Jennifer Choi has charted a career that breaks through the conventional boundaries of solo violin, chamber music, and the art of improvisation. Hailed by The New York Times as an “excellent violinist…soulful, compelling” and by Time Out New York as “passionate,” and “adventurous”, Jennifer has performed worldwide in venues such as the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., the RAI National Radio in Rome, Hong Kong National Radio, and the Mozartsalle in Vienna since giving her debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall as Winner of the Artists International Competition in 2000. Having gained a significant reputation as “a leading New York new music violinist,” (Boston Globe) she has pioneered new works and engaging performances to the forefront, and continues to play an integral part of this century’s movement towards bringing contemporary music into the mainstream vernacular of live classical music.
Jennifer’s 2016 season highlights include a collaboration with TALUJON Percussion Ensemble in Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion, performances of the Ligeti Horn Trio, and guest appearances with the New Baroque Soloists and the Austin Classical Guitar Society, as well as new and improvised projects with composer/performers Ches Smith, Trevor Dunn, and Jerome Begin.
A prominent chamber musician, Jennifer was a former violinist of the Miró String Quartet. With her involvement, the group won Grand Prize at the 1996 Fischoff and Coleman chamber music competitions. Since then, she has performed for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan and Guggenheim Museums, MOMA Summer Garden Series, Ravinia Festival, Barge Music, Caramoor Music, Strathmore Mansion series, Ridotto, and numerous other chamber music series across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. She joined ETHEL during their 2011-2012 season, and previous to that, was member of Fireworks Ensemble and Sirius String Quartet. Currently, Jennifer is a violinist of the Either/Or Ensemble, Classical Jam, and East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE).
A frequent collaborator with living composers, Jennifer has performed solo works written for her including Randall Woolf’s Holding Fast for violin and video, Wadada Leo Smith’s violin concerto Afrikana 2, Orlando Garcia’s violin concerto Una Marea Cresciente, and Susie Ibarra’s Black and White for violin and pre-recorded sounds. She has also given numerous world premieres of solo and chamber works by John Zorn, and U.S. premieres of Jacob TV and Helmut Lachenmann and can be heard on over a dozen albums for TZADIK record label, New Focus Records, New World Records, Starkland label, and on her self-released album, Violectrica- Works for Solo Violin and Electronics.
In 2001, Jennifer found another voice with her violin through the art of improvisation when she joined the Susie Ibarra Trio with drummer, Susie Ibarra and pianist, Craig Taborn. Her first show as an improvisor was at the Walker Museum of Art in Minneapolis. From that day forward, she began a dual career as a creative improvisor with tours of Europe and North America and recorded two discs with the trio on TZADIK label, Song Bird Suite and Folkloriko. Since then, she has found an ambling accord between classical and improvised repertoire, and a deep source of expression through performances that combine both techniques.
A dedicated music educator, Jennifer is a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic Education Department, and the 92nd Street Y. She has created in-school curriculums, given lectures, and instrument demonstrations to over 1000 school children. She has also served numerous residencies and continues to give master classes, composer readings, and recitals at universities around the world including of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the University of Freiburg, Shanghai Conservatory, Zhengzhou University, Mannes School of Music, Oberlin, Tulane University, among others. Currently, she is adjunct faculty at The New School and has a private studio of her own in New York City.
Jennifer holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she studied with the late Dorothy DeLay, Naoko Tanaka, Robert Mann, Roland and Almita Vamos, Gregory Fulkerson, and Camilla Wicks. She can be heard on the Golden Globe winning series, Mozart In the Jungle, where she served as recording artist and violin coach to the actors.
“Jennifer Choi did soulful, compelling work on a dissonance-haunted violin concerto, “Africana 2.” -The New York Times (read complete review here)
“Mr. Lachenmann gives the violin an attractive, amusing line, with short, alluring melodies, and Ms. Choi proved exceptionally nimble.” – The New York Times (read complete review here)
“Other standouts were Choi’s crisp, unmannered passagework in Piazzola’s Fuga y Misterio..“– The STRAD Magazine
“two crack soloists who in any case tended to dominate. The real tone was set when Choi opened the first piece, Aleksandra Vrebalov’s “ . . . hold me, neighbor, in this storm . . . ” with the querulous tones of a gusle, a long-necked stringed instrument that’s a staple folk instrument of the Balkans…” –The Washington Post (read complete review here)
“a leading New York new-music violinist, Jennifer Choi…[and Steven Drury] have recorded [“Le Momo”] and play it with fiery authority. -The Boston Globe
Violinist Highlights Philharmonic
“…Jennifer Choi.. provided one of the highlights. Henryk Wienawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor was the vehicle. Choi handled the virtuoso passages with asssurance and the melodic interludes with a glowing tone, notably rich in the lower register.” – The Oregonian
“Ibarra originally wrote ‘Songbird Suite’ as a violin solo. Choi’s rich, bronze string sound-she is a classical musician- is a highlight of the album.” – The Seattle Times on The Susie Ibarra Trio
Violinist Jennifer Choi…is finding an ever-deeper accord between ambling improvisation and structural solidity, as she showed in her potent musical hookup with the fascinating trios led by drummer Susie Ibarra.
The most revealing moment in percussionist Susie Ibarra’s new release, Songbird Suite, comes in the first track, “Azul”: Ibarra and pianist Craig Taborn lock into a bouncy 4/4 groove, over which violinist Jennifer Choi plays a chirpy, sing-song refrain. Taborn takes an exhilarating, polyrhythmic solo, then Choi takes over with a string of caffeinated flailings that jump wildly between the high and low ranges of her instrument.
Violinist Jennifer Choi engaged in an intense dialogue with these otherworldly sounds, echoing them with sweet trills, shredded tones and glassy whispers in her instrument’s highest register. When the satellite whistles and gurgles suddenly cut out, Choi’s violin continued, forlorn, seeming to reach out toward its faraway companion.