Renowned as a violinist with “dazzling interpretative flair and exemplary technique” (Classic FM), Jennifer Pike has taken the musical world by storm with her unique artistry and compelling insight into music from the Baroque to the present day. Her prodigious talent first gained international attention in 2002, when, aged 12, she became the youngest-ever winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the youngest major prizewinner in the Menuhin International Violin Competition. Aged just 15 she made acclaimed debuts at the BBC Proms and Wigmore Hall, and soon after she became a BBC New Generation Artist, winner of the first international London Music Masters Award and the only classical artist ever to win the South Bank Show/Times Breakthrough Award. Passionate about helping young people from all backgrounds enhance their lives through music, she was recently invited to become an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust and Patron of the Lord Mayor of London’s City Music Foundation.
Jennifer performs extensively as soloist with major orchestras worldwide, including all the BBC orchestras, the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, City of Birmingham Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Tampere Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony. Particular highlights of last season included performances of the Beethoven and Bruch concertos with the Philharmonia and Hallé orchestras, Sibelius with the Bergen Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony and Mozart with the Rheinische Philharmonie and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Jennifer also made her début with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, with whom she performed a concerto composed especially for her by Haflidi Hallgrimsson, having given the world première with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2011. The Herald described it as a “luminous, gleaming and massively-assured performance from violinist Jennifer Pike…not long ago a wunderkind, now a seasoned artist whose maturity was reflected at every level of her understanding of Hallgrimsson’s concerto.” She has worked with many eminent conductors including Andris Nelsons, the late Richard Hickox, Sir Mark Elder, Christopher Hogwood, Leif Segerstam, Tugan Sokhiev, Jirí Belohlávek, John Storgårds, James Gaffigan and Martyn Brabbins.
Jennifer began the current season with a televised performance at the BBC Proms in the Park in Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and a return to Japan performing the Brahms Concerto with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra. Future highlights include debuts with the Adelaide Symphony and Malmö Symphony Orchestras and return appearances with the Bournemouth Symphony, the Hallé, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the Philharmonia at venues including the Sage Gateshead and the Royal Festival Hall, London. This season she will also return to perform the Sibelius, Brahms and Tchaikovsky Concertos with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
A sought-after recitalist, Jennifer’s regular collaborators include harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and pianists Martin Roscoe and Tom Poster, with whom she tours extensively this season, culminating in a return to London’s Wigmore Hall. Her recent recital appearances include concerts at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany, St.Regis Hotel New York, Musée d’Orsay in Paris and Musashino Foundation in Japan.
Jennifer’s prolific and broad-ranging discography has gained wide critical acclaim. Her releases on the Chandos label include the Debussy, Ravel and Franck sonatas, hailed as “one of the most outstanding début albums of recent years” (Classic FM Magazine) and Rózsa’s Violin Concerto and Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song with the BBC Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba, which was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. More recently she has released Chausson’s Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet with Tom Poster and the Doric Quartet and a recital disc of Brahms and Schumann sonatas. Her latest releases include the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davis, praised as a “gripping interpretation” by the Daily Telegraph and “violin genius” by the Daily Mail, and a recording of Janacek’s complete works for violin and piano due for release later in 2014. An enthusiastic promoter of new music, Jennifer has also recorded the première of Andrew Schultz’s Violin Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, released in 2011 on ABC Classics. She was nominated for a 2008 Classical Music Award for the Best Performance of an Australian Composition following her recording of Schultz’s Sonatina for Solo Violin.
Jennifer is dedicated to supporting her local community. She is a patron of the Wellspring, a charity that supports homeless people in her home town of Stockport, Manchester, and she takes an active role in the innovative Bridge Project which brings music to primary schools all over London. At the unprecedented age of 16, she was awarded a postgraduate scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, subsequently graduating with First Class Honours from Oxford University, where she is currently Artist-in-Residence. She plays a 1708 Matteo Goffriller violin made available by the Stradivari Trust.