The SPCO's Liquid Music Series Presents Jennifer Koh

The SPCO's Liquid Music Series Presents Jennifer KohThe "thoughtful and intense" (New York Times) violinist Jennifer Koh, "a prodigious builder of musical bridges" (Los Angeles Times), brings her most recent commissioning project Limitless to Saint Paul on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at The Amsterdam Bar & Hall.

This work brings to focus the nuanced relationship between composer and performer while simultaneously blurring the lines between these historically discrete roles via two of the world's most accomplished and distinct composer-performers: the "radical and seemingly boundless" (Wall Street Journal) composer/multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey and "extravagantly gifted" (The New Yorker) composer/pianist Vijay Iyer. Following their initial March 2018 premieres at National Sawdust in Brooklyn this Liquid Music presentation will see an expanded program of improvisations and explorations using Iyer's The Diamond and Sorey's In Memoriam Muhal Richard Abrams as centerpieces.

Speaking of their creative group process, Koh says "I believe in creating projects that reflect the world that I live in. Collaboration is such an exciting part of music-making and I am so happy to perform with Vijay and Tyshawn, two wonderful musicians and friends."

Of The Diamond, Iyer says that "In The Diamond Sutra, an early Buddhist text also known as The Diamond that Cuts Through Illusion, the Buddha leads his interlocutor through a series of questions and provocations. The Buddha then concludes the session by offering this teaching to those assembled: 'All composed things are like a dream, a phantom, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning.' This duo piece is in four sections, corresponding roughly to these four disparate visions of impermanence: four distinct moments of interplay between form and emptiness, four corners of a diamond."


Wednesday, Jan 9, 2019

Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul

Music at 7:30pm


$30 ($25 for SPCO/Liquid Music subscribers); FREE for children ages 6-17 and students | 651.291.1144


Violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. An adventurous musician, she is forward-thinking in her approach to classical music and curates projects that present a broad and eclectic range of repertoire. She has an interest and investment in fostering multidisciplinary collaborations with artists, and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. Her quest for the new and unusual, sense of endless curiosity, and ability to lead and inspire a host of collaborators, truly set her apart.

During the 2017.18 season, Ms. Koh premiered 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, Koh premiered a new concerto by Christopher Cerrone, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In recital, she launched Limitless: On Stage Together, a commissioning project that engages composer-performers to write duo compositions and premiere them with 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 took place over two concert programs at National Sawdust in March 2018.

ABOUT TYSHAWN SOREY, composer/multi-instrumentalist

The "radical and seemingly boundless" (Wall Street Journal) Newark-born multi-instrumentalist and composer Tyshawn Sorey is celebrated for his incomparable virtuosity, effortless mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an extraordinary ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and such artists as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Evan Parker and Anthony Braxton.

Sorey has been commissioned by the Spektral Quartet, Ojai Music Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Carnegie Hall and Opera Philadelphia for Carnegie Hall's 125 Commissions Project for which he has composed a new work addressing themes associated with Black Lives Matter. He has taught and lectured at Columbia University, The New School, Hochschule für Musik Köln and Berklee College of Music, and was also artist-in-residence at the 2017 Berlin Jazz Festival. He is Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Music at Wesleyan University.

ABOUT VIJAY IYER, composer/pianist

Vijay Iyer was named Downbeat Magazine's Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times' Critics' Poll and Readers' Poll for 2017. He received a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. Iyer has released twenty-one albums, including Far From Over (ECM, 2017), with the Vijay Iyer Sextet, which topped numerous year-end critics polls and was cited by Rolling Stone as "2017's jazz album to beat"; A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke (ECM, 2016) with Wadada Leo Smith, named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork; and Break Stuff (ECM, 2015) with the Vijay Iyer Trio, winner of the German Record Critics' Award for Album of the Year.

Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University, and the director of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music.

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music Series, named "Best of Classical" by The New York Times, develops innovative new projects with iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music. Visit to learn more.

Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Now in its 60th season, the SPCO has recently undergone transformational change with the opening of its new home, the Ordway Concert Hall, the addition of a new generation of players, and significant changes in its artistic vision. The SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that performs a broad range of repertoire from Baroque to new music and works in close collaboration with a diverse series of artistic partners. The virtuoso musicians of the SPCO present more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year, and are regularly heard on public radio programs that reach more than 2 million listeners each week on over 300 stations. The orchestra also reaches more than 250,000 listeners annually through its free online Concert Library, and has recently begun offering both live and on-demand videos of concerts that can be viewed anytime, anywhere, on any device, completely free of charge. Additionally, the SPCO has released 67 recordings, including the 2017 Grammy Award-winning recording of Schubert's Death and the Maiden with violinist and Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The SPCO is nationally recognized for its commitment to broad community accessibility, its innovative audience outreach efforts, its pioneering Liquid Music Series and its educational and family programming. The SPCO offers the most affordable tickets of any major orchestra in the United States, with over 50 percent of tickets available for $15 or less, and has expanded accessibility even further by offering free tickets for children and students starting in the 2016.17 season as a part of the New Generation Initiative. For more information, visit

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