Violeta Ramos was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1974. She currently lives in Switzerland with her German husband (and guitar player) Richard Schneider and their two children. Violeta Ramos tutors students on the paraguayan harp and classical guitar at the Knonaueramt music school (in Zürich-Switzerland) and the Hochdorf music school (in Luzern-Switzerland). She also conducts workshops in Latin american music for students of the classical harp ,in the music schools of Zug and Adliswil ( Switzerland).
In 2002, Violetta and Richard Schneider launched “Stimmen.voices.voces del Mundo”, a school of music in Zug (Switzerland), the first European school offering lessons on the Paraguayan harp. In 2010 she wrote her first music book for harp music students: « Latin american music for harp », (edit. Creightons Collection, Wales 2010) (For more information regarding books, please see below).
Violetta speaks Spanish, German and English.
2.Musical Studies undertaken
Violeta is an interpreter of the Paraguayan harp, and was tutored by Luis Bordón, Chochín Balbuena and Nicolás Caballero (Argentinien and Paraguay), amongst others.
She graduated as a classical guitar teacher from the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Quilmes (Buenos Aires, 1986-1999).
She also studied folklore, tango and jazz at the school for popular Music in Avellaneda. (1995-1999 Buenos Aires). She studied compositions with electro acoustics Medien at the University of Quilmes (1992-1995) and attended courses on improvisation at the San Martin Cultural Centre and "folklore and tango" with Hilda Herrera, amongst others.
Violetta also studied ancient music at the Academy of Basle Choral Music, in Basle, with Heidrum Rosenzweig (Switzerland 2003-2005), and compositions with Christoph Bauman (Switzerland 2010-2012)
In her early years as an instrumentalist (she started at the age of sixteen) Violeta performed with many traditional folkloric groups in Argentina and Paraguay; later she formed duets (harp and guitar/ harp and flute) writing her own arrangements and compositions to perform in several international concerts in Latin america, Europe and Russia. She has represented Argentina on several occasions including the international Harp Festival in Arles (France-1999), after receiving a special invitation from the harpist Marielle Nordman; at the International Harp Gathering in Mexico D.F. Veracruz, Xalapa, (Mexico-1995) at the invitation of the harpist Lidia Tamayo and Mercedes Gomez; in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Zrenjanin (Serbia-1999) at the invitation of the Jugokonzert organisation; the International Harp Concert in Lommel, (Belgiem-2005) the Eurofestival Zupfmusik in Bamberg (Germany-2006), The European Harp Symposium in Cardiff (Wales-2007), The Harp Festival in Switzerland (Rifferswill 2007) The World Harp Congress in Amsterdam, on receiving a invitation from Ernestine Stoop (Holland 08), The International Festival "Guitarras del mundo" in Buenos Aires (Argentina-2007) being invited by the guitar player Juan Falú, and the International Guitar Festival in Biel Switzerland (2010-14).
Additional concerts: International Music Festival entrecuerdas Santiago, Santa Cruz und Rengo (Chile 2009).
Concert with orchesta and choir in KKL theatre Lucern (Switzerland 2009) several concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg (Russia 2010) Concert with orchesta and choir, the Mass "Misa para un continente" at the Zofingen catholic church ( 2009) The Mass "Misa Criolla“, by Ariel Ramirez (Sils Maria, St Moritz and Zürich-Switzerland 2015). She has represented Paraguay on many occasions at music festivals and theatres such as the Encuentro Internacional de Música in San Pablo (Brazil 95) Festival internacional de música y danza in La Habana, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Villa Maria, Varadero (Cuba 97), The National Music Festival "Cosquín" (93-94), Chajary, San Carlos de Bariloche, Trelew, Corrientes, San Luis, La Pampa, (Argentina). Likewise at traditional music festivals in Santiago, Asunción, San Bernardino (Paraguay) and " the Harp Festival Tacuaree" (Asuncion '93). Concerts in Switzerland have been held at Unique airport (Zürich), Burgbachsaal (Zug), theatre Casino (Zug), Galerie deArtis (Zug), Gottfried Keller Zentrum (Glattfelden), Castle Überstorf, Castle Haldenstein, Museum für Kommunikation (Bern), National Museum(Zürich).
Violetta regularly performs live for television and radio shows in Germany (Braunschweig) and for the national radio stations in Argentina and Paraguay.
Contemporary composers, Eva Lopszyc and Pablo Aguirre have composedspecific works for the paraguayan harp, in chamber formations and orchestra, for Violetta. One of the works by Eva Lopszyc was performed for the first time in the Theatre Circulo in Rosario (Santa Fé-Argentina) and was later introduced in the Gold Room of theColónTheatre, Buenos Aires. This was the first time that a folkloric instrument had been played in this famous theatre (1992).
Pablo Aguirre wrote different pieces for Violeta Ramos, the most important one being the suite for paraguayan harp (recorded in Germany 2007).
5.Prizes and Recognitions
Violeta Ramos has been awarded many prizes and received special tributesin Argentina (Buenos Aires), Paraguay (Asunción) and Germany (Weimar) such as those awarded by the City Director of Berazategui and the health Minister for the city of Buenos Aires, Juan José Mussi, as well as by the Paraguayan Federation in Argentina. She was appointed as ajudgein a competition for young harp players in the city of Einsiedeln (Switzerland-2004) and in the final round of the 'Youth Music Competition' in Buenos Aires (1999). She was also an integrated member of the committee for the Association of Argentinian Harpists „asarpa“
Violeta is regularly invited to take part in special projects, such as the Saint Saenz Christmas concert for orchestra, choir and soloists performed in St Jakob church (Cham- Switzerland 2003 ), the children's Musical "In Land der Buntgemischten" and "Märlisonntig", a concert with the russian choir“ Weisse Nächte“ directed by Jana Vasilenko (Russia and Switzerland); concert with orchesta and choir under the direction of Uhr Erenzehller; Theater KKL Lucern (Switzerland) „The New Year's concert“ 2012 in Seewen, The Mass "Misa Criolla“ composed by Ariel Ramire for choir, tenor and quintet directed by Patrik Rickin, Oscar Echeverry and Christer Lovold(Sils Maria, St Moritz and Zürich 2015)
6.Music Books edited
Scores: for harp students :
-Latin american music for harp, Violeta Ramos, scores and CD, (edit Creightons Collection, Wales 2010) -Acá no bailamos milonga, for 4 harps , Scores (2012).
-De Argentina con amor, with Tania Ramos (guit), Oscar Clemote (charango and pan flutes), and Anselmo Lopez (guit) (Paraguay 1991)
-Juntos, with harp and flute.( Argentina 1995)
-Tango y Folklore, with Richard Schneider (Guit) Miguel Fernandez (Bandoneón) and Domingo Rey (voice) (Switzerland 2004)
-37 + 8 Strings, with Richard Schneider (Guitar) (Germany 2007)
About our CD:
-The Violet Ramos and Richard Schneider duo offer fine and colourful music; Richard on the classical guitar with six, or, depending on the piece, 8 strings, Violeta on the Paraguayan Harp. This instrument is an offshoot of the classical harp that the Jesuits brought into Paraguay in the 16th century. The Guarani Indians were quick to adopt this harp, which is similiar to its European cousin, but has 36 strings, is played without a foot pedal, and produces warm and expressive tones.The new album '37 & &' by Richard Schneider and Violeta Ramos thrills the listener with a wide range of wonderful compositions , with discreet hectic undertones.The classical music exudes its own unique vibes, it is difficult to identify the era and the origin; at the same time, it feels like one is treading on familiar territory.The successful CD has achieved perfection from A-Z, its tender harmony offering the perfect distraction after a hectic and tedious day. (Hélène Koch/Übers. C. Kallenberger/Swiss Disc)
-There's something unique and emotional about this combination of the paraguanian harp and the classical guitar. Solos and duets are well interspersed. The repertoire moves between their own South American sounding compositions, original pieces, specially written for this duo, and arrangements, whose interpretations speak for themselves.It all sounds very lovely, and pleasant. Nothing gives the impression of being run-of-the-mill or stereotype. Not only is it well made, it is also fantastically produced! The same goes for the arrangements.Apart from that, the CD also contains original works such as a five-piece suit for Paraguayan harp, composed by Pablo Aguirre, a somewhat lost Renaissance-masterpiece from A. Mudarra, originally written for Vihuela's Fantasia, which supposedly imitates a harp.Their encore on this instrument, as an alternative to Vilhuela, is spot on! These instruments combined sound wonderful and vibrant, and they complement each other perfectly. Especially the pieces, where Richard Schneider uses his 8 string guitar - it's difficult to distinguish who is playing what. The presentation of both interpretations leave no wish unfulfilled. One is happy to just soak in their music and allow the heavenly feeling of peace and tranquility take over.. "(Wolfgang Lendle/Concertino-Germany)
“Those of us who have already had the opportunity to enjoy her talent believe she has an assured place in the international sphere”. Paraguay Ñane-retá, 1995
“This 19 year old artist from Berazategui is already well known across different latitudes”. Diario el sol, 1994
“Violeta Ramos, ambassador for Argentina and the folkloric harp…Violeta Ramos’ passion for the harp is equal to that of Marielle Nordman^n de L’instrument”. Arles, Le Journal, 04.11.99
“A very good musical and precision performance of South American rhythms was rewarded with long and openhearted applause". Fortunecity , Belgrade 1999
“ …the duet composed of Violeta Ramos and Richard Schneider began to take their audience on an emotional journey, from Mexico to Tierra de Fuego – over the traces of the South American folkloric harp. From the first moment, the marvellous sounds Violeta Ramos plucked from her instrument, combined with the classic guitar played by Richard Schneider, moved the audience...The public visibly enjoyed the 18 carefully chosen pieces, inspiring the artists with their enthusiastic responses." From the newspaper: VHS-Zentrum Stuttgart, 2003
In spite of their specialization in respect to the instruments, the two musicians displayed an astonishing stylistic versatility. Certainly their strong point is in the traditional music of Argentina and Paraguay, but they also play newly composed pieces for the folkloric harp and the guitar, by modern composers." From the newspaper: Neue Zuger Zeitung, Switzerland, 4th December 2002
“A young musician, who has knowingly achieved recognition by the authorities, institutions and the people, for both her skill as a musician and her personality, worthy of all the tributes.”...Dr. J. J. Mussi, Health Minister for Buenos Aires, 1995.
“The talented Argentinian harpist was asked for autographs and presented with a bouquet following her interpretation of the Latin American folk pieces. Arles, Le Journal. 06.11.99
“Modern works played on an unusual instrument and performed in an unusual venue in the old quarter of Zug.” From the newspaper Neue Zuger Zeitung, 2003.
“Violeta Ramos is an exceptional artist". Periódico Encuentro, Basle 2004
“….And when the sounds of the harp, being played by an angel, rise to the heavens, a grandmother breathes an audible sigh and a smile illuminates her face”. From the newspaper Neue Zuger Zeitung, 2004.
“It is a proud moment for me, to endorse the professional and humane qualities of our artist, Violeta Ramos. Ours, because, she represents our homeland and because we love her. Her professional qualities have been demonstrated by numerous performances, making her deserving of the recognition and support from all music lovers.” Dr. J. J. Mussi, Manager of Berazategui and Health minister of Buenos Aires, 1999.
“Violeta Ramos holds a brilliant trajectory, standing out in our midst as an excellent musical professional … … All this complemented by her brilliant personal, intellectual and humane qualities, making this compatriot a professional and outstanding citizen, a good ambassador for the popular culture of Argentina, a distinguished harpist with a great future in our popular music, of the highest significance “ Lic. R. Tolosa, head of the University of Salta library, 1999
"Bamberg-Treffpunkt der Champions League" Eurofestival zupfmusik 2006- das Festival der Superlative" ( Magazin Concertino, Hamburg 2006)