School of Music appoints new head of Violin area

Monday April 29, 2019Roger Coda
violinist Jessica Tong
Jessica Tong

Jessica Tong, a violinist whose performances have taken her to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, les Invalides in Paris and the Gewandhaus, in Leipzig, Germany, and led to collaborations with artists such as Pamela Frank and Leon Fleisher and members of the Cleveland, Vogler and Brentano Quartets, has been named head of the Violin area at the School of Music.

Lauded by The Baltimore Sun for her "lyrical intensity," Ms. Tong has garnered international acclaim as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Among her accolades are the David Ouchterloney Award for Most Promising Young Artist, DAAD Scholar and top prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Music and Yellow Springs International Chamber Music competitions.

For the last four years, Tong has been chamber music director of the Chamber Music Workshop of Composers Conference, which she also co-founded, at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Overseeing recruitment of faculty and participants and managing the audition process were among her duties.

Previous positions held by Tong include artist-in-residence at the University of Evansville, first violinist of the Larchmere and Vinca quartets and concertmaster of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, in Indiana. She co-founded and was the artistic director of Music Beyond the Chamber, a residency program that collaborates with institutions to arrange master classes and workshops across the United States.

Tong also served as co-artistic director of workshops that include Chamber Music of the Rockies in Colorado, the University of Florida’s ChamberFest and the Harlaxton Music Festival in England.

Her debut album of chamber works by Stephan Krehl with the Larchmere Quartet and clarinetist Wonkak Kim was released in 2016 by Naxos Records to critical acclaim.

Tong received an M.M. and Graduate Performance Diploma in Violin Performance from the Peabody Institute of Music, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and a B.M. in Violin Performance from The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Houston. She also attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

An ongoing fascination with mind-body connection and its relevance to music performance have also led Tong to explore the science of yoga in-depth and complete her teacher certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Lenox, Mass.

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