Jessie Montgomery is a violinist, composer, and music educator from New York City. She performs and gives workshops in the United States and abroad and her compositions are being performed by orchestras and chamber groups throughout the U.S.
Montgomery began her violin studies at the Third Street Music School Settlement, one of the oldest community organizations in the country. In 2003, she received her Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School in Violin Performance and completed her graduate degree in Composition for Film and Multimedia at New York University in 2012.
Montgomery began her career as a professional chamber musician as a member of the Providence String Quartet. She continued her chamber music endeavors as a founding member of PUBLIQuartet, a string quartet made up of composers and arrangers, featuring their own music as well as that of emerging and established contemporary composers. Since 2012, she has been a member of the highly acclaimed Catalyst Quartet, raved by The New York Times as “invariably energetic and finely burnished…performing with earthly vigor,” touring regularly in the United States and abroad. Most recently, she began collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble and has been touring with them in the 2018-19 season.
Since 1999, Montgomery has been affiliated with The Sphinx Organization, which supports the accomplishments of young African-American and Latino string players. As a member of the Sphinx network she has played numerous roles within the organization, as a teacher, juror, orchestra member and concertmaster, panelist and ambassador, as well as being a two-time laureate in their annual competition. Montgomery was also Composer-in-Residence with the Sphinx Virtuosi, a conductor-less string orchestra which toured her music for three seasons. In 2014, she was awarded Sphinx’s generous MPower grant for the recording of her acclaimed debut album, Strum: Music for Strings (October 2015, Azica Records).
In fall 2018, Montgomery became a Virginia B.Toulmin Fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University (CBA), where she has been working on a new ballet for Dance Theater of Harlem and the Virginia Arts Festival, in collaboration with choreographer Claudia Schreier. Other upcoming highlights include premieres of new work for soprano Julia Bullock and The Muir Quartet, and performances by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.