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Alexi Kenney, Violin


Thursday, February 16, 2023, 7:30 PM EST


Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall


General: $25-40 | Student: $10

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he made it seem...as if this were the only possible way to play the music.”

—The New York Times

Concert Classics Series

About the Event

19th-century composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov once said that “all modern music owes everything to J. S. Bach.” In the hands of 29-year-old trailblazing violinist Alexi Kenney, the recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2020 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, this concept takes on an extended timelessness within the framework of 21st-century music. The spiritual overtones of Bach’s music transform within the echoes of chanting monks incorporated into Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun’s recent work for violin and tape; Bach’s ability to speak to the universality of grief deepens the poignancy of Matthew Burtner’s musical meditation on climate change and the future of life on our planet. As Mr. Kenney thoughtfully shares: “my hope is that through the course of the program, each piece enlivens those around it, framing Bach in a new light and placing contemporary violin works in context—and showing that art need not be defined by era to express our shared humanity.”

Artistic Statement from Alexi Kenney:

Shifting Ground weaves together pieces for solo violin and violin/electronics by J.S. Bach and composers of our time to form a program with dramatic arc, flow, and scope. Bach’s music is a perfect fusion of technical mastery and innovation, but it’s his ability to transcend technique and access the spiritual and mystical realm that has inspired this program, which is constructed of four acts and played mostly without pause. Alongside existing works by Matthew Burtner, Nicola Matteis, Paul Wiancko, and Du Yun are two new commissions for this project by composers Salina Fisher and Angélica Negrón. The title Shifting Ground is a reference to the heart of all Baroque music—the ground bass—upon which variations are built, and whose omnipresence in music illustrates Bach’s enduring legacy and symbolizes our shared humanity.”

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Alexi Kenney Violin


  • "Shifting Ground"

    A program of five acts and played mostly without pause, interspersing pieces for solo violin and violin/electronics by J.S. Bach and composers of our time including Salina Fisher, Du Yun, and Angélica Negrón.

  • J.S. Bach

    Adagio, from Sonata No. 1 in G minor BWV 1001 (1720)

  • George Enescu

    Ménétrier, from Impressions d’enfance, Op. 28 (1940)

  • J.S. Bach

    Allemande from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 (1720)

  • Paul Wiancko

    Allemande from X Suite for Solo Violin (2019)

  • Du Yun

    Under a Tree, an Udātta, for violin and tape (2016)

  • Angélica Negrón

    The Violinist for violin and electronics, story by Ana Fabrega (2023)


  • J.S. Bach

    Allemande and Double, from Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002 (1720)

  • Steve Reich

    Violin Phase, for live-looped violin (1967)

  • J.S. Bach

    Grave, from Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003 (1720)

  • Nicola Matteis

    Alla Fantasia (c. 1700)

  • Salina Fisher

    Hikari, for solo violin (2023)

  • J.S. Bach

    Largo, from Sonata No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1005 (1720)

  • Matthew Burtner

    Elegy, from Muir Glacier (1889-2009), for violin and glacier sonification (2017/2020)

  • Anonymous, arr. Alexi Kenney

    Nitida stella (c.1600)

  • J.S. Bach

    Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 (1720)

View Digital Program

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