• “…two of the festival’s most alluring programs
    are recitals by string players who also compose.”

    The New York Times

“…two of the festival’s most alluring programs
are recitals by string players who also compose.”

With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “other-worldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (New York Times), Jessica Meyer is a GRAMMY® – nominated violist and composer whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility and emotional clarity. Her first composer/performer portrait album recently debuted at #1 on the Billboard traditional classical chart, where “knife-edge anticipation opens on to unexpected, often ecstatic musical realms, always with a personal touch and imaginatively written for the instruments” (Gramophone Magazine).

Meyer’s compositions viscerally explore the wide palette of emotionally expressive colors available to each instrument while using traditional and extended techniques inspired by her varied experiences as a contemporary and period instrumentalist. Since embarking on her composition career seven years ago, premieres have included performances by acclaimed vocal ensembles Roomful of Teeth and Vox Clamantis, the St. Lawrence String Quartet as the composer in residence at Spoleto Festival USA, the American Brass Quintet, PUBLIQuartet, cellist Amanda Gookin for her Forward Music Project, Sybarite 5, NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street, a work for A Far Cry commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Juilliard School for a project with the Historical Performance Program, and by the Lorelei Ensemble for a song cycle that received the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America.

Her orchestral works have been performed by the North Carolina Symphony, the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, Charlotte Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Auburn Symphony, and by other regional orchestras and university/conservatory programs. Recently, she was just announced the winner of the 2nd Annual Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Composer’s Award, which will fund a commission for the Bangor Symphony in 2022-23. Upcoming orchestral engagements include a concerto for herself with the League of Composers Orchestra to be premiered in Miller Theatre, a work for the President’s Own Marine Band, and interactive performances all around the country as part of Carnegie Hall’s nationwide Link Up Program.

Upcoming chamber/solo premieres include a work for flutist/composer Allison Loggins-Hull for her “Diametrically Composed” project via National Sawdust at Bryant Park, City Music Cleveland, musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Dorian Wind Quintet, Hub New Music, and for the Argus Quartet as a winner of Chamber Music America’s Commissioning Program. Ms. Meyer will also be in residence this winter at Yellow Barn to workshop a new work with Sandbox Percussion with vocal duo Two Cities called “20 Minutes of Action” – which was awarded a commissioning grant from New Music USA. This work uses passages from Chanel Miller’s Victim Impact Statement and her powerful memoir to tell the story of the aftermath of being sexually attacked by Brock Turner at a Stanford University party. The text was then sequenced and arranged to express the stages of grief and acceptance established by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, and culminates in a final movement that mirrors the empowering work Chanel has done as an advocate for social change.

Meyer’s fierce-edged playing activated the Tank’s awe-inspiring properties.

Most notable of all, though, is Meyer’s bravura playing…..is by turns fierce and lyrical.

…knife-edge anticipation opens on to unexpected, often ecstatic musical realms, always with a personal touch and imaginatively written for the instruments.

The New York-based artist infuses her first composer-portrait album with a fierce, impassioned attack… the music alternating rapidly between elegiac and raw.

…has established herself as a powerful force in contemporary classical music…

As a solo performer, Ms. Meyer uses a single simple loop pedal to create a virtuosic orchestral experience with her viola and voice. Drawing from wide-ranging influences which include Bach, Brahms, Delta blues, Flamenco, Indian Raga, and Appalachian fiddling, Meyer’s music takes audience members on a journey through joy, anxiety, anger, bliss, torment, loneliness and passion. Her solo shows have been featured at iconic venues such as BAMcafé, Joe’s Pub, and Symphony Space in NYC, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, in Paris at Sunset Sunside, in addition to venues in Singapore, Switzerland, Vietnam, the Emirates and beyond. At home with many different styles of music and an ardent collaborator, Jessica can regularly be seen premiering her chamber works, creating with dancer/choreographer Caroline Fermin, performing on Baroque viola, improvising with jazz musicians, or collaborating with other composer-performers.

Ms. Meyer is equally known for her inspirational work as an educator, where she empowers musicians with networking, communication, teaching, and entrepreneurial skills so they can be the best advocates for their own careers. Her workshops have been featured at the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, for the Teaching Artists of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music, the Longy School of Music, NYU, the Chamber Music America Conference, and at various universities around the country. Jessica has conducted hundreds of workshops for students and adults for Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Caramoor, the Little Orchestra Society, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Currently, she is most passionate about getting musicians of all ages off the page to activate their own creativity, improvise, and awaken their own inner composer – which in turn makes them better performers. In addition to teaching virtual workshops, her most recent engagements have been for the Moab Music Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Carnegie Hall, and for the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute. This past year, she launched a Teen Composer Intensive at New England Music Camp so that teens of all abilities can develop their craft, amass recordings for their portfolio, and connect with both professional and student performers.

© Copyright 2017-2021 - Jessica Meyer | Composer, Violist, Educator