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  • College of Performing Arts Faculty

  • Jessie Montgomery

    Email
    montj222@newschool.edu

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    Jessie Montgomery

    Profile

    Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of 21st-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post).

    Jessie was born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1980s during a time when the neighborhood was at a major turning point in its history. Artists gravitated to the hotbed of artistic experimentation and community development. Her parents – her father a musician, her mother a theater artist and storyteller – were engaged in the activities of the neighborhood and regularly brought Jessie to rallies, performances, and parties where neighbors, activists, and artists gathered to celebrate and support the movements of the time. It is from this unique experience that Jessie has created a life that merges composing, performance, education, and advocacy.

    Her growing body of work includes solo, chamber, vocal, ballet, and orchestral works. Some recent highlights include Shift, Change, Turn… (2019) commissioned by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Passage (2019) a ballet commissioned by Dance Theatre of Harlem, Coincident Dances (2018) for the Chicago Sinfonietta, and Caught by the Wind (2016) for the Albany Symphony and the American Music Festival.

    The New York Philharmonic has selected Jessie as one of the featured composers for their Project 19, which marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting equal voting rights in the United States to women. Other forthcoming works include a cadenza for the Brahms Violin Concerto, to be premiered by Hilary Hahn; a cello concerto for Thomas Mesa jointly commissioned by Carnegie Hall, New World Symphony, and The Sphinx Organization; and a new orchestral work for the National Symphony.

    A founding member of PUBLIQuartet and recent member of the Catalyst Quartet, she continues to maintain an active performance career as a violinist appearing regularly with her improvising duo Big dog little dog with bassist Eleonore Oppenheim.

    Jessie’s teachers and mentors include Sally Thomas, Ann Setzer, Alice Kanack, Joan Tower, Derek Bermel, Mark Suozzo, Ira Newborn, and Laura Kaminsky. She holds degrees from the Juilliard School and New York University and is currently a Graduate Fellow in Music Composition at Princeton University. 


    Current Courses

    GR Lessons

    Progressive Composer

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