Jennifer Koh Highlights the Rule of 99 Percent

Crescendo issue: April 2014

Jennifer Koh will soon be making the journey back to Interlochen. We sat down with her to discuss her upcoming visit.

“Interlochen is such a beautiful place,” says Koh, who has performed here one other time. “I know so many people who have gone to the Camp or Academy, and I continue to meet others. It’s really quite amazing.”

“Something funny that sticks in my mind about Interlochen is the knee high socks. They were everywhere!” she laughed.

Koh will be making her second trip to Interlochen when she performs in Dendrinos Chapel on Monday May 5 at 7:30 p.m. On the following day, she will offer a master class to music students. “The master class will be quite individual,” says Koh. “I’ll be attempting to ensure that it is tailored to each student.”

During this class, Koh will be exhibiting some of the world’s foremost violin skills, but she promises to also bring to light the every day life of violin as well. “Ninety-nine percent of what I do is not on stage,” Koh said. “Most of what people see of me is on stage, so the fact that there is so much work and preparation for the stage goes unnoticed.”

“While you are absent the stage, you are honing your craft, practicing, and maintaining a readiness within yourself and your body that will allow you to traverse the many demands of the stage when you return to it,” Koh continued. “Your body is part of your instrument and to have the successes that many strive for, you must maintain it. There is, obviously, a huge amount of work that goes into presenting. I’m hoping to shine a bit of light on that work during this class and also through my new web series.”

Koh has partnered with Strings Magazine in a new series that is set to launch in May. A teaser of this series was just released and is available for viewing below this story. She states that the series will delve into the 99 percent of what she does offstage, out of the spotlight. That 99 percent is what makes up the “career” portion of her art.

When asked if the one percent of time performing makes the 99 percent worth it, Koh’s answer is without doubt.

“Oh yes,” she says. “There are so few moments in our lives that we can be absolutely present. And to experience this collectively, in a setting where we are all sharing in the music – both the performer and the audience – is something simply amazing.”

“What I love most about concerts, both going and performing, is that they offer the absolute perfect time to be present in the moment collectively. It is a beautiful moment when it happens. That’s what I live for up on that stage.”

Koh promises that her upcoming performance will be geared toward just that moment.

“I’ve built a complete emotional journey for this performance,” she says. “Starting far from us and what we are familiar with in our everyday existence, with Bach, and then moving into the present.”

Interlochen invites you to be a part of that journey on May 5. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit here.




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