Tuesday May 12th, 2020
Joining in the effort to generate vital emergency relief for artists during the pandemic, acclaimed violinist Jennifer Koh (1994 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) has created the Alone Together commissioning project and performance series. “Our musical community has given me a sense of hope and light during these difficult times” says Koh. “Alone Together celebrates and supports our community creatively. We will look back at this time and be proud that we used this time to help other artists. And we can give ourselves and others solace by sharing creative space and giving artistic voice to our collective, universal experience during COVID-19.”
In the true spirit of collaboration, Alone Together ultimately brings 42 composers together to help fellow freelancers in the musical community through performances and commissions. Because each work is created within several weeks of the performance, “the emotional journey we are all going through together is expressed in these pieces.” The deep and seismic shifts in our collective consciousness at this time are invoked in her performances, offering a space for processing and reflection.
The artists create short, solo violin works for the project with 21 established composers donating their works and selecting 21 emerging freelance composers to receive a $500 commission from ARCO Collaborative for a 30-second micro-work each, maintaining the industry standard of $1,000 per minute of music.
On May 15 at 3 PM ET, YoungArts will host a live conversation with Jennifer Koh and fellow YoungArts alumnus, composer, educator and advocate Andrew Norman (1998 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) about the Alone Together project live on YoungArts' Instagram. Together, they will discuss how this initiative is supporting freelance composers, offer advice for emerging artists, and share stories about their creative practices.
The following day, on May 16, Koh will perform the four pieces for solo violin with original compositions by Norman, Katherine Balch, Tania León and Angélica Negrón. The performance will be livestreamed at 7 PM ET on YoungArts’ Facebook page.
As an active lecturer, teacher, Cedille Records recording artist, and the Artistic Director of ARCO Collaborative, Koh explores a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. She founded ARCO Collaborative in 2014 to “commission, develop, and produce new musical works that highlight artists of color and women composers in collaborations that bring forth stories previously unheard in western art forms.” Alone Together was launched on April 4 and is her artistic response to the coronavirus pandemic. You can stream past Alone Together performances on-demand via YouTube and find out more by visiting ARCO Collaborative.
Alone Together is commissioned and produced by ARCO Collaborative with the support of commissioning partners including National YoungArts Foundation. Performances can be viewed live every Saturday at 7 PM ET through August 2020.