Patti Kilroy


I grew up in rural South Florida taking tropical fruit trees for granted, and reflecting on how there were probably alligators in the canals nearby. I also started the violin at four years old, like you do. I can’t remember starting violin, but do remember spinning around in circles while learning triplet rhythms in Suzuki class, making friends in grade school orchestra, figuring out how to play the Mario theme in double stops on the violin and showing it to my friends, and playing string quartets at event gigs to raise money for ski trips masquerading as orchestra festivals. Ensemble playing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember – it provided a source of identity and belonging for me when I was young, and remains an important source of connection with others for me.

I moved to New York City to start school at NYU, and kept playing violin. I explored a whole lot of other stuff during my BM, MM, and Ph.D., including Balkan folk music, abstract mathematics, Tagalog classes, coding, Foucauldian philosophy, and various music technology rabbit holes, but always came back to the violin. The violin can do so many things, fits in so many contexts, and can bring you to so many places, musically, but also physically. Alongside my time in school, I made a lot of friends as a performer, playing a range of stuff from contemporary music to metal arrangements for string quartets. I’ve always striven to keep my musical experience as broad as possible, and I try to learn something new or improve a skill in every project I take on.

I started playing as a guest with Alarm Will Sound in 2011, and had to try REALLY hard to keep it cool – I loved listening to Aphex Twin as a teenager, and completely ate up Acoustica when I learned about it in college. I am extremely thrilled to be joining them as a violinist in 2023. When I’m not performing violin with Alarm, I’m in Los Angeles teaching violin and other music coursework at Cal State LA. I also keep a home recording studio, play locally as a violinist and violist in Los Angeles, frequent a hotel karaoke bar in my neighborhood, dabble in composing, and have started working on a solo debut album for myself of contemporary violin works featuring the voice (sometimes recorded, sometimes my own, sometimes both!)