Revealed through original songs that are intimate, evocative and compelling, Ada Pasternak is a strikingly modern singer-songwriter and violinist who propels an instrument from the 16thCentury into the future. As she takes the stage with violin in hand, audiences expecting a traditional approach instead witness Ada as she plucks, strums, and creates a vibrant counterpart to her beguiling vocals and consummate musicianship.
Born in Moscow, Ada came to the U.S. with her family when she was six years old. With musician parents, her childhood was steeped in classical music as she developed into a virtuoso violinist, winning competitions as a soloist and earning standing ovations from audiences of 2,000+. Her life and career were dramatically altered when severe tendinitis and overuse made playing the instrument impossible. For two years, she lived as a normal teenager, not knowing if music would ever be a part of her life again.
She discovered Berklee College of Music, and at the last possible moment submitted an application. As she slowly picked up the violin and prepared one of her favorite pieces to perform at the audition, it was as if she had never stopped playing. After her father drove her to Boston and accompanied her on piano, to her amazement she was awarded the school’s highest honor; A Presidential Scholarship (a full ride)
At Berklee, Ada was intrigued by the diversity of students and styles of music. “It was so fascinating to see all of these young, curious musicians from all over the world coming together to make music and learn,” she relates. Through playing with such an eclectic group of musicians, Ada absorbed a variety of genres such as Pop, Jazz, Bluegrass, and even joined a Mariachi band.
One day, sitting on the floor of a Berklee practice room studying a jazz standard, she held her violin in her lap and began strumming and plucking it like a guitar. “I had never thought about playing the violin like that, especially while singing,” she says. “It just felt so natural, and I was excited that I could accompany myself.”
A distinct duality is mirrored in Ada’s life and music – a deep sensitivity that allows her to channel pain and experiences into her own original music.