Stefan Jackiw is one of America’s foremost violinists, captivating audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Hailed for playing of “uncommon musical substance” that is “striking for its intelligence and sensitivity” (Boston Globe), Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others.
Jackiw’s 2022-23 season includes his return to the Cleveland Orchestra performing Britten’s Violin Concerto with Thomas Søndergård, and to the Vancouver Symphony performing Brahms with Otto Tausk. He will also appear at the 92NY with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Daniil Trifonov, and embark on a multi-city Junction Trio tour that includes the group’s Celebrity Series of Boston debut, alongside performances in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, and more. Meanwhile, his European dates include performances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Thomas Sondergard performing Britten’s Violin Concerto, the Residentie Orkest and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia with Anja Bihlmaier performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, and the Gävle Symphony and Christian Rief performing Korngold’s Violin Concerto.
In Summer 2022, Jackiw returned to Carnegie Hall to perform Bach with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival leading a performance of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, and the Bellingham Festival performing Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy.” During the 2021-22 season, he premiered a new violin concerto by Conrad Tao with the Atlanta Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony; returned to the Indianapolis Symphony to perform Korngold Concerto, and to the Oregon Symphony with Schumann Concerto. In Europe, he performed with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Alan Gilbert, and with Orchestre National de Lyon under Nikolaj Znaider. His Summer 2021 appearances included his return to the Cleveland Orchestra performing Prokofiev 2 with Rafael Payare, the Boston Symphony performing Mozart Concerto no. 5 with Alan Gilbert, and the Aspen Music Festival performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto, alongside Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan.
Jackiw tours frequently with his musical partners, pianist Conrad Tao and cellist Jay Campbell, as part of the Junction Trio. He also enjoys collaborating with pianist Jeremy Denk with whom he has toured the complete Ives Violin Sonatas, which the pair recorded for future release on Nonesuch Records. He also recently recorded Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Alan Gilbert and Academy St. Martin in the Fields.
Highlights of recent seasons include his debut at the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival with Juraj Valcuha, with whom he also reunited for performances in Dallas, Detroit, and Luxembourg; performances of Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto at Carnegie Hall with Mikhail Pletnev, as part of a multi-city tour with the Russian National Orchestra; as well as performances with the St. Louis Symphony under Nicholas McGegan, the Minnesota Orchestra under Ilyich Rivas, the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Indianapolis Symphony under Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Pittsburgh Symphony under Juraj Valčuha. He also gave the world premiere of American composer David Fulmer’s Violin Concerto No. 2 “Jubilant Arcs”, written for him and commissioned by the Heidelberg Festival with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under Matthias Pintscher. Further afield, Jackiw has appeared with the Tokyo Symphony at Suntory Hall under the direction of Krzysztof Urbanski, and the Seoul Philharmonic under Mario Venzago. He has also toured Korea, playing chamber music with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, and toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra play-directing Mendelssohn.
Jackiw has performed in numerous major festivals and concert halls around the world, including the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, the Philharmonie de Paris, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.
Born to physicist parents of Korean and Ukrainian descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory, and is the recipient of a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Jackiw plays a violin made by Vincenzo Ruggieri in Cremona in 1704. He lives in New York City.
An artist that “leaves no question about his riveting presentation and technical finesse” (Seattle Times), Canadian pianist KEVIN AHFAT is acclaimed to be “poised to become one of the young heirs of the classical piano realm, with a bold, boundary-pushing, millennial style matched by refined execution” (Vanguard Seattle). Possessing “a balanced mix of expressiveness and virtuosity” (Musical America), he “summons plenty of thunderpower in the big moments, but clearly values musicianship over mere showmanship” (American Record Guide).
Ahfat continues performances and recordings as the newest core member of the three-time Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble, one of Canada’s preeminent chamber ensembles and foremost cultural forces. Their latest releases on Chandos Records have been nominated for a 2022 Juno Award, 2022 OPUS Klassik Award, as well as being named one of the “Top 10 classical musical albums of 2020” by The Boston Globe and one of WQXR’s “Best Classical Albums of 2020”.
Ahfat was named one of CBC Music’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 in 2018 and subsequently released a live recording of Brahms from CBC’s Studio 211. Highlights of recent seasons include engagements as soloist throughout North America and abroad, including at the Maison symphonique in Montreal, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles. Further highlights include a return to the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall for its first-ever Shostakovich Concerto Festival, as well as a partnership with Richard Alston & Juilliard Dance in their recreation of Alston’s Sheer Bravado (2006) in New York.
Ahfat has had the privilege of sharing the stage with renowned artists across many genres, including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, SO Percussion, David Finckel, Derek Bermel, and Sonia Rodriguez. Festival appearances include the Bowdoin, Music@Menlo, Rockport, Fall for Dance North, Zhuhai, and Kyoto International Music Festivals. He has been broadcast locally and abroad several times on CBC Music’s In Concert program and WFMT’s Dame Myra Hess Series, and contributed his playing to Yamaha Canada’s recent Dear Glenn AI Project.
In early 2018, he was thrilled to give the North American Premiere of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Third Sonata for Cello and Piano (1919), recently published by Bärenreiter-Verlag, with a longtime artistic collaborator, cellist Juliette Herlin. Last season, they gave the Sonata its Midwest Premiere on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago; the Canadian Premiere in Toronto later that year. In anticipation of this premiere, Ahfat filmed & produced a mini-documentary titled Soirée pour Camille, a short film documenting the historical context of the work, the artistic partnership of Ahfat & Herlin, and their joint exploration of French music. Continuing his dynamic exploration of music in-tandem with film, he recently partnered with Riddle Films to release a cinematic performance of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition filmed live at Toronto’s Koerner Hall.
Ahfat recently worked with Juilliard Global Ventures as part of the Juilliard Open Classroom team where he helped to develop new digital learning environments to reach musicians across the globe. In this capacity, he offered his skills as a teacher, curriculum writer, and course builder to a number of online courses, including Juilliard Open Classroom’s first release: Sharpen Your Piano Artistry. He was a curriculum writer for Piano Preludes: Bach, Chopin, and Debussy, offered through the online education platform edX. Keen on developing the artistry of young musicians, he has presented masterclasses at Moravian College, Olympic College, the College of Southern Idaho, and the University of Las Vegas.
A two-time winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition, Ahfat completed principal studies at the Juilliard School in New York under the tutelage of Joseph Kalichstein and Stephen Hough, and was in-residence as a 2018 Rebanks Fellow at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. He is a grateful recipient of a 2019 Sylva Gelber Music Foundation Award and was a 2017-2019 NFMC Young Artist Award recipient.