Visiting Artist SeriesJennifer Koh, violin
The Williams College Department of Music presents Jennifer Koh in a solo violin recital on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m., in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the college campus. The event is free. In addition to this, Ms. Koh presides over a master class of violin students on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 5 p.m.
One glance at the concert schedule of Jennifer Koh might be enough to convince any music lover that the Berkshires are about to host major artist of unusual depth. Jennifer Koh is a performer who has delighted devotees in such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Orchestra Hall in Philadelphia, and the Kennedy Center. The Chicago native, now based in New York, is soon to perform all of Bach’s partitas and sonatas in a single concert in New York, a feat considered the ultimate test of a violinist’s mastery. Williamstown listeners can enjoy a prelude with this concert.
For her Sunday afternoon concert Ms. Koh performs the three sonatas for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach, whose solo violin compositions still move us profoundly three centuries after their inception.
Inserted in the program before the last sonata is a new work by Missy Mazzoli titled Dissolve, Oh my Heart which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and premiered this year. The piece draws its inspiration from the Chaconne of Bach’s Partita in D Minor and was conceived of in a conversation between the soloist and the composer. The title derives from an aria in the St. John’s Passion by Bach. A reminder of the continuum of musical thought and a common humanity that stretches over centuries, Ms. Koh demonstrates that neither she, nor the music she so masterfully channels, is anything but contemporary.
Sponsored by the W. Ford Schumann ’50 Performing Arts Endowment.