Jesse Mills, violin
In 2004, Mills made his professional concerto debut with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan in a unique partnership with Salsa trombonist, Jimmy Bosch. This project combined a classical performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with Mills as violin soloist, and a Salsa band arrangement of the same piece, fronted by Bosch and Mills as improvising soloists. A successful performance at Ravinia led to bookings with the Phoenix Symphony, the Colorado Symphony and the Green Bay Symphony. In past years Mills has performed as soloist with orchestras including the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the Denver Philharmonic, the Teatro Argentino Orchestra in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the Aspen Music Festival’s Sinfonia Orchestra as winner of the Festival’s E. Nakamichi Violin Concerto Competition.
As a chamber musician Jesse Mills has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, including concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Boston’s Gardener Museum, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. He has also appeared at prestigious venues in Europe, such as the Barbican Centre of London, La Cité de la Musique in Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Carré Theatre, Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan, and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Mills is co-founder of Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006.
Mills is also known as a pioneer of contemporary works, a renowned improvisational artist, as well as a composer. He earned a Grammy nomination for his work on a CD of Arnold Schoenberg’s music, released by NAXOS in 2005. He can also be heard on the Koch, Centaur, Tzadik, Max Jazz and Verve labels for various compositions of Webern, Schoenberg, Zorn, Wuorinen, and others. Soon to be released on the NAXOS label are recordings of Schoenberg’s String Quartets #3 and #4, as well as the Ode to Napoleon. As a member of the FLUX Quartet from 2001-2003, Mills performed music composed during the last 50 years (including the famous six-hour-long String Quartet No. 3 by Morton Feldman), in addition to frequent world premieres. As a composer and arranger, Mills has been commissioned by venues including Columbia University’s Miller Theater and the Chamber Music Northwest festival in Portland, OR.
Jesse Mills began violin studies at the age of three. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2001. He studied with Dorothy DeLay, Robert Mann and Itzhak Perlman. Mr. Mills lives in New York City, and he is on the faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey.