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Jessie Montgomery

Jessie Montgomery (born 1981, New York, NY) is an American composer, chamber musician, and music educator. Her compositions focus on the vernacular, improvisation, language, and social justice.

Early life and education

Jessie Montgomery was raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side by parents working in music and theater and involved in neighborhood arts. She began her violin studies at the Third Street Music School Settlement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Juilliard School, and completed a master’s degree in Composition for Film and Multimedia at New York University in 2012.[1]

Starting in 1999, Montgomery became involved with the Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based nonprofit that supports young African American and Latinx string players. After receiving multiple Sphinx awards and grants as a young performer and composer, she now serves as composer-in-residence for the Sphinx Virtuosi, the organization’s professional touring ensemble.[2][3]


Montgomery devoted her early career to performance and to teaching at organizations such as Community MusicWorks in Providence, Rhode Island.[4] She co-founded the string ensemble PUBLIQuartet in 2010, and also performs with the Catalyst Quartet.[1] She has increasingly focused on composing solo, chamber, vocal, and orchestral works. Montgomery has completed commissions for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,[5] the Albany Symphony, the Sphinx Organization,[6] the Joyce Foundation, the National Choral Society, and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. She has received additional grants and awards from the ASCAP Foundation, Chamber Music America, American Composers Orchestra, and the Sorel Organization. Her music has been performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, and choreographed by the Dance Theatre of Harlem.[7]

In 2014, New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini highlighted her piece Banner for solo string quartet and string ensemble, commissioned by the Sphinx Organization and the Joyce Foundation as a response to the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for “daringly transform[ing] the anthem, folding it into a teeming score that draws upon American folk and protest songs, and anthems from around the world, including Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban, to create a musical melting pot.”[8] In 2019, Fanfare also discussed her multicultural New York influences, noting that listeners could expect to hear “English consort, samba, mbira, Zimbabwean dance, swing, techno… occasionally veering, somewhat ecstatically, towards a modern jazz jam session” in her work.[9]

In 2016, Montgomery was elected to the board of Chamber Music America.[10]


  • Strum: Music for Strings (2015), Azica 71302[11]


  • Break Away (2013), for string quartet[12]
  • Source Code (2018), for string quartet[13]
  • Starburst (2012), for string orchestra[14]
  • Strum (2018), for string orchestra[15]
  • Tower City (2018), for solo carillon[16]
  • Rhapsody no. 1 (2015), for solo violin[17]
  • Voodoo Dolls (2012), for string quartet[18]


  1. ^ a b Oglesby, Meghann. “My Name Is: Jessie Montgomery”. Classical MPR. Retrieved 2019-08-15.


  2. ^ “Sphinx Competition Alumni by Year | Sphinx Organization”. The Sphinx Organization. 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  3. ^ “MPower Past Recipients | Sphinx Organization”. The Sphinx Organization. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  4. ^ Ross, Alex (4 Sep 2006). “Learning the Score; A Critic at Large”. The New Yorker. 82: 82–88 – via ProQuest Music Periodicals Database.
  5. ^ Cooper, Michael (2016-02-10). “Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Announces Next Season”. ArtsBeat: New York Times Blog. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  6. ^ Brookes, Stephen (11 Oct 2012). “Thoughtful string program from Sphinx Virtuosi”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Sarah (1 June 2019). “In a Ballet Across America world premiere, even the piano dances”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  8. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2014-10-30). “O Say Can You Hear?”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  9. ^ Clarke, Colin (Jul–Aug 2019). “Project W”. Fanfare. 42: 445–446 – via ProQuest Music Periodicals Database.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  10. ^ “Transitions On the CMA Board”. Chamber Music. 33: 6–8. Summer 2016 – via ProQuest Music Periodicals Database.
  11. ^ Clarke, Colin (May–June 2016). “Review: J. Montgomery”. Fanfare. 39 (5): 323–324 – via ProQuest Music Periodicals Database.
  12. ^ Break away: for string quartet, Jessie Montgomery Music Publishing, 2013, OCLC 1055554259, retrieved 2019-08-15
  13. ^ Source code: for string quartet, 2018, OCLC 1081317260, retrieved 2019-08-15
  14. ^ Starburst: for string orchestra, Jessie Montgomery, 2018, OCLC 1081331674, retrieved 2019-08-15
  15. ^ Strum: for string orchestra, 2018, OCLC 1081332991, retrieved 2019-08-15
  16. ^ Tower city, 2018, OCLC 1045053059, retrieved 2019-08-15
  17. ^ Rhapsody no. 1: for solo violin, 2019, OCLC 1102391540, retrieved 2019-08-15
  18. ^ Voodoo dolls: for string quartet (or string quintet), 2012, OCLC 1034016301, retrieved 2019-08-15

External links

We took this from Wikipedia  on 2020-01-02 12:00:50