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Frequent collaborators Shai Wosner and Jennifer Koh join their thoughtful musicality and adventurous spirit in a pair of Beethoven works. Opening with the genial, early sonata in D major, the program closes with his monumental "Kreutzer" Sonata. Bookended by the Beethoven is a new work by Grammy-nominee Vijay Iyer.

Please note that this concert will take place at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Learn more here.

"…the combination of Wosner's silky elegance and Koh's more extroverted musical demeanor in the 'Kreutzer' Sonata made a wondrous combination." —San Francisco Chronicle

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    Jennifer Koh

    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 and curates projects that find connections between music of all eras from traditional to contemporary. She believes that all the arts and music of the past and present form a continuum and has premiered over 60 works written especially for her.

    Ms. Koh is well known for curating projects that involve commissions from today’s foremost composers, and among her many activities during the 2017-18 season, she premieres new works written for her New American Concerto commissioning project, a multi-season project that explores the form of the violin concerto and its potential for artistic engagement with contemporary societal concerns and issues through commissions from a diverse collective of composers. New American Concerto launched in the summer of 2017 with Vijay Iyer’s Trouble—a co-commission of the Ojai Music Festival, Cal Performances in Berkeley, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, this season, Ms. Koh will premiere a new concerto by Christopher Cerrone, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

    In recital, Ms. Koh launches Limitless: On Stage Together, a commissioning project that engages composer-performers to write new duo compositions and premiere them with Ms. Koh. The project is designed to explore the symbiotic relationship and blurred boundaries between composer and performer. Participating composers include Lisa Bielawa (voice), Zosha di Castri (piano), Vijay Iyer (piano), Missy Mazzoli (synthesizer), Qasim Naqvi (electronics and keyboard), Tyshawn Sorey (percussion), Lu Wang (electronics), Nina Young (electronics), and Du Yun (voice), and the premiere performances take place over two concert programs at National Sawdust in March 2018.

    Ms. Koh also continues critically acclaimed series from past seasons, including Shared Madness, comprising short works for solo violin that explore virtuosity in the 21st century, written for the project by more than 30 of today’s most celebrated composers; and Bach and Beyond, a recital series that traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas to 20th- and 21st-century composers. In addition to experiencing Shared Madness in the concert hall, listeners are also able to hear recordings of the premiere performances and interviews between Ms. Koh and the composers via the Shared Madness radio show, which originally aired on WQXR’s Q2 Music during the summer of 2017 and remains available on demand at q2music.org/sharedmadness. Ms. Koh and her frequent recital partner Shai Wosner continue Bridge to Beethoven, which pairs Beethoven’s violin sonatas with new and recent works inspired by them to explore the composer’s impact and significance on a diverse group of musicians; and she performs with the Variation String Trio—of which she is a founding member—and pianist Orion Weiss, in composer Nina C. Young’s piano quartet Spero Lucem and works by Schubert, Beethoven, and Brahms presented by the People’s Symphony in New York City.

    She also performs a broad range of concertos that reflects the breadth of her musical interests, including Barber’s Violin Concerto with the Marin Symphony Orchestra and Oklahoma City Philharmonic; Bernstein’s Serenade with the Fresno Philharmonic; Unsuk Chin’s Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony; Anna Clyne’s Rest These Hands with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne; Lutoslawski’s Chain 2 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Kaija Saariaho’s Graal théâtre with the Galicia Symphony Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto with the Nashville and Tampere Symphony Orchestras; Sibelius' Violin Concerto with the Columbus and Williamsburg Symphony Orchestras; Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; and Charles Wuorinen’s Spin5 with Ensemble Signal.

    Ms. Koh has been heard with leading orchestras around the world including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics; the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, BBC Symphony Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Mariinsky Theatre, Milwaukee Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Nashville Symphony, National Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New World Symphony, NHK Symphony (Tokyo) Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia (London) Orchestras, Pittsburgh Symphony, RAI National Symphony Orchestra (Torino), St. Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony and Singapore Symphony, among others. Conductors she has worked with include John Adams, Marin Alsop, James Conlon, Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Giancarlo Guerrero, Manfred Honek, Louis Langree, Carlos Kalmar, Lorin Maazel, Sakari Oramo, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Juraj Valčuha, Osmo Vänskä, Alexander Vedernikov, and Edo de Waart. She played the role of Einstein in the revival of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach from 2012–2014, and a particular highlight of her career was performing for former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and former First Lady of South Korea Kim Yoon-ok in 2011.

    Ms. Koh brings the same sense of adventure and brilliant musicianship to her recordings as she does to her live performances. Her latest album, Tchaikovsky: Complete Works for Violin and Orchestra with the Odense Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov, released in September 2016, is Ms. Koh’s eleventh recording for the Cedille Records label. Ms. Koh first performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto conducted by Mr. Vedernikov in the final round of the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 1992 and went on to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow with the concerto in 1994. In addition to her Bach & Beyond and Two x Four albums, her discography on Cedille Records also includes Signs, Games + Messages, a recording of violin and piano works by Janáček, Bartók, and Kurtág with Mr. Wosner; Rhapsodic Musings: 21st Century Works for Solo Violin; the Grammy-nominated String Poetic, featuring the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s eponymous work, performed with pianist Reiko Uchida; Schumann’s complete violin sonatas, also with Ms. Uchida; Portraits with the Grant Park Orchestra under conductor Carlos Kalmar with concerti by Szymanowski, Martinů, and Bartók; Violin Fantasies: fantasies for violin and piano by Schubert, Schumann, Schoenberg, and saxophonist Ornette Coleman, again with Ms. Uchida; and Ms. Koh’s first Cedille album, from 2002, Solo Chaconnes, an earlier reading of Bach’s Second Partita coupled with chaconnes by Richard Barth and Max Reger. Ms. Koh is also the featured soloist on a recording of Ms. Higdon’s The Singing Rooms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Robert Spano for Telarc.

    Ms. Koh is the Artistic Director of arco collaborative, an artist-driven nonprofit that fosters a better understanding of our world through a musical dialogue inspired by ideas and the communities around us. The organization supports artistic collaborations and commissions, transforming the creative process by engaging with specific ideas and perspectives, investing in the future by cultivating artist-citizens in partnership with educational organizations. A committed educator, she has won high praise for her performances in classrooms around the country under her innovative “Music Messenger” outreach program. Ms. Koh is 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, Ms. Koh began playing the violin by chance, choosing the instrument in a Suzuki-method program only because spaces for cello and piano had been filled. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. Ms. Koh is Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year, a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Oberlin College and studied at the Curtis Institute, where she worked extensively with Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. For further information visit jenniferkoh.com.

    "The performance was first-rate, with both musicians giving their all. Ms. Koh  dispatched the bravura passages as if they were child's play." —The Wall Street Journal

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    Shai Wosner

    Pianist Shai Wosner has attracted international recognition for his exceptional artistry, musical integrity, and creative insight. His performances of a broad range of repertoire-from Beethoven and Schubert to Ligeti and the music of today-reflect a degree of virtuosity and intellectual curiosity that has made him a favorite among audiences and critics, who note his "keen musical mind and deep musical soul" (NPR's All Things Considered).

    In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Wosner launches his recital series Schubert: The Great Sonatas, which continues his career-long, critically acclaimed engagement with the composer's music. Described as a "Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character" by Gramophone, he performs Schubert's last six piano sonatas over multiple concert programs at 92nd Street Y in New York, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and other venues throughout the United States and Japan.  

    Mr. Wosner's recital repertoire this season also includes works from his latest solo recording, Impromptu (Onyx Classics, 2017), which features an eclectic mix of improvisationally inspired works by composers from Beethoven and Schubert to Gershwin and Ives. The pieces range from true improvisations to such stylized miniatures as Schubert's Four Impromptus, D935, and together they reflect Mr. Wosner's interest in exploring subtle connections between works of contrasting styles and time periods. Impromptu forms the basis for a fall recital program presented by Peoples' Symphony Concerts in New York.

    Additional 2017-18 highlights include season-opening performances in Singapore (with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra) and Jerusalem, including a performance of duo-piano works by Debussy and Ravel with Martha Argerich at the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. In May, Mr. Wosner premieres Dissolving Margins-a new work composed for him by Christopher Cerrone-with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain; scored for piano and strings, the work is based on the writings of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante and will receive its U.S. premiere at the Chautauqua Festival in July 2018. Further appearances as a soloist include performances with the Boulez Ensemble (at the new Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin), Aurora Orchestra in the U.K., and Princeton Symphony Orchestra. He also continues the Bridge to Beethoven series with his longtime collaborator, violinist Jennifer Koh, in recitals across the nation, appears in duo recitals with violinist Veronika Eberle (in Japan) and cellist István Várdai (in Hungary and the U.S.), and performs in chamber music by Fauré with cellist Steven Isserlis as part of the International Musicians Seminar in the U.K. 

    Mr. Wosner records for Onyx Classics, and his recordings have been widely praised for their inventive pairings of classical and modern masters. His most recent release, Impromptu, goes further by featuring seven composers-Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt, Dvorák, Gershwin, and Ives-in thirteen solo piano works. Previous releases include concertos and capriccios by Haydn and Ligeti with the Danish National Symphony conducted by Nicholas Collon, solo works by Brahms and Schoenberg, and works by Schubert paired with new works by Missy Mazzoli. As a chamber musician, Mr. Wosner has recorded Beethoven's complete sonatas and variations for cello and piano with Ralph Kirshbaum for Onyx Classics, as well as works by Bartók, Janácek, and Kurtág with violinist Jennifer Koh for Cedille Records.

    Mr. Wosner is a recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award-a prize he used to commission Michael Hersch's concerto Along the Ravines, which he performed with the Seattle Symphony and Deutsche Radio Philharmonie in its world and European premieres. He was in residence with the BBC as a New Generation Artist, during which he appeared frequently with the BBC orchestras, including conducting Mozart concertos from the keyboard with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. He returned to the BBC Scottish Symphony in both subscription concerts and Proms performances with Donald Runnicles and appeared with the BBC Philharmonic in a live broadcast from Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. As a concerto soloist in the U.S., Mr. Wosner has appeared with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco, among others. In addition to the BBC orchestras, he has performed abroad with the Barcelona Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, LSO St. Luke's, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Orchestre National de Belgique, Staatskapelle Berlin, and the Vienna Philharmonic, among others. Mr. Wosner has also appeared with the Orpheus, St. Paul, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, having conducted the latter from the keyboard in a 2010 concert that was broadcast on American Public Radio.

    Mr. Wosner has worked with such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Jirí Belohlávek, James Conlon, Alan Gilbert, Gunther Herbig, James Judd, Zubin Mehta, Peter Oundjian, Donald Runnicles, Leonard Slatkin, Jeffrey Tate, and Yan Pascal Tortelier, and has performed at summer festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Bravo! Vail festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and Ravinia Festival. For several consecutive summers, he was involved in the West-Eastern Divan Workshop led by Mr. Barenboim and toured as soloist with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. 

    Widely sought after by colleagues for his versatility and spirit of partnership, Mr. Wosner has collaborated as a chamber musician with numerous artists, including Martha Argerich, Martin Fröst, Lynn Harrell, Dietrich Henschel, Ralph Kirshbaum, Jennifer Koh, Cho-Liang Lin, Christian Tetzlaff, and Pinchas Zukerman. He has also collaborated with leading chamber ensembles, including the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet in The Schubert Effect recital series. Mr. Wosner is a former member of Lincoln Center's Chamber Music Society Two and performs regularly at various chamber music festivals, including Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Piano Aux Jacobins festival in France, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Recent chamber music engagements include performances presented by the Internationale Beethovenfeste in Bonn and Kunstfreunde Wiesloch; Beethoven recitals with cellist Ralph Kirshbaum at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, among other venues; a performance of Berg's Chamber Concerto presented by the Kammerakademie Potsdam; and Bridge to Beethoven recitals with violinist Jennifer Koh.

    Born in Israel, Mr. Wosner enjoyed a broad musical education from a very early age, studying piano with Opher Brayer and Emanuel Krasovsky, as well as composition, theory, and improvisation with André Hajdu. He later studied at The Juilliard School with Emanuel Ax. Mr. Wosner is on the faculty at the Longy School of Music in Boston. He resides in New York with his wife and two children.

    For more information on Mr. Wosner, please visit his fan page on Facebook and go to shaiwosner.com.

    "In the performance of the 'Kreutzer,' Mr. Wosner's intelligent phrasing and singing tone were a real asset." —The Wall Street Journal

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Sonata for Violin and Piano in D major, Op. 12, No. 1

Vijay Iyer (b. 1971)

"Bridgetower Fantasy" for Violin and Piano (Baltimore premiere)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op. 47, "Kreutzer"

Program Subject to Change Without Notice