Violinist Jennifer Koh Curates Sun Valley Music Festival’s Winter Season
Pianist and Composer Vijay Iyer and Festival Orchestra musicians join Koh for an innovative program
The Sun Valley Music Festival announces that violinist Jennifer Koh will curate the Festival’s 2022 Winter Season, which will be held from February 24-26 at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, within the world-renowned ski destination area of Sun Valley, Idaho. The performances will feature familiar works as well as refreshingly new compositions, taking full advantage of the venue’s technology and acoustics to create an ambience and soundscape that enhances the audiences’ experience. Like all Festival concerts (with the exception of the Gala Fundraising Concert in the summer) admission is free.
Concertgoers can expect a spacious, intimate seating arrangement, creating a unique relationship between the audience, the artists, and the music. The backdrop is fitting for Koh, who has been on the forefront of bringing people together around classical music, especially throughout the past two years when live performance opportunities have been scarce. Koh – an artist recognized for intense, commanding performances — has premiered over 100 violin works written especially for her. In 2020, she created a composing initiative called “Alone Together,” an endeavor designed to support 20 established and 20 emerging composers that resulted in 40 microworks for the solo violin. Lauded by The New York Times as “a marvel for a time of crisis,” Koh’s “Alone Together” project highlights the musical diversity and resilience within the contemporary classical scene. Selections from the project will be performed during the Winter Season concerts.
One of the pieces from “Alone Together” that Koh will perform was written by composer, MacArthur Fellow, and Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Vijay Iyer. A friend and frequent collaborator with Koh, Iyer’s firm standing as one of the foremost voices in today’s musical landscape is linked to his innovative versatility as a performer and composer. His musical language is grounded in the rhythmic traditions of South Asia and West Africa, the African American creative music movement of the 60s and 70s, and a lineage of composer-pianists from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to Alice Coltrane and Geri Allen. Iyer will join Koh and several Festival orchestra musicians for these concerts, whose programming will span from Bach to something improvised on the spot by Iyer. Performances will range from solo to duet to quartet, concluding with Koh joining seven Festival musicians in Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet for Strings.
“I am so pleased to have the opportunity to curate the Winter Season and am excited to share new works that were written in the first weeks of the pandemic as part of ‘Alone Together,’ as well as duos and new pieces by composer-pianist Vijay Iyer, who will be joining me in performance.”
Music Director Alasdair Neale also comments:
“The Sun Valley Music Festival is delighted to welcome back Jennifer Koh and to bring Vijay Iyer this Winter Season to perform with members of our Orchestra. These influential artists will bring their joyful spirit of innovation to the Argyros, working with several of our musicians to create a unique program in keeping with the creative spirit of the Festival’s previous Winter Seasons.”
The Winter Season concerts begin at 7:00 PM on February 24 and 25, and at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM on February 26. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance. Concerts last about two hours and include two 15-minute intermissions. Performance repertoire is the same for each concert; specific pieces will be announced at the concert. Admission is free, but space is limited, and reservations are required. Reserved seats are limited to two seats per household for one performance. Reservations for the public begin Thursday, February 3 at 9:00 AM (Mountain Time). Festival donors of $6,000 and up may make reservations beginning Tuesday, January 25 at 9:00 AM (Mountain Time). Reservation instructions and attendance protocols will be released mid-January.
The Festival is monitoring health considerations closely and is committed to bringing music to the community safely. Currently, per the venue’s protocols, all guests over the age of 12 will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and masks will be required to attend performances at the Argyros. More details on attending, including any updates in protocols, will be released in January. For the latest news and information on the Sun Valley Music Festival and the Winter Season visit the Festival website at svmusicfestival.org or sign up for e-news at svmusicfestival.org/subscribe.
About Jennifer Koh, 2022 Winter Season Curator
Recognized for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance, violinist Jennifer Koh is a forward-thinking artist dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 100 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 multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart. For more information, please visit jenniferkoh.com.
About Vijay Iyer
Described by The New York Times as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway,” Vijay Iyer has carved out a unique path as an influential, prolific, shape-shifting presence in twenty-first-century music. A composer and pianist active across multiple musical communities, Iyer has created a consistently innovative, emotionally resonant body of work over the last twenty-five years, earning him a place as one of the leading music-makers of his generation. For more information, please visit vijay-iyer.com.