Billie Howard is a Chicago-based pianist, violinist, violist, and educator. As a performer, she is inspired by contemporary and experimental music on the farthest ends of the volume spectrum, ranging from the quietest sounds to fully-amplified extremes. She frequently works in collaboration, often with one of her groups: NbN Trio, a.pe.ri.od.ic, The Paver, and Blue Water Kings. She also composes under the moniker Akosuen, which ranges from a solo endeavor to a 6-piece band with chorus. Akosuen recently scored the short film, Olion, which premiered at the 2017 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. Billie also maintains a private violin and piano studio in Logan Square.
Performance highlights include the Oscillations Series at Experimental Sound Studio, Resonance Series at the Hideout, Museum of Contemporary Art with a.pe.ri.od.ic and Bobby Conn, Bohemian National Cemetery with Wrekmeister Harmonies, classical performances at Constellation, Ganz Hall, Pick-Staiger Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and US tours with the Paver.
In demand as a freelance violinist and pianist, she has performed with musicians of all genres including Bobby Conn, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Noname, Chicago Composer’s Orchestra,Wrekmeister Harmonies, Minor Characters, Very Truly Yours, The Rutabega, Mucca Pazza, Classical Revolution, and she was the founding first violinist of the Hyalite String Quartet. An active session musician, she has been featured on studio recordings by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Grammy-nominated children’s artist Justin Roberts as well as many other recording artists.
In addition, Billie is a dedicated arts curator and producer, working as the Artistic Director for High Concept Labs.
She holds a M.Mus. in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and B.A. in piano and violin performance from Montana State University.
Photo by Roman Sobus.