"In Jordan Bak they have given us a star in the making. He is a young artist to watch for."
-Jon Sobel, Seattle Pi
Far Rockaway, NY
A native of Long Island, NY, Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak is establishing a career as one of the leading musicians of his generation. A Sphinx Competition alum and MPower Artist Grant recipient, Bak has earned top prizes in several other competitions, including the 2017 Juilliard Concerto Competition, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Competition, and the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra Competition. He was also the recipient of The Presser Foundation Undergraduate Scholar Award and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame Scholarship.
A recent performance highlight was the Druckman Viola Concerto with The Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall in New York, earning rave reviews. Bak has also been heard as a recitalist and chamber musician in both the United States and in Europe. He has played in masterclasses for Atar Arad, Kirsten Docter, Veit Hertenstein, Nobuko Imai, Cynthia Phelps, and Steven Tenenbom. He was one of an elite group of violists invited to participate in the 2016 Lac Léman Music Masterclasses in Blonay, Switzerland, a European festival organized by the Michelangelo Quartet. Currently, Bak is a strong advocate of both contemporary 21st century music and music of the Baroque era, having recently performed with historical performance ensemble Juilliard415. He is working on programming both Classical music extremes in solo performance.
"Bak was dazzling...he played with a full-bodied sound and exacting intonation and articulation. His playing was so constantly involving and impressive that one was drawn to each note and phrase."
-George Grella, New York Classical Review
An avid chamber musician, Bak has played a wide range of works, but particularly enjoys pieces written around the turn of the 20th century. Recent chamber music festivals include the Taos School of Music, Encore Chamber Music, Four Seasons Winter Workshop and Yellow Barn Young Artists Program. Bak has worked with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Calidore, Cavani, Cleveland, Juilliard, Michelangelo, and Parker quartets, as well as musicians from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has also collaborated and performed with violinists Ara Gregorian, Daniel Khalikov, and Quan Yuan, violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Dov Scheindlin, and cellists Colin Carr, Emanuel Gruber, and Joel Noyes. Future engagements include participation in the legendary Marlboro Music Festival in 2019.
As an orchestral musician, Bak has served as co-principal violist of The Juilliard Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Symphony and Philharmonia, the Cambridge Philharmonic, and the New York All-State Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under esteemed conductors such as Stefan Asbury, Edward Gardner, Alan Gilbert, David Loebel, Susanna Mälkki, Speranza Scappucci, Gerard Schwarz, and Hugh Wolff.
The second violist in history to be enrolled in the Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School, Jordan Bak holds a Bachelor of Music degree with academic honors from New England Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the prestigious Kovner Fellowship. He has studied with violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Dimitri Murrath, and is currently studying with Samuel Rhodes.
Bak currently lives in Far Rockaway, NY and is on the faculty of The Malverne School of Music. He serves as an assistant for the ACHT Viola Studio (students of Misha Amory, Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Steven Tenenbom). He also performs in Symphony in C and the Montclair Orchestra Chamber Music concert series in Montclair, NJ. In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, spicy food, and automobiles.
Jordan Bak plays a viola made by Jon van Kouwenhoven, dated 2016.