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Classical Classroom

Skyline Sessions: Daniel Bernard Roumain (Video)

Watch genre-bending composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain perform.

Renowned composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, aka “DBR,” is known for an unorthodox playing style that has been called “hip-hop violin.” Although he is classically trained, Roumain prefers to mix contemporary cultural references into his compositions, particularly hip-hop, electronica, rock and pop. Folk, country, blues and bluegrass make appearances as well, demonstrating the full spectrum of the violin’s role in musical history. He has collaborated with musicians of all stripes, from contemporary classical composers (Philip Glass) to pop stars (Lady Gaga). DBR is an artist in residence with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts (see below for more information about the Center).

In Houston for a collaboration with the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, Roumain stopped by Houston Public Media’s TV 8 studios for a recording session. In Part 1, Roumain performs a wild improvisation for violin. In Part 2, he performs his composition “Filter.”

Daniel Roumain is an artist in residence with the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which is dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration across the performing, visual, and literary arts. Based at the University of Houston, the Mitchell Center commissions and produces new works, presents public performances and exhibitions, offers curriculum and scholarships, and hosts residencies with renowned visiting artists from throughout the world. The Center is home to the Mitchell Artist Lecture, an annual event featuring a pioneer in contemporary art-making, as well as CounterCurrent, an annual spring festival of new performance. The Mitchell Center forms an alliance among five departments at UH: the School of Art, Moores School of Music, School of Theatre & Dance, Creative Writing Program, and Blaffer Art Museum. For more information visit