Julliard-trained violinist Jenny Oaks Baker made her solo orchestral debut in 1983, when she was only 8 years old. Since then, she has released 12 albums (selling more than a quarter million copies), collaborated with people like Marvin Hamlisch and Gladys Knight and was first violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra for seven years. She was Grammy-nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Classical Albums chart and been a featured soloist around the globe.
On Thursday, Sept. 18, the Columbus Arts Council presents the renowned recording artist and concert violinist at Poindexter Hall on the Mississippi University for Women campus. The 7:30 p.m. program will be a mix of classical, Disney and rock interpretations and spiritual music. Her 2011 album “Wish Upon a Star: A Tribute to the Music of Walt Disney” earned the Grammy nomination.
“Jenny’s program will include a blend of music that all ages will enjoy; she performs a wonderfully diverse catalog of styles,” said CAC Program Manager Beverly Norris. “She is a master of classical music and then turns her talent to an interpretation of a rock classic like ‘Stairway to Heaven.'”
Alisa Toy of Columbus will accompany Baker on the piano for much of the program. It’s an exhilarating prospect for Toy, who knows the violinist by reputation.
“She’s from Utah originally and has performed so much in the west and all around the country; many of my family have seen her in concert,” said Toy, who is director of the Columbus Choral Society. “She’s a beautiful violinist — I’d be thrilled just to see her in concert, but to be able to perform with her is beyond exciting.”
Baker will also perform some numbers to orchestral tracks.
More about the maestro
The artist’s albums consistently chart well on Billboard. Her 2010 project, “Then Sings my Soul,” was No. 1 on the Top Classical Albums chart for two consecutive weeks. Her 2014 release, “Classic: The Rock Album,” charted at No. 2 among classical crossovers.
Baker served as judge for the 2007 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. She has been a soloist at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress, among other venues, and has been a guest soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as the Jerusalem, San Diego, Utah and Pittsburgh Symphony orchestras. She makes her acting debut as a violinist in “Stuck,” a film to be released in the fall of 2015.
Baker lives with her husband and their four children outside Washington, D.C.
How to go
Advance tickets are $10 at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets at the door are $12, if available.
For tickets and information, contact the CAC, 662-328-2787 or visit columbus-arts.org.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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