(resolving normative concepts of) dissonance

For so much of my life, my ambitions as a journalist, diplomat, academic, and writer have appeared to be at odds with my equally strong alter-ego as a performing violinist--to choose one would be to suppress the other. I have long struggled to reconcile these identities into a coherent whole; yet only recently through the process of speaking, listening, studying, watching, participating, and writing around the world have I begun to conceive that the act of communicating, in its myriad forms, doesn't happen in a vacuum. Observing the many ways in which people from different cultures communicate within their communities and with a larger international audience, more and more I find that language begets music, music begets language, the musical is the political and so too is the political musical. So as I see it, to forsake one is to forsake all: why choose whether to be an artist or ambassador? To deliver a brilliant performance in either capacity requires one to first listen and observe, and most of all open one's mind to the perspectives that seem apparently dissonant with one's own.


Audrey Wozniak is a globally-minded and internationally performing violinist from Austin, Texas. She started playing violin at the age of six after seeing internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman perform on the children’s television show Sesame StreetSince that time she has performed on stages in six countries in styles ranging from classical to reggae, free improvisation to Balinese traditional. She is the recipient of the prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which from 2014-2015 supported her project of exploring multiculturalism in local music cultures of China, Indonesia, and Turkey. During the year she studied various unusual stringed instruments with local master musicians, worked as a music critic in Hong Kong, traveled with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on their Asia tour, and performed on the main stage of Bali’s largest music festival, among various unlikely and extraordinary experiences she chronicled on her blog On Global Harmony

In the spring of 2014, Audrey gave the Boston premiere of American composer Lou Harrison's rarely-played Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan on the composer's own instruments, especially tuned for the piece and held at Harvard University. She made her solo debut in 2010 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and served as the concertmaster of the MIT Symphony for all four years of college. She performed as the violin soloist for Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and was the winner of the 2013 MIT Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, for which she performed Mozart’s Adagio and Rondo for Violin and Orchestra with cadenzas she composed herself. 

Audrey graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College, where she double majored in Music and East Asian Studies with a concentration in political science. She spent her sophomore year of high school studying abroad in Japan, and spent two summers in working in China interning at the Beijing Bureau of ABC News and for the State Department at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou. She is passionate about communication and cultural exchange, and particularly interested in the intersections of media, censorship, democracy, and international relations. She has presented and  published her research on these topics in multiple academic journals, international conferences, and media outlets. 

Audrey earned a Master’s of Science with Merit in Politics and Communication at the London School of Economics in 2016 with a dissertation entitled "State Insecurities and Xinjiang’s Uyghurs: A Critical Discourse Analysis of People’s Republic of China State Council White Papers on Xinjiang." She is currently undertaking a Master’s in Music Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as an Alan Niekirk Scholar and Anne Louise Barrett Scholar, and also regularly travels to Istanbul to continue her study of makam-based music and improvisation. In addition to regular performances with the conservatoire's Symphony Orchestra, String Ensemble, and Contemporary Music Ensemble, she performs with multiple Turkish classical music choirs in London, performs internationally broadcast concerts with tabla-vocal Kirtan duo Qi-Rattan, premiered Three Pieces for James Turrell's Skyspace at the University of Texas-Austin, and recently premiered her own solo composition "Why We Do This" at the National Portrait Gallery's Late Shift concert series in London.