April 8, 2021

MSM Spotlight: Jennifer Ahn (MM ’21) performs on April 9 with MSM String Chamber Orchestra

Jennifer Ahn is a 2nd year Master’s Student of the Classical Violin Performance Program and will play in MSM’s String Chamber Orchestra concert conducted by Kyle Ritenauer on April 9th, 2021. 

She tells us about her experience in this ensemble, why she chose MSM, and her hopes and dreams for the future. 

Jennifer is an Omaha, Nebraska-raised performer and educator who has shared her passion for music all across North America. She has made appearances at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, and Music Academy of the West as a winner of their Duo Competition. She is currently a student of Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec.

What do you like about this concert and tell us what it’s like being a part of MSM’s Camerata Nova?

Jennifer: This concert contains a variety of works that shows the versatility of the string orchestra. It also highlights how the styles and characteristics of each composer have been influenced by their environment, just like how our lives and thoughts have been influenced by our current conditions. From Janáček, who was heavily influenced by Dvořák and Czech folk music, to the classically trained Saint-Georges and Shostakovich, who lived and composed through WWII and the Stalin regime, the music of these composers is representative of who they are and speak for themselves.

I am only playing on one of the pieces, but I know that the whole collaborative experience is wonderful, especially in this day and age. We’ve had so many of these performance opportunities get lost due to the pandemic, so I’m extremely grateful to be able to return to the stage and bring this performance together with some wonderful colleagues and Kyle Ritenauer.

How has this school year been for you?

Jennifer: It’s been very different, for sure. We have all faced some ups and downs throughout the year, but I’ve remained hopeful through it all. I’ve been inspired and amazed by how everyone has been able to adjust and adapt to all of the various changes, and I’m curious to see how this will continue to affect the future. I do miss a lot of the in-person classes and interactions I used to have but am also very grateful for all of the new opportunities that have been made available through remote learning. It’s also a fascinating experience when you finally meet someone who you’ve seen in your online classes in person. It’s this feeling of “okay, we’re not alone and we can get through this” that brings us even closer together.

Jennifer Ahn (MM'21) performing at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall

What do you like best about the MSM Community and being at MSM?

Jennifer: The MSM community overall is a very friendly and supportive community. Despite all of us being in a career field where most of our livelihoods are based on competition, I find MSM to be far from hostile. I’ve been met with constant support and encouragement from my peers and teachers, and it’s been a great environment for personal growth and development.

What projects are you working on now?

Jennifer: I’m currently in the process of preparing for my graduation recital, as well as partaking in several other performances and recordings. I’m also working on improving my teaching techniques, as well as managing and further expanding my private teaching studio.

“My one major hope for the future is that we as a society can all bring each other together through music. Music connects souls. It’s a language that everyone can understand and interpret and digest.”

MM'21, Classical Violin

What do you like best about studying your major at MSM?

Jennifer: My favorite aspects of studying at MSM are definitely studying with my teachers, collaborating with my colleagues, and working with and learning from all of the faculty. There are so many opportunities to connect with everyone and participate in various orchestra cycles, masterclasses, and performances.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Jennifer: There are so many that I can’t even begin to talk about them all. I want to perform and teach all over the world. I want to share my knowledge and passion for music and want to engage future generations. I also want to be a voice for the people who might otherwise not have one. I want to collaborate with other artists and create meaningful connections. The list goes on and on, but my one major hope for the future is that we as a society can all bring each other together through music. Music connects souls. It’s a language that everyone can understand and interpret and digest. And I hope that I can at least play a small role in bringing people together and bringing joy, warmth, and happiness.

Jennifer Ahn (MM'21) performing at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall

MSM String Chamber Orchestra

Kyle Ritenauer (BM ’11, MM ’15), Conductor

APR 9 | 12:15 PM EDT


Manhattan School of Music
Neidorff-Karpati Hall

130 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

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