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Jessie Montgomery

Jessie Montgomery

Princeton University, Early-Career Musician, Fall Term

Montgomery will work on an orchestra piece for the National Symphony Orchestra that will celebrate the life of literary genius Toni Morrison. With her figure as guide and inspiration, Montgomery will connect this work to musical influences of the African diaspora as it relates to her own identity.

Jessie Montgomery is an acclaimed composer, violinist, and educator. She is the recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award from the ASCAP Foundation, the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and her works are performed frequently around the world by leading musicians and ensembles. Her music interweaves classical music with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, poetry, and social consciousness, making her an acute interpreter of twenty-first-century American sound and experience. Her profoundly felt works have been described as “turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (Washington Post).