People - String Studies

String Faculty: Jennifer Koh

NYU faculty member Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. She is dedicated to performing the violin repertoire of all eras from traditional to contemporary, believing that the past and present form a continuum. A model example of how Ms. Koh is realizing her mission to present music without boundaries is her Bach and Beyond project, a series of three recitals that explore the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s six Sonatas and Partitas to modern day composers including newly commissioned works. Ms. Koh launched Bach and Beyond in 2009 in commemoration of the 325th anniversary of Bach's birth, and has since performed the recitals worldwide. In 2012-13 she performs the second recital in the series at the 92nd Street Y in New York and at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. Also commemorating the centennial of Lutoslawski’s birth in 2013, this season Ms. Koh performs the composer’s Chain II with the New York Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra.

After performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas as part of her Bach and Beyond series as well as separately in concerts, Ms. Koh undertook the challenge of performing all six works in a single concert – a feat long considered the ultimate test of a violinist’s command of their instrument. She has performed the complete cycle for New York’s Miller Theatre, at the Castleton Festival in Virginia, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts, and this season in Houston.

Another project of Ms. Koh’s that pairs Bach’s music with contemporary works is Two x Four, celebrating the teacher and student relationship through music. Named for two violinists and four works, Ms. Koh and Jamie Laredo, her former teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music, perform double concerti by Bach, Glass, and newly commissioned pieces by Anna Clyne and David Ludwig. Two x Four will be performed this season with the IRIS Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra on tour in New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

Ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, New World, Montreal, and National Symphonies.  Abroad she has appeared with the Czech Philharmonic, BBC London and Scottish Symphonies, Helsinki Philharmonic, Lahti Symphony, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo in Brazil.

Ms. Koh brings the same sense of adventure and brilliant musicianship to her recordings as she does to her live performances. Her CD releases include Rhapsodic Musings: 21st Century Works for Solo Violin and a Grammy nominated album featuring Jennifer Higdon’s “String Poetic” released by Cedille. Her next recording featuring works from her first Bach and Beyond recital will be released by Cedille in October 2012.

Ms. Koh is the winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College.