VIOLINIST JENNIFER KOH PERFORMS THE FINAL INSTALLMENT
OF HER BACH AND BEYOND SOLO VIOLIN PROJECT
AT 92ND STREET Y ON JANUARY 31
Program to include the world premiere of a new work commissioned from John Harbison
Bach’s Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 and Berio’s Sequenza VIII also to be performed
NEW YORK, NY (December 15, 2014)—Violinist Jennifer Koh returns to 92nd Street Y to perform Bach and Beyond Part 3, the last program of her three-part recital series exploring the history of solo violin repertoire by pairing Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas with modern-day works and new commissions. Ms. Koh debuted Bach and Beyond in 2009 to commemorate the 325th anniversary of Bach’s birth. At this recital, Ms. Koh gives the world premiere of a new Bach-inspired work by American composer John Harbison in their first collaboration together. Mr. Harbison’s work, titled For Violin Alone, was co-commissioned by 92nd Street Y, Cal Performances, and the University Musical Society for the Bach and Beyond project. The program will also include Luciano Berio’s Sequenza VIII and Bach’s Sonatas No. 2 in A minor and No. 3 in C major.
The recital takes place at 92nd Street Y’s Kaufmann Concert Hall on Saturday, January 31 at 8 p.m. Tickets priced from $35 to $57 are available online at 92y.org, by phone at (212) 415-5500, or in person at the box office.
Ms. Koh has presented a new installment of her Bach and Beyond series at 92nd Street Y every two years in January since 2011. The Bach and Beyond Part 2 program included Bach’s Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 1, Bartók’s Sonata for solo violin, and a partita commissioned by Phil Kline titled Dead Reckoning. The first recital in the series featured Bach’s Partitas Nos. 2 and 3 and works by Carter, Saariaho, Ysaÿe, and Salonen with a video commission by filmmaker and video artist Tal Rosner. During the 2014-15 season, in addition to the recital at 92nd Street Y, she performs Part 3 at Strathmore Hall in North Bethesda, for the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, for Music On Main in Vancouver, for Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, at the Athanaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, and at Oberlin College.
Ms. Koh says, “I have come to understand Bach’s complete works for solo violin as a musical journal of his life and development as an artist. While Bach and Beyond Parts 1 and 2 explored the themes of birth and transcendence, Bach and Beyond Part 3 explores the idea of development by highlighting Bach’s evolution of the fugal form. Bach’s second and third sonatas contain fugues in which he expands upon the fugue in the first sonata in both size and motif. This form reaches it summit point in the C-major fugue, Bach’s largest movement in all his works for solo violin, and a testament of the architectural possibilities of the fugal form. I also wanted to bring attention to the ‘theme’ of Bach and Beyond by pairing these Bach Sonatas with music that had very literal connections to works by Bach that were part of Bach and Beyond Parts 1 and 2. Both Berio’s Sequenza VIII and Harbison’s For Violin Alone are based on Bach’s Partita form: Sequenza VIII is based on Bach’s Chaconne from Partita No. 2 and For Violin Alone consists of six dance movements with an Epilogue to close the work.”
Ms. Koh’s Bach and Beyond series is being released on three CDs by the Cedille label. The second recording of the series, to be released in February 2015, includes Bach’s Sonata No. 1 and Partita No. 1, Bartók’s Sonata for solo violin, and the world-premiere recording of Kaija Saariaho’s Frises for solo violin and electronics. The first Bach and Beyond recording, released in October 2012, includes Bach’s second and third Partitas, Ms. Saariaho’s Nocturne for Violin, Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 2, and the world-premiere recording of Missy Mazzoli’s Dissolve, O My Heart, and was named one of the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012 by The New York Times.
About Jennifer Koh
Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. With an impassioned musical curiosity, she is forging an artistic path of her own devising, choosing works that both inspire and challenge. She is dedicated to performing the violin repertoire of all eras from traditional to contemporary, believing that the past and present form a continuum.
She is also passionate in her efforts to expand the repertoire for violin and has established relationships with many of today’s composers, regularly commissioning and premiering new works. In 2012 she launched Two x Four—a project that juxtaposes Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Philip Glass’s Echorus and newly commissioned double concerti by Anna Clyne and David Ludwig, performed with former teacher and violinist Jaime Laredo. Ms. Clyne’s work, recorded for Ms. Koh’s Two x Four album, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category this month.
In May 2014, Ms. Koh launched Off Stage On Record, a video series that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the life and career of a concert artist. The series, featuring a number of short documentary-style episodes that explore creativity, collaboration, taking care of one’s body, and more, can be viewed on her YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/jenniferkohviolin.
The Bach and Beyond Part 2 recording will be Ms. Koh’s tenth album on Cedille Records. Her Cedille discography includes Two x Four; Signs, Games + Messages, featuring works by Janá?ek, Bartók, and Kurtág performed with Ms. Wosner; Bach & Beyond Part 1; Rhapsodic Musings: 21st Century Works for Solo Violin; the Grammy-nominated String Poetic, featuring the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s eponymous work and performed with pianist Reiko Uchida; and her first Cedille album, Solo Chaconnes, an earlier reading of Bach’s Second Partita coupled with chaconnes by Richard Barth and Max Reger, released in 2002.
For more information, visit www.jenniferkoh.com.
# # #
Saturday, January 31 at 8 p.m.
Jennifer Koh, violin
Bach and Beyond Part 3
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall (Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street)
BACH Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003
LUCIANO BERIO Sequenza VIII
JOHN HARBISON For Violin Alone (world premiere)
BACH Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005
Tickets priced from $35 to $57 are available online at 92y.org, by phone at (212) 415-5500, or in person at the box office.