Choosing Music as a Career
Virtual Hangout: A discussion with celebrated violinist, Alexander Kerr. He and a panel of NWS Fellows including Meredith McCook, Erin Zenghut and Grace Browning talk about balancing a career with a mix of chamber music, teaching and solo work among other topics.
Praised for her “superb technical acumen and sensitive musicality” by the South Florida Classical Review, Grace Browning has established herself as an emerging orchestral harpist, avid soloist and passionate chamber musician. Currently in her second year with the New World Symphony, Ms. Brownings’s previous orchestral engagements include two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, as well as a season with the Spoleto USA Festival, the Pacific Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. Aside from performing, Ms. Browning devotes much of her time and energy towards engaging the community through NWS' Kids Concerts and educational outreach in the Miami-Dade schools.
Alexander Kerr's expressive and charismatic style has made him one of the most accomplished and versatile violinists on the international music scene today. In 1996 at the age of 26, Mr. Kerr was appointed to the prestigious position of Concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After nine successful years at that post, he left in June, 2006 to assume the endowed Linda and Jack Gill Chair in Music as Professor of Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition to his teaching responsibilities in Bloomington, he maintains a busy concert schedule appearing with orchestras and in recital and chamber music performances throughout the U.S., Asia and Europe. In 2008 he began his tenure as Principal Guest Concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and this September, he will assume his newly appointed role as concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Regarded by the press as a masterful virtuoso with an elegant, old-world sound, Mr. Kerr has appeared as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe, working with such renowned conductors as Mariss Jansons, Riccardo Chailly, Peter Oundjian, Robert Spano, Alan Gilbert, and David Zinman.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Kerr has collaborated with Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Edgar Meyer, Truls Mørk, Vadim Repin, Mstislav Rostropovich and Maxim Vengerov in performances at festivals in Aspen, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Stavanger, and throughout Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands. Highlights this year feature a series of piano quartet concerts with renowned pianist Menahem Pressler and esteemed colleagues including Lawrence Dutton, Kim Kashkashian, Lawrence Power, Paul Watkins, and Eric Kim. He has recently launched a collaboration with Mr. Kim and the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation, showcasing the enormous wealth of talent at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. The "Starling Chamber Players," a mixture of faculty and students will tour chamber music venues throughout the nation.
Mr. Kerr's CD releases include the Dvorak Piano Quintet with Sarah Chang and Leif Ove Andsnes on the EMI label, music by Dutch composer Julius Röntgen on the NM Classics label, and the Shostakovich Romance on a series of discs including "Violin Adagios" and "Evening Adagios" released by Decca. A live DVD and CD recording of Strauss' Ein Heldenleben with Mr. Kerr, the RCO and Maestro Mariss Jansons was released in 2005 on the RCO's own label: RCOLive!
Raised in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr. Kerr began his studies at age seven with members of the National Symphony Orchestra. He went on to study with Sally Thomas at the Juilliard School, and with Aaron Rosand at the Curtis Institute of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1992.