Jason VieauxGuitar
Sasha CookeMezzo-Soprano

Jason Vieaux and Sasha Cooke

Presented in association with OMNI Foundation for the Performing Arts

Saturday, April 8, 2023 |  7:30pm

Herbst TheatreVenue Information


About This Performance

Grammy®-winner Jason Vieaux is “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation,” according to NPR. He is well known for a relaxed and affable stage presence paired with a fierce and flexible technique described as “virtuosic, flamboyant, dashing and, sometimes ineffably lyrical” (New York Times). “Equal parts poise, radiance, and elegant directness,” (Opera News) double Grammy®-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke is at home and in demand from the world’s opera houses to intimate concert halls.

Artist Information

Performer Biographies

Grammy©-winner Jason Vieaux, “among the elite of today's classical guitarists” (Gramophone), is described by NPR as “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.”

Jason recently made his debuts for Domaine-Forget Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Wolf Trap, and made returns to San Francisco Performances, Caramoor, Ravinia, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Other recent venues include the National Gallery of Art, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the 92nd Street Y, Seoul Arts Center, and Shanghai Concert Hall. He has performed as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including Cleveland, Toronto, Houston, Nashville, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

In March 2021, Jason Vieaux performed the premiere recording of a new solo work, Four Paths of Light, a new solo guitar suite dedicated to Vieaux by jazz legend Pat Metheny for his 2021 album Road To The Sun. Jason performed the live recording of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto with Nashville Symphony in 2019.

Jason’s passion for new music has also fostered recent premieres from Jeff Beal (House of Cards Symphony, BIS, 2017), Avner Dorman, Vivian Fung, Mark Mancina, Dan Visconti, and many more. Of his Grammy©-winning 2014 solo album Play, The Huffington Post declared that Play is “part of the revitalized interest in the classical guitar.”

Vieaux’s multiple appearances over the years with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music@Menlo, Strings Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, etc., have forged his reputation as a top chamber musician. Regular collaborators include the Escher String Quartet, Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, and accordion/bandoneón virtuoso Julien Labro.

As a teacher, Vieaux co-founded the guitar department at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2011, and has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music for 25 years. Jason’s online Guitar School has subscribers from over 30 countries.

Two-time Grammy Award©-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” by the New York Times and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” by Opera News. Ms. Cooke has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with over 70 symphony orchestras worldwide frequently in the works of Mahler.

In the 2021–22 season, Ms. Cooke returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her role debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. On the concert stage, she joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra first for performances of Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, conducted by Jakub Hrůša, and then again as Margret in Wozzeck, both in Boston and on tour at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Andris Nelsons. She also joined the Minnesota Orchestra for Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and subsequently for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the latter conducted by Osmo Vänskä. Additionally, she performs Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by the composer, scenes from Nadia Boulanger’s Faust et Hélène with the Houston Symphony, led by Fabien Gabel, Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Karina Canellakis, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection with the Oregon Symphony, Jake Heggie’s The Work at Hand and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Gemma New, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the New World Symphony, and a holiday concert with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. Finally, she gives a solo recital alongside pianist Myra Huang at the Tucson Desert Song Festival where she premieres a new work by Jennifer Higdon.

2022 marked the release of Ms. Cooke’s CD entitled how do I find you, on the Pentatone label. The recording, which features 17 newly written songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Jimmy Lopez and others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. Ms. Cooke performed the world premiere with pianist Kirill Kuzmin as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere.

As a dedicated recitalist, Ms. Cooke was presented by Young Concert Artists in her widely acclaimed New York and Washington debuts at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall and the Kennedy Center. She has also appeared in recital at Alice Tully Hall, The Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and the 92nd St Y. She appears on numerous recordings, including Intonations: Songs from the Violins of Hope by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, Michael Tilson Thomas’ Meditations on Rilke with the San Francisco Symphony, which won the 2021 Grammy Award© for Best Classical Compendium, L’enfance du Christ with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony, Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, which won the 2019 Grammy© Award for Best Opera Recording, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, and Sasha Cooke LIVE, a collection of her performances from the Music@Menlo chamber music festival.

A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, Sasha Cooke also attended the Music Academy of the West, the Aspen Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Music Institute, the Wolf Trap Foundation, the Marlboro Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, and Seattle Opera and Central City Opera’s Young Artist Training Programs. Ms. Cooke has given masterclasses throughout the United States and Canada. She lives near Houston, TX with daughters Evelyn and Julia and husband baritone Kelly Markgraf.

Artist Videos

Jason Vieaux plays Gigue (6th Movement) from Lute Suite No. 1 in E Minor BWV 996 by J.S. Bach

Sasha Cooke sings Süsser Freund from Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben