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Join us for a conversation between acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh and lauded young vibraphonist and Blue Note recording artist Joel Ross.
CoPA Conversations is a new series of curated talks between two artistic innovators drawn from our world-class faculty and selected guest artists. These conversations will cross genres and artistic practice areas and will touch on CoPA's core values of Socially Engaged Artistry, Experimentation & Technology, Improv & Collaboration with a focus on holistic artistic practice.
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 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. Ms. Koh’s series include Alone Together, an online commissioning project and performances series in support of composers during the coronavirus crisis; The New American Concerto, which invites a diverse collective of composers to examine socio-cultural topics relevant to American life today through the form of the violin concerto; Limitless (also released on Cedille Records) which explores the relationship between composer and performer through duo works played by Ms. Koh and the composers themselves; 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 solo works that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, commissioned from over 30 composers. Ms. Koh has appeared with orchestras worldwide, among them the New York, Los Angeles, and Helsinki Philharmonics; Cleveland, Mariinsky, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; and Atlanta, Baltimore, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, National, New World, NHK, RAI (Torino), and Singapore Symphonies. Named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, she 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 an active lecturer, teacher, and recording artist for Cedille Records; and is the Artistic Director and Founder of the non-profit arco collaborative. jenniferkoh.com
“I never had a doubt that I was going to do music,” says Joel Ross, the most thrilling new vibraphonist in America. “My whole life it was just about finding a way to do it.” In the past few years, keeping up with all of those ways has, for aficionados, turned into a virtuosic practice unto itself. The Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based player and composer has a way of being everywhere interesting at once: from deeply innovative albums (Makaya McCraven’s Universal Beings, Walter Smith III & Matthew Stevens’ In Common) to reliably revolutionary combos (Marquis Hill’s Blacktet, Peter Evans’ Being & Becoming) to the buzzing debut of Blue Note’s 2018 breakout star James Francies (Flight). Even with his own bands—which include quartets and a large ensemble dedicated to the works of and in-the-style-of Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet—Ross is basically a living blur of mallets and talent and ideas. In 2019 he joined the Blue Note Records roster and added his name to an illustrious jazz vibraphone legacy on the label that extends from Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson to Stefon Harris and now Ross. iplayvibes.com