JESSICA KRASH, composer and pianist

Jessica Krash

photo by John Armato

Jessica Krash is a native of Washington, DC and continues to find it a good place to think about worldview in music and art. She was awarded the 2010 “Wammie” for Classical Composer (Washington Area Music Association’s version of a Grammy). Her work has been presented in both traditional and experimental settings in New York City, Germany, Austria and all the major performance venues and museums in Washington, DC, including a work for dance and saxophones on the C & O Canal in a thunderstorm. Her chamber music CD (on Albany Records) was praised by Fanfare Magazine as “arresting and original…finely crafted work, full of interesting and unexpected twists and turns…life-affirming energy, vigor, and optimism.” Her solo piano CD (on Capstone Records) was listed by Tim Page in The Washington Post and Detroit News as one of the most interesting CDs of the year (2006); the main piece on the CD, “Fog,” was cited by Kyle Gann of the Village Voice and Artsjournal as a major new work for piano.

Jessica has given series of lectures at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress, and NIH on topics of music and the brain, music history, and the insights we get from dangerous, banned and provocative music. She has given several series of chamber music master classes at Strathmore. Jessica’s compositions have been commissioned by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the 21st Century Consort, among others. She has received grants from Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the University of Maryland, among others.

Jessica has directed several organizations, including the Washington chapter of the American Composers Forum, and Chamber Music Weekend at the Levine School of Music, and for over 25 years, a chamber music seminar for amateur and professional musicians. She has her own music studio with piano, composition and theory students of all ages.  She has taught at the University of Maryland, George Mason University, the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (at NIH) and the Levine School of Music. For 28 years, Jessica taught at George Washington University, where she  developed and taught new courses on “dangerous music,” contemporary music, and chamber music, in addition to the survey music history course, ear training and class piano.

Jessica has played chamber music with a number of fine musicians, including Ian Swensen, Kolja Blacher, Tanya Anisimova, Elisabeth Adkins, and Igor Gavrysh.

Jessica graduated with high honors from Harvard College, earned a masters degree in piano from Juilliard, and a doctorate in composition from the University of Maryland. She also studied at MIT with Jeanne Bamberger, doing research in the philosophical and cognitive issues underlying musical understanding. She studied piano with Patricia Zander, Nadia Reisenberg, Herbert Stessin, Lydia Artymiw, and Ylda Novik. She studied composition with Earl Kim, Lawrence Moss, Lyle Davidson, and Robert Gibson, and chamber music with Joel Krosnick, Sandor Vegh, Ramy Shevelov, and Felix Galimir.