ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM
BACH’S VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1 AND
THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF ANNA CLYNE’S REST THESE HANDS WITH JENNIFER KOH AT CARNEGIE HALL ON DECEMBER 6
Program also includes Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Mozart’s Symphony No. 34
NEW YORK, NY (October 27, 2014) — On Saturday, December 6 at 7 p.m., Orpheus Chamber Orchestra continues its 2014-15 concert series at Carnegie Hall with a program featuring works by Bach, Grieg, Mozart, and the London-born, Chicago-based composer Anna Clyne. Violinist Jennifer Koh, who makes her Orpheus debut this season, joins the orchestra as soloist in Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor and Rest These Hands, the Orpheus-commissioned concerto by Ms. Clyne for solo violin and string orchestra. The conductorless ensemble, whose structure is based on artistic collaboration, a democratic process, and rotating leadership, also plays Grieg’s Holberg Suite, a signature work from its catalog of Deutsche Grammophon recordings. The program closes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 in C major. Tickets priced from $14.50 to $110 are available from Carnegie Hall by phone at (212) 247-7800, online at www.carnegiehall.org, or in person at the box office.
Rest These Hands, which takes inspiration from Bach and includes quotations of his music, is an arrangement of three movements from The Violin, Ms. Clyne’s 2009 work for recorded layers of solo violin. The concerto is the first of three new works that Orpheus has commissioned to be premiered this season as part of American Notes, its new commissioning initiative of works from composers who contribute diverse perspectives on American identity within a globalized world. Orpheus has also commissioned orchestral works from Brooklyn-based composer-pianist Timo Andres and Turkish composer-pianist Fazıl Say. “Our American Notes initiative this season uses these three composers’ perspectives on America and American music as it reflects back to them,” says Orpheus Executive Director Krishna Thiagarajan. “It relates to Orpheus’ position as a US ambassador while on tour abroad, and as a representative of international perspectives while performing within the States.”
Ms. Koh, known for her intense, commanding performances, has interpreted Bach’s works for solo violin in marathon recitals and in juxtaposition with contemporary pieces as part of her Bach & Beyond project. Commenting on Ms. Koh’s career, Mr. Thiagarajan says, “She clearly thinks about music the same way we do: being collaborative, pushing the envelope, and marrying the old composers with young emerging composers.”
Ms. Koh and Ms. Clyne have been frequent collaborators since 2009, when Esa-Pekka Salonen suggested that Ms. Koh listen to the composer’s music. Last season, she premiered and recorded Ms. Clyne’s double violin concerto Prince of Clouds with violinist Jaime Laredo, her former mentor at the Curtis Institute of Music. In May 2015, Ms. Koh premieres Ms. Clyne’s violin concerto The Seamstress with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by Ludovic Morlot.
Orpheus also performs the Carnegie program with Ms. Koh on tour at California Polytechnic State University on November 1, Stanford University on November 2, and Purchase College on November 30. The concerts presented by Cal Poly Arts and Stanford Live mark Orpheus’ first return to perform in California since 2007.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
The 2014-15 season marks Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s 42nd year of making internationally acclaimed music, from classical to contemporary, while reinventing the way individuals and organizations across the world think about collaboration, outreach, and democratic leadership. Performing without a conductor, Orpheus integrates musicians into virtually every facet of the organization, including artistic and administrative decisions, by rotating musical leadership roles for each piece and running open forum rehearsals. With over 70 albums, collaborations with leading contemporary soloists, and more than 40 commissioned works as part of its history, Orpheus strives to expand the repertoire for chamber orchestra and continues to develop its international reputation through innovative projects and tours to Europe, Asia, and South America.
Orpheus’ four-concert season at Carnegie Hall in 2014-15 includes performances with violinist Jennifer Koh, French violinist Augustin Dumay, and Turkish pianist-composer Fazil Say, who all make their Orpheus debuts this season, and with pianist Jonathan Biss, who returned as guest soloist. In addition to its Carnegie Hall concerts, Orpheus travels to Italy, Germany, Austria, and Hungary on an eight-city Europe tour this season, performing concerts in Bologna, Cologne, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Berlin, St. Pölten, and Innsbruck with Mr. Say and an Orpheus-only concert in Budapest. In the US, Orpheus played at The Palladium and Goshen College in Indiana with Mr. Biss and will play at the California Polytechnic State University, Stanford University, and Purchase College with Ms. Koh and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania with Mr. Dumay and Mr. Say.
The Orpheus Process™, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution, has been the focus of studies at Harvard and Stanford, and of leadership seminars at Morgan Stanley and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. This approach is the basis of two education and engagement programs: Access Orpheus, which provides free learning opportunities, including in-class visits, tickets, and educational material, for over 1,500 New York City public school students each year; and the Orpheus Institute, which teaches experiential training in collective leadership to the next generation of musicians, university students, musical entrepreneurs, and business leaders, through residencies at select universities and conservatories that have included Dartmouth College, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Maryland.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Orpheus a $400,000 grant in October 2014 for its new “Next Generation Orpheus” initiative. Founded on principles of inclusiveness and empowerment, Orpheus is committed to building stronger connections with broader and younger audiences, in part by reflecting the diversity of its global audience within its internal musician network. The grant will fund Orpheus’ efforts to promote diversity both on and off the stage, and will provide support for musician-led transitions from a founder-driven organization to the orchestra’s next generation.
Jennifer Koh is dedicated to performing the violin repertoire of all eras from traditional to contemporary to new compositions and exploring connections in the works she performs. 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. She is also passionate in her efforts to expand the violin repertoire and has established relationships with many of today’s composers, regularly commissioning and premiering new works. In 2009 she debuted Bach & Beyond, a three-part series of recital programs that explore the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas to works by modern-day composers and new commissions; in 2012, she launched Two x Four—a project that pairs Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with newly commissioned double concerti—with her former teacher from the Curtis Institute of Music, violinist Jaime Laredo; and she frequently performs the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert. Ms. Koh recently launched a video series called Off Stage On Record, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at the life and career of a concert artist. The series features a number of short documentary-style videos that explore creativity, collaboration, caring for the instrument and body, and more. They can be viewed on her YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/jenniferkohviolin.
A favorite with Bay Area audiences, Ms. Koh was heard in the solo violin role of Einstein in Einstein on the Beach at Cal Performances in October 2012. Cal Performances has been presenting her three-part Bach & Beyond recital series and she performs Bach & Beyond Part 3 at UC Berkeley’s Hertz Hall on March 15, 2015, giving a public master class at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music the following day.
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ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA WITH JENNIFER KOH
Saturday, December 6 at 7 p.m.
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Jennifer Koh, violin
GRIEG Holberg Suite, Op. 40
J. S. BACH Concerto No. 1 for Violin in A minor, BWV 1041
ANNA CLYNE Rest These Hands
MOZART Symphony No. 34 in C major, K. 338
Tickets priced from $14.50 to $110 are available from Carnegie Hall by phone at (212) 247-7800, online at www.carnegiehall.org, or in person at the box office.