Jennifer Koh

Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. A forward-thinking artist, she is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects, and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart.

Ms. Koh continues her critically acclaimed series, including The New American Concerto, Limitless, Bach and Beyond, Shared Madness, and Bridge to Beethoven this season. The New American Concerto is an ongoing, multi-season commissioning project that explores the form of the violin concerto and its potential for artistic engagement with contemporary societal concerns and issues through commissions from a diverse collective of composers. Two concertos have thus far been premiered as part of the project: Vijay Iyer’s Trouble (2017) and Chris Cerrone’s Breaks and Breaks (2018). This season she performs Trouble with the Louisiana Philharmonic and Vermont Symphony Orchestras. She also performs a broad range of concertos that reflects the breadth of her musical interests, from traditional repertoire to music of this millennium, with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Ms. Koh also performs music from her Limitless project with pianist Vijay Iyer and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey, both commissioned as part of this project exploring the relationship between composer and performer through duo works played by Ms. Koh and the composers themselves; Bridge to Beethoven, in which she joins pianist Shai Wosner in pairing Beethoven’s violin sonatas with new works inspired by them; Bach and Beyond, which traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s sonatas and partitas to pieces by 20th– and 21st-century composers; and Shared Madness, comprising short works that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, commissioned from over 30 composers.

Ms. Koh is an active lecturer, teacher, and recording artist. She has residencies this season at Cornell and Tulane Universities, during which she will perform, give master classes, and speak on topics from diversity to contemporary composition. Her album of works by Kaija Saariaho, a close collaborator whose music she has long championed, will be released by Cedille in November.

Named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, Ms. Koh has won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a BA in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. She is the Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us.

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