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

    The New York Times

With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “other-worldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (New York Times), Jessica Meyer is an award-winning composer and violist whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility and emotional clarity. Meyer’s first composer/performer portrait album, Ring Out (Bright Shiny Things, 2019) debuted at #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart. Her second album I long and seek after is a collection of her vocal works that was recently released in March of 2024 on New Focus Recordings and was hailed by Musical America as “gorgeously scored.”

Since the start of her composition career in 2014, at age 40, Meyer’s compositions have viscerally explored the wide palette of colors available to each instrument while combining techniques inspired by her experiences as a contemporary and period instrumentalist. Her works have been performed in venues from the Kennedy Center to Carnegie Hall, by musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and by orchestras around the country. Her first Symphonic Band piece was commissioned and toured by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band and was a finalist for the William D. Revelli Composition Contest. She has also received multiple commissioning awards from both Chamber Music America and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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, 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. Recent premieres included works for the Dorian Wind Quintet, Hausmann Quartet, Hub New Music, the Portland Youth Philharmonic in collaboration with the female vocal ensemble In Mulieribus, and her viola concerto GAEA that she premiered alongside the Orchestra of the League of Composers at Miller Theatre in NYC. Upcoming premieres include works for the Brooklyn Art Song Society, the American Guild of Organists for their National 2024 Conference, and a new orchestral piece to be premiered by a consortium of orchestras across the United States.

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, live engagements have been for the Moab Music Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Carnegie Hall, for the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute, and in residencies where her music is programmed. For two years, she created and led 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. This past summer, she served as the Composer in Residence for the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival and led their Emerging Composer Program.

As of Fall 2023, she has joined the Viola Faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

© Copyright 2017-2024 - Jessica Meyer | Composer, Violist, Educator