JENNIFER KOH – violinist

The opening concert of the Ojai Music Festival will offer works that rarely share a concert stage, setting the tone for the entire Festival. The concert begins with the American premiere of Emergence, a piece by Vijay Iyer for string ensemble and jazz trio. This piece situates the trio’s collaborative improvisational language in the context of a classical ensemble, exploring how these two contrasting perspectives on music might coexist. Also on the program is Vijay Iyer’s violin concerto Trouble making it world premiere with virtuoso Jennifer Koh. Iyer imagines the soloist to be “not so much a ‘leader’ or ‘hero,’ but something more like a shaman, a conduit for the forces in motion around us.” Closing the evening, Vijay Iyer and his mentor composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith perform selections from their recent project A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke. Alex Ross of The New Yorker says of the album: “The spareness of Iyer and Smith’s gestures, the sense of open space around them, uncannily matched the desert landscape. The broken beauty of Smith’s trumpet is at the center of the sound: it evokes all those lonely, noble trumpet solos in Copland’s Americana pieces, but rejects their national mythology.” Find out more at

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