Rockland, ME — The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation is pleased to announce Jessica Meyer is the recipient of its 2nd annual $20,000 Composer Award. With the Award, Meyer will create a new work to be performed in 2022 by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. Meyer, of New York, was selected through a juried national competition and chosen from over 250 applicants.
Meyer states, “It is an honor to receive this award and have the opportunity to work with these communities in Maine. Two things that inspire me as an artist is becoming acquainted with a specific environment (especially ones surrounded by nature) and connecting to the people who live there. I look forward to doing so over time, both while developing the piece and just before the premiere, and I am very thankful for such a recognition at this particular moment in my career.”
The jury was comprised of 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner in music Anthony Davis, composer and chair of composition at Carnegie Mellon University Nancy Galbraith, and Paul Haas, music director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Davis says that “Jessica Meyer’s music has rhythmic vitality as well as a lush lyricism. She manages to balance both of these inclinations with dramatic and startling affect.” Jurors Nancy Galbraith and Paul Haas echo Davis’s enthusiasm, with Galbraith stating, “Meyer’s music is full of edgy and dynamic energy, with a textural palette rich with imaginative sounds.” Haas concludes, “This is exactly the kind of new infusion the classical world is clamoring for, and I’m excited to see what she comes up with for this important commission.”
Reflecting on the process, Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Executive Director Donna McNeil says, “Our excitement grows at the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation as we see our inaugural Composer Award come to fruition and a stunning and vibrant composer, Jessica Meyer, awarded in our second year. We continue to be supremely grateful to our amazing partners, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, who bring the work to life for our community and beyond.”
Reinaldo Moya was the inaugural award recipient in 2019, and his new work, Concerto For Piano, Strings, and Percussion will be premiered by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra in a digital concert featuring Joyce Yang. Moya’s premiere will be available for streaming at watch.bangorsymphony.org from March 26th to April 25th, 2021. The details of Jessica Meyer’s 2022 residency and premiere will be announced at a later date.
Media Note: High-resolution images of Jessica Meyer can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/MeyerEBF
About Jessica Meyer
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 only six years ago, premieres have included performances by acclaimed vocal ensembles Roomful of Teeth and Vox Clamantis, the American Brass Quintet, cellist Amanda Gookin for her Forward Music Project, Sybarite 5, PUBLIQuartet, NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street, and a work for A Far Cry commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Recent chamber works include commissions by 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. Highlights of this season include being Composer-in-Residence at Spoleto USA; a premiere at the National Gallery of Art; and works for the St. Lawrence String Quartet, flutist Allison Loggins-Hull for her “Diametrically Composed” project at National Sawdust, and for Sandbox Percussion with vocal duo Two Cities titled “20 Minutes of Action” – which was awarded a commissioning grant by New Music USA. Her orchestral works have been performed by the North Carolina Symphony, the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, Evansville Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Raleigh Civic Symphony, and the Studio Orchestra at Peabody Conservatory. Upcoming orchestral engagements include a concerto for herself with the League of Composers Orchestra to be premiered in Miller Theatre, and interactive performances in Carnegie Hall and around the country as part of their nationwide Link Up Program.
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 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.
About the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation
The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation provides resources for artists, engages with community and promotes the legacy of its founding artists, Joan Beauregard and John David Ellis. The vision of the Foundation is to encourage, expand and sustain the courageous and imaginative dialogue that is fundamental to the arts. The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation celebrates the value of art to transcend cultures and engage with diverse communities. Through its programs, the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation supports the exploration of the common ground that art occupies, the way it engages people, and its ability to reveal our shared human experience.
About the Bangor Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1896, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s mission is to provide powerful, enriching and diverse musical experiences through live concert performances and education programs of the highest quality. Led by Grammy Award-winning Music Director and Conductor Lucas Richman, the BSO today performs a robust mainstage season and offers a variety of educational and community-focused programs, including the Bangor Symphony Youth Orchestras and a Music & Wellness Program. The BSO is a founding member of the Bangor Arts Exchange in downtown Bangor. For its 125th season, a series of digital concerts will be premiered online at watch.bangorsymphony.org.