Violinist JENNIFER KOH has earned a worldwide reputation for being unique in her generation for bringing her probing intellectual acuity to contemporary and traditional repertoire in equal measure, and is beloved by audiences and critics alike for her consummate musicianship and the daring passion of her performances.
Koh’s engagements for the 2010/11 season began with a debut with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra in a special program featuring John Adams’ Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, conducted by Joana Carneiro. Koh returns to the National Symphony this season, performing the American premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Juggler in Paradise in June of 2011 under conductor Christoph Eschenbach. Her other symphonic return engagements this season include repertoire ranging from Mozart to Unsuk Chin with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London; the Singapore Symphony; the Princeton Symphony in Princeton, NJ; and the Oregon Symphony Orchestrain Portland, OR. In the fall of 2010, Koh joined conductor Pavel Kogan and the Moscow State Symphony on a North American tour, which includes performances of Bruch and Mendelssohn in California, Nevada, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Highlights of Koh’s 2009/10 season include her Proms debut with the BBC Symphony as well as return guest appearances with the National Symphony of Washington, D.C. (Szymanowski Concerto No. 1, with Juraj Valcuha), and the New World Symphony (Adams Concerto, with Ludovic Morlot), among other ensembles. During that season, Koh launched “Bach and Beyond,” a recital project that explores the solo violin repertoire from Bach's six Sonatas and Partitas to newly commissioned works for solo violin. “Bach and Beyond” was presented in the 2009/10 season by San Francisco Performances, Oberlin College, and Amherst College.
Koh’s most recent recording for the Cedille label, Rhapsodic Musings, was released in early 2010, and features solo violin works by 21st-century composers; she also included a visual component to the disc, a dynamic interpretation of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Lachen Verlernt for solo violin by filmmaker Tal Rosner. This short film was presented by the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in the “Shorts: Experimental Collisions” category.
Since the 1994/95 season, when she won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Koh has been heard with leading orchestras and conductors around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Montreal Symphony. Abroad, she has appeared with the Czech Philharmonic, the BBC London Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Iceland Symphony, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Lahti Symphony, the Moscow Radio Symphony, the Brandenburg Ensemble, and the Singapore Symphony. A prolific recitalist, Koh appears frequently at major music centers and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Marlboro, Wolf Trap, Spoleto, and The Festival International de Lanaudiere in Canada.
A committed educator, Koh has also won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative Music Messenger outreach program. Now in its seventh year, the program continues to form an important part of her musical activities. She is also 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, Koh currently resides in New York City. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and an alumna of the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. Koh is grateful to her private sponsor for the generous loan of the 1727 Ex Grumiaux Ex General DuPont Stradivari she uses in performance.