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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended August 27, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 31Aug00

Summarized by Deseret Book Press Release

Young LDS Violinist Gains Chair in National Symphony

WASHINGTON, DC -- Jenny Oaks Baker, a twenty-five year old Salt Lake City native, has been chosen as a member of the prestigious National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She will make her debut performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on September 20th, when the orchestra opens its 2000-2001 season.

More than 80 candidates from throughout the United States and Europe auditioned for the two open violin chairs in the world-renowned group. Now in its 69th season, the National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of director Leonard Slatkin, has earned praise around the world during its numerous national and overseas tours. It is generally recognized as one of the world's finest orchestras. The Symphony regularly participates in events of national and international prominence, including Presidential inaugurations and annual holiday celebrations in the nation's capital.

Baker began playing the violin at the age of four and made her solo recital debut in 1983 when she was only eight years old. She is a winner of the Concerto Soloists National Young Artists String Competition, the National Music Camp Concerto Competition, and the Utah Symphony Guild Competition. She took honors in the Kingsville International String Competition and is the recipient of the Michaelian Prize in the Irving M. Klein String Competition. She received her bachelor's degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and a master's degree in music from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

Baker has recorded three albums for Shadow Mountain, an imprint of Deseret Book, and has captured five Pearl Awards from the Faith Centered Music Association, including three earlier this month for her latest album, Where Love Is.  She recently performed at "An Evening of Celebration" in honor of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley's 90th birthday.

Her selection to the National Symphony Orchestra not only recognizes her musical accomplishments, but also her commitment to performing. The 100-member orchestra has a 52-week, 175-concert schedule each year, including a classical subscription series, pops concerts, and an extensive educational program, including Young People's concerts presented to more than 40,000 students each year. The orchestra also performs concerts designed to introduce high school students to classical music, develops study programs to encourage minority musicians, sponsors a competition to recognize gifted soloists, and participates in several lecture series.

Baker is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks and the late June Oaks of Salt Lake City. She and her husband, Matthew Baker, live in Northern Virginia.


Young LDS Violinist Gains Chair in National Symphony
Deseret Book Press Release 22Aug00 A2


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