundred years ago music was confined to the areas in which it developed. But today, with modern recording and the internet, we are able to listen to music from every different culture. I like to collect the sonic images evoked, and write a new ‘Gypsy chamber music’.”
The music of Kim Angelis has been heard on Network TV, PBS, NPR, and in the award-winning documentary film, Saviors of the Forest. The independent film, Sweet Nothings, exclusively features music by Kim Angelis, which was nominated for Best Original Score by the California Independent Film Society; the same film was also nominated for Best Score by the International Independent Film Tour. Recently, Angelis signed an exclusive publishing agreement with DSM Producers, one of the entertainment industry’s top placers of music in major films and network television. Her 1996 CD, Esperanza, was selected as a “Choice Recording” by prestigious Strings magazine, and was nominated by Just Plain Folks for Best Instrumental Album. Kim’s most recent CD, Gypsy’s Odyssey (2005), has made “Top Ten” lists in places as diverse as Santa Cruz, CA, and Herford, Germany!
Some of the violinist’s most memorable experiences took place on foreign soil; Kim treasures her two concert tours of Taiwan - replete with humorous situations - which culminated in multiple-encore appearances at Taipei’s prestigious National Concert Hall. A pair of extended concert engagements in Chile, which included performances at Universities, Galleries, and the spectacular Palacio Vergado, provided fertile ground for the composer’s imagination. One of the most exciting “performances” of Kim’s music was at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, when world champion gymnast Kui Yuanyuan of China used music by Kim Angelis for her floor exercise. NBC gave Kui Yuanyuan’s performance prime-time coverage, thus exposing Kim’s music to the “world’s largest audience”.
Beautiful, historic Astoria, OR, is the place Kim Angelis calls home - it is the rich source of her serenity and inspiration. Here she and Josef are restoring a classic 1918 Craftsman bungalow, which they share with their beloved Collie,“Holly”. Kim’s Christian faith plays the primary role in her life.
To quote Marilyn O’Malley of the Victory Review, “Kim’s classical training, folk influence...and deep spirituality have blended together and burgeoned into some of the most beautiful, moving music I’ve ever heard.”

Josef Gault
"...Josef Gault, the guitarist, enhanced it all. He was very steady and skilled in following every change of style, tempo, and accompanist who can do this is beyond value, and he was very sincerely appreciated." - Judy Wales, The Siuslaw News, Florence, OR

Josef, "The Wild Hungarian", is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Eastern Michigan Universit