Jennifer Koh, Violin
Reiko Uchida, Piano
Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. An adventurous musician, she collaborates with artists of multiple disciplines and curates projects that find connections between music of all eras from traditional to contemporary. She believes that all the arts and music of the past and present form a continuum and has premiered over 50 works written especially for her. The exploration of Bach's music and its influence in today's musical landscape has played an important role in Ms. Koh's artistic journey. Bach and Beyond, which she launched in 2009 in commemoration of the 325th anniversary of Bach's birth, is a three recital series that traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach's Six Sonatas and Partitas to composers ranging from Bartók, Berio, Carter, Salonen, and Ysaÿe with commissions and world premieres by composers John Harbison, Phil Kline, Missy Mazzoli, Kaija Saariaho, and video artist Tal Rosner. Ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, BBC Symphony Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Mariinsky Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New World Symphony, NHK Symphony (Tokyo) Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia (London) Orchestras, Pittsburgh Symphony, RAI National Symphony Orchestra (Torino), St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Singapore Symphony, among others.
A prolific recitalist, she frequently appears at major music centers and festivals, and played the role of Einstein in the revival of Philip Glass's Einstein On the Beach from 2012-2014. A particular highlight of her career was performing for the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Yoon-ok, in 2011.
Ms. Koh brings the same sense of adventure and brilliant musicianship to her recordings as she does to her live performances. Her latest album, Tchaikovsky: Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra with the Odense Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, released in September 2016, is Ms. Koh's eleventh recording for the Cedille Records label. Ms. Koh first performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto conducted by Mr. Vedernikov in the final round of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 1992 and went on to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow with the concerto in 1994. Ms. Koh 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. The organization supports artistic collaborations and commissions, transforming the creative process by engaging with specific ideas and perspectives, investing in the future by cultivating artist-citizens in partnership with educational organizations. A committed educator, she has won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative "Music Messenger" outreach program. Ms. Koh is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Foundation for the Advancement for the Arts, a scholarship program for high school students in the arts.
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. Ms. Koh is Musical America's 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, a 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. For further information visit www.jenniferkoh.com.
Pianist Reiko Uchida is recognized as one of the finest, most versatile pianists on the scene today. First prize winner of the Joanna Hodges Piano Competition, Ms. Uchida has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute, and the Santa Fe Symphony, among others. Ms. Uchida made her New York solo debut in 2001 at Carnegie's Weill Hall under the auspices of the Abby Whiteside Foundation. She has performed solo and chamber music concerts throughout the world, including the United States, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic, in venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center, the White House, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her festival appearances include Spoleto, Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Marlboro, and the Laurel Festival of the Arts. As a chamber musician, she was one of the first pianists selected for Chamber Music Society Two, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's program for outstanding emerging artists. She has been a recital partner for Jennifer Koh, David Shifrin, Jaime Laredo, and Sharon Robinson, with whom she performed the complete works of Beethoven for cello and piano. She has also collaborated with the Borromeo and Tokyo String Quartets. She is a member of the Laurel Trio, and the Moebius Ensemble, a group specializing in 20th century music in residence at Columbia University.
Ms. Uchida holds a Bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Claude Frank and Leon Fleisher, a Master's degree from the Mannes College of Music, and an Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. She currently resides in New York City where she is an associate faculty member at Columbia University.