1. Shared Madness

    Shared Madness is a project that tells the story of an amazing and generous community of fellow artists and friends who came to my aid at a time when I desperately needed their support and help.  Many of them witnessed the eight years during which I tried to raise funds in order to purchase a violin I could perform on for the remainder of my life.  When Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting, supporters of new music, stepped in to relieve a great deal of my debt and agreed to accept music commissions as payment instead of funds, my fellow community of artists came rushing to help. These composers have given me the great gift of writing a new work for me to help support this project and they come from a community of colleagues and friends with whom I have worked over the years. Shared Madness celebrates the support of these friends, encapsulates the intensity of the creative process shared between composer and performer, and ultimately reveals the incredible support network that exists between artists.
    Each composer has offered to write a solo violin work exploring the relationship between the violinist and the instrument. While Paganini wrote a landmark set of 24 caprices that explored the relationship of virtuosity on the violin at the beginning of the 19th century, this group of composers will explore the meaning of virtuosity in the 21st century.  This new body of work will be premiered under the auspices of the New York Philharmonic’s 2nd Biennial in June 2016.
    I cannot find words to express my gratitude for my fellow artists’ incredibly moving acts of generosity and support and only hope that I can show thanks through dedicated performances and a continued advocacy of their music. As an extension of the idea of community that created Shared Madness, I hope to pay it forward by continuing to offer free performances of the composers’ works within the communities in which we work and live; and educational workshops for student composers and instrumentalists which encourage and support the intense relationship between composers and performers so that our “shared madness” will continue to inspire the next generation of artists.

    Samuel Adams (United States, b. 1985)
    Timo Andres (United States, b. 1985)
    Matthew Aucoin (United States, b. 1990)
    Jean-Baptiste Barrière (France, b. 1958)
    Derek Bermel (United States, b. 1967)
    Lisa Bielawa (United States, b. 1968)
    Daníel Bjarnason (Iceland, b. 1979)
    David Bruce (United States, b. 1970)
    Chris Cerrone (United States, b. 1984)
    Anthony Cheung (United States, b. 1982)
    Bryce Dessner (United States, b. 1976)
    Zosha di Castri (Canada, b. 1985)
    Philip Glass (United States, b. 1937)
    Michael Gordon (United States, b. 1956)
    Mark Grey (United States, b. 1967)
    John Harbison (United States, b. 1938)
    Vijay Iyer (United States, b. 1971)

    Gabriel Kahane (United States, b. 1981)
    Phil Kline (United States, b. 1953)
    David Lang (United States, b. 1957)
    David Ludwig (United States, b. 1974)
    James Matheson (United States, b. 1970)
    Missy Mazzoli (United States, b. 1980)
    Eric Nathan (United States, b. 1983)
    Marc Neikrug (United States, b. 1946)
    Andrew Norman (United States, b. 1979)
    Christopher Rountree (United States, b. 1983)
    Frederic Rzewski (United States, b. 1938)
    Kaija Saariaho (Finland, b. 1952)
    Esa-Pekka Salonen (Finland, b. 1958)
    Sean Shepherd (United States, b. 1979)
    Noam Sivan (Israel, b. 1978)
    Augusta Read Thomas (United States, b. 1964)
    Julia Wolfe (United States, b. 1958)


    Jennifer Koh's Shared Madness Web Series

    WQXR's Q2 Music premieres violinist Jennifer Koh's new online series, in which she converses with a diverse range of 30 dynamic, leading composers who contributed music to her Shared Madness project.
    Every weekday from June 5 through July 14 at q2music.org

© Jennifer Koh, All Rights Reserved. Photography by Juergen Frank. Site by ycArt design studio