REVERB: Contemporary Music Festival

REVERB: Contemporary Music Festival

Tito Muñozconductor
Jennifer Kohcurator

REVERB enters its second year with an exciting and varied program of new works curated by Grammy Award winning violinist Jennifer Koh.

 

“I felt much more engaged with the musicians, conductor and guest artists in the smaller space at the church … The selection and performance of contemporary music was fantastic. Plus, it’s wonderful that you have performances at a price for those who normally cannot afford to attend.”
—2022 REVERB patron

 

About Jennifer Koh

Recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance, violinist Jennifer Koh is a forward-thinking artist dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 100 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.

Her critically acclaimed series include Alone Together, Bach and Beyond, The New American Concerto, Limitless, Bridge to Beethoven, and Shared Madness. Coming this season to Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Cincinnati’s Music Hall, The New American Concerto is Ms. Koh’s 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. In February and March 2022, she premieres the sixth commission in the project—Missy Mazzoli’s Violin Concerto with the National and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestras, and gives the New York premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s violin concerto Sanctuary at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. In April 2022, Ms. Koh premieres a new work—Everything Rises—in collaboration with bass-baritone Davóne Tines, to be presented by UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Everything Rises is a musical drama borne of Ms. Koh’s and Mr. Tines’ experiences as artists of color whose collective exploration led them back to their family histories—to the stories of Ms. Koh’s mother, a refugee from North Korea during the Korean War, and Mr. Tines’s grandmother, who holds vivid memories of anti-Black discrimination and violence dating back many years.

Additional highlights of Ms. Koh’s season are two new recordings on Cedille Records: Alone Together—winner of a 2022 Grammy Award in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category—and the complete box set of her Bach & Beyond trilogy. Originally launched as a commissioning project and virtual performance series, Alone Together was developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it placed on many in the arts community. The project brought composers together in support of the many freelancers among them—with the more established composers each donating a new micro-work for solo violin, while also recommending a fellow freelance composer to write their own solo violin micro-work on paid commission from Ms. Koh’s artist-driven nonprofit ARCO Collaborative. Her Bach & Beyond recording series, originally released by Cedille Records in three installments (2012, 2015, 2020), was released as a three-disc box set in September 2021. These recordings explore the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas to the music of 20th- and 21st-century composers.

Ms. Koh regularly performs a broad range of concertos that reflects the breadth of her musical interests from traditional to contemporary. She has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Cleveland, Mariinsky Theatre, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; the Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Nashville, National, New Jersey, New World, NHK (Tokyo), Pittsburgh, RAI National (Torino), St. Louis, Seattle, and Singapore Symphony Orchestras; and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, among other ensembles.

Ms. Koh is also an active lecturer and teacher. She has been on faculty at the Mannes School of Music since 2018, is a Creative Associate at Juilliard, and has held residencies at Brown, Cornell, Duke, and Tulane Universities, as well as at the Curtis Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory and College, and University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of ARCO Collaborative, which advocates for inclusivity in classical music. Established in 2014, ARCO Collaborative commissions, develops, and produces new musical works that highlight artists of color and women composers in collaborations that bring forth stories previously unheard in Western art forms. She is also a member of Composers Now’s Distinguished Mentors Council and the board of the League of American Orchestras.

Born in Chicago of Korean parents, Ms. Koh began playing the violin by chance, choosing the instrument in a Suzuki-method program only because spaces for cello and piano had been filled. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. She was Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year and has also been recently recognized as a Virtuoso Award honoree by Concert Artists Guild in 2020 and “A Force of Nature” by the American Composers Orchestra in 2019. She was a top prize winner at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition, winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir.

 

Note: Programs, dates, times, and prices are subject to change.

Jan 18-20

Central United Methodist Church
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