Rite of Spring 2020
An evening celebrating CAG’s growing programs and partnerships
Monday, September 21, 2020
Cocktails | Dinner | Performances
Jennifer Koh, 2020 CAG Virtuoso Award Recipient
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 diversity and inclusivity in classical music. A 1994 winner of the CAG Competition, Jennifer has blazed her own trail, expanding the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and premiering 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 multidisciplinary collaborators, truly set her apart.
Jennifer has initiated many critically-acclaimed series, including Limitless, a collaborative commissioning project with leading composer-performers; The New American Concerto, featuring works composed for her by Vijay Iyer and Christopher Cerrone; and Bach and Beyond, which traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas to 20th- and 21st-century composers.
Jennifer is the Founder and 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.
Featuring CAG Artists
Dominic Cheli’s playing has been described as “spontaneous yet perfect, the best of how a young person can play.” (Symphony Magazine) His rapidly advancing career included his Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut with legendary conductor Valery Gergiev where Dominic was described as “mesmerizing, (he) transfixed the audience…his fingers were one with each key.” (LA Times) He gave his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut this past season, and recently recorded his second CD on the Naxos label of the music of Liszt/Schubert. In July 2017, Cheli’s first CD, featuring the music of Muzio Clementi and released by Naxos, was hailed as “definitive performances, that match splendid playing with an appreciation of Clementi’s diverse, classically based style.” Also in 2017, Dominic was named 1st prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City.
“A star in the making,” (Seattle Pi) Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak is establishing a career as an artist of passion, energy, and authenticity in the recital and chamber music arenas. Considered one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation, Bak is a winner of the 2019 CAG Competition, the recipient of the 2019 Samuel Sanders Tel Aviv Museum Prize and the 2019 John White Special Prize from the Tertis International Viola Competition. Bak is also a Sphinx Competition alum and Sphinx MPower Artist Grant Recipient. In addition to his growing solo career, Jordan Bak is a member of the celebrated New York Classical Players and guest artist with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players.
Hailed by the New York Times as “radiant,” Irish actor and mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell is one of the most versatile performers of her generation. She has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Brazil’s Sala São Paulo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Her recital performances have been broadcasted on WQXR, PBS, and the Metropolitan Museum Live Arts Series. In 2016, she joined the Cincinnati Symphony for their Pelléas Trilogy, playing the role of Mélisande in a new translation of the Maeterlinck play Pelléas & Mélisande. Her international operatic credits include leading roles at Frankfurt Opera, Welsh National Opera, Geneva Opera, Atlanta Opera and Garsington Opera. A gifted musician and natural performer, Naomi deftly balances her love of the stage with that of song, which led to her First Prize victory at the 2011 CAG Competition.
A pianist and 2003 winner of CAG’s Competition, Tanya Bannister has made a versatile career immersed in both tradition and entrepreneurship, seeking to create projects that inspire genuine connections between music and the world we live in. In addition to an active performing career, she has developed an interest in institution building in the arts over many years, principally through her work as Artistic Director of Alpenkammermusik, an annual chamber music festival in Austria, and as a founder of RoadMaps, an artistic, humanitarian and cultural venture. Born in Hong Kong, Tanya holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London, Yale University, where she studied with Claude Frank, and New York’s Mannes School of Music, where she received an Artist Diploma as one of a handful of pianists selected to study with Richard Goode. She joined CAG as President in July 2018.