With playing that is “fierce and lyrical” and works that are “other-worldly” (The Strad) and “evocative” (New York Times), Jessica Meyer is a versatile composer and violist whose passionate musicianship radiates accessibility, generosity, and emotional clarity. As a soloist and member of the award-winning and critically-acclaimed contemporary music collective counter)induction, Jessica has premiered pieces for solo viola internationally – expanding the repertoire for viola by championing new works while also composing her own.
Meyer’s compositions 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. In 2014, she was featured on Q2’s marathon of Emerging Women Composers, and was awarded a grant from the Jerome Fund for New Music to write a new work for The Colonials and countertenor Eric Brenner. Recent commissions include a work for the Nautilus Brass Quintet as the composer in residence at the 2016 Women Composers Festival of Hartford, and soprano Melissa Wimbish for her Carnegie Hall debut. Upcoming commissions include works for cellist Amanda Gookin, flutist/dancer Zara Lawler, the PUBLIQuartet, and NOVUS NY of Trinity Wall Street under the direction of Julian Wachner.
Meyer’s current solo show and “intriguingly vivid” (Lucid Culture) debut album, Sounds of Being, is a surround-sound sensory experience of her own compositions for viola and electronics. She uses pedal-triggered electronics to create an virtuosic orchestral experience with her viola and voice. Her solo performances have been featured at iconic NYC Clubs such as Joe’s Pub and SubCulture, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and in Paris at Sunset Sunside. Equally at home with many styles of music, Jessica can regularly be seen performing on Baroque viola, improvising with jazz musicians, or collaborating with other performer/composers.
Known for her inspirational workshops, Meyer empowers musicians with networking, communication, teaching, and entrepreneurial skills so they can be the best advocates for their own careers. They have been featured at The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, for the TAs 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. She also works as a education consultant/clinician for Carnegie Hall and for The Juilliard School, where she visits the Nord Anglia schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar to work with music teachers as they implement a more inquiry-based pedagogy into the curriculum. Both students and teachers regularly take part in the creative process and are able to notice more deeply about how other composers write, all while embracing their own artistic selves.
Jessica is also often hired as a catalyst to help forge better relationships between arts organizations and their surrounding communities. The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts regularly presents two-day residencies entitled “What’s in a House”, a series of workshops where students visit with both an architect and a horticulturalist, as well as compose music based on rooms of the famous Rosen House with Ms. Meyer. She also facilitated the #Quartweet Residency between the Princeton Symphony, the Signum Quartet, the Isles Youth Institute, and surrounding elementary schools.