8 Nov 2019

99.9 percent of a musican's job is to listen

From Upbeat, 1:36 pm on 8 November 2019

"The joy of performing is listening," says violinist Jennifer Koh, in New Zealand to play Esa-Pekka Salonen's Violin Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Violinist Jennifer Koh

Violinist Jennifer Koh Photo: Juergen Frank

Soloist Jennifer Koh was born in Korea, but was US-based from a very early age. She studied with Felix Galimir and Jamie Laredo, and she’s become very well-known for her commitment to contemporary violin music – more than 70 commissions have been written especially for her.

Koh joins the The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra playing in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin with Edo de Waart conducting Schubert’s Symphony No 9 in C, nicknamed ‘Great’. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Violin Concerto, composed in 2009, is also on the programme.

David Vernier of Classics Today has written of her playing: “She is like a great theatre actor, delivering a monologue in a manner most intensely personal and riveting, rooted in technique and experience, but making its effect because it’s born of sincere human emotion and an honest affinity for the subject.”

Upbeat host David Morriss meets Jennifer Koh to talk about playing the violin and her love of historical recordings.

RNZ Concert's David Morriss with violinist Jennifer Koh

RNZ Concert's David Morriss with violinist Jennifer Koh Photo: RNZ 08/11/2019