By Garth Kobal
May 25, 2017
At Music Mountain on Saturday June 3 at 7 p.m., The Next Festival of Emerging Artists celebrates David M. Hunt Library with a free concert.
The concert, featuring renowned Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh and Conductor Peter Askim leading a string orchestra of young professional musicians, will consist of contemporary works by Anna Clyne and Caroline Shaw, the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Violinist Koh has been called “one of our most thoughtful and intense musicians” by the New York Times.
The concert is free; donations benefit the library. A refreshment tent with sips and small bites will open at 6 p.m. For reserve seating, call the library at 860-824-7424.
Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Peter Askim, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is an immersive residency for young (20-30 years old) professional string players focused on musical exploration, entrepreneurial thinking, and contemporary performance practice. This year’s fifth anniversary festival takes place May 28 through June 10. After a week at Music Mountain in Falls Village, the festival moves to New York City.
ABOUT THE NEXT FESTIVAL OF EMERGING ARTISTS
Comprised of some of the most exciting young artists of tomorrow, The Next Festival of Emerging Artists is an intensive and immersive residency for young professional string players focused on musical exploration, entrepreneurial thinking and contemporary performance practice. Founded by Artistic Director Peter Askim in 2013, the festival provides a setting for the next generation of artists to hone their craft in a beautiful setting, with generous financial support and the opportunity to collaborate with world class guest artists, including cellist Matt Haimovitz, ETHEL, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, and violist Nadia Sirota.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PETER ASKIM
Active as a composer, conductor and bassist, Peter Askim is the Artistic Director of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists and the conductor of the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, as well as Director of Orchestral Activities at North Carolina State University. He was previously Music Director and Composer-in-Residence of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra. He has also been a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and served on the faculty of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, where he directed the Contemporary Music Ensemble and taught theory and composition.
A dedicated champion of the music of our time, he has premiered numerous works, including works by composers Richard Danielpour, Nico Muhly, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis and has collaborated with such artists as the Miró String Quartet, Matt Haimovitz, Vijay Iyer, Jeffrey Zeigler, Nadia Sirota, and Sō Percussion. As a composer, he has been called a “Modern Master” by The Strad and has had commissions and performances from such groups as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony and the American Viola Society, as well as by performers such as ETHEL, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and flutist/conductor Ransom Wilson.
2017 GUEST ARTIST JENNIFER KOH
Violinist 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, curates projects that find connections within music of all eras from traditional to contemporary, and has premiered more than 60 works written especially for her.
Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, Koh has been heard with leading orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; the Cleveland, Mariinsky, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and Philharmonia (London) Orchestras; and the Atlanta, BBC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, National, New World, NHK, RAI (Torino), and Singapore Symphonies. This season, she played with the Baltimore, Cincinnati, New Jersey, and St. Louis Symphonies, among others; the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; premiered a new violin concerto by Christopher Rountree with wild Up; and focused on the music of Kaija Saariaho in recital, chamber music, and concerto performances.
Koh made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11 and went on to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a degree in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. She is Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artistdriven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us.
2017 RESIDENT ENTREPRENEURIAL ARTIST JESSICA MEYER
With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “otherworldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (New York Times), Jessica Meyer is a versatile composer and violist whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility, generosity, and emotional clarity. As a soloist and member of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed contemporary music collective counter)induction, Jessica has premiered pieces for solo viola internationally - expanding the repertoire for viola by championing new works while also composing her own.
Meyer’s compositions explore the wide palette of emotionally expressive colors available to each instrument while using traditional and extended techniques inspired by her varied experiences as a contemporary and period instrumentalist. In 2014, she was featured on Q2’s marathon of Emerging Women Composers, and was awarded a grant from the Jerome Fund for New Music to write a new work for The Colonials and countertenor Eric Brenner. Recent commissions include a work for the Nautilus Brass Quintet as the composer in residence at the 2016 Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and soprano Melissa Wimbish for her Carnegie Hall debut. Upcoming commissions include works for cellist Amanda Gookin, flutist/dancer Zara Lawler, the PUBLIQuartet, and NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street under the direction of Julian Wachner.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
Anna Clyne: Rest These Hands (feat. Jennifer Koh) [Written for and premiered by Jennifer Koh in 2014.]
Rest These Hands is a movement from The Violin - a suite of seven pieces for multi-tracked violins. The inspiration for the original suite came about through my dear friends and wonderful violinists, Neil Dufallo and Amy Kauffman based in New York City, and another dear friend and violin maker, Bruno Guastalla, based in Oxford, England. Shortly after my mother passed away in 2008, I found a violin in Oxfam, a charity shop in Oxford. It was in a dusty old case leaning up against a pile of vinyl records in the basement. Priced at £5.99 (approx. $9), the European baroque-style violin dating from the late 1800s, with a hand-carved lion’s head scroll, was a bargain. It needed some work, so I took it to Bruno’s shop and he restored the violin in exchange for composition lessons. Back in Brooklyn, with a beautifully restored fiddle in stow, I made another barter with Neil and Amy - a violin duet in exchange for violin lessons. I subsequently composed Blue Hour, a violin duet with a pre-recorded track, which they premiered at John Zorn’s New York City performance space, The Stone, in 2009, and I began my violin lessons. The following Summer, we recorded the suite at our friend, Jody Elff’s home studio on his apple orchard in Upstate New York.
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