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Described as "a composer of profound sensibility," Scottish-American Jennifer Margaret Barker has received performances of her compositions on six continents. Hailed by critics as "extraordinarily moving," "soul-stirring" "at once gripping and timeless," "show-stopping," "anything but passive," "blazingly alive, with lovely, aching melodies," "haunting," "beautiful...warm," and "illuminated by dreamy images," her compositions have been performed by orchestras such as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony; chamber and choral ensembles such as Vocali3e, Orchestra 2001, Network for New Music, Vocal de Cámara Platense and the Bearsden Choir; and an extensive list of international artists including Martin Jones, Alice K. Dade, John Novacek, Sharon Harms, Kevin Robert Orr, Heather Corbett and Ivano Ascari.
Recent international festivals in which her music has been featured include Malta's Victoria International Arts Festival, Brazil's Festival Internacional Compositores de Hoje, and America's Festival Mozaic. Her compositions have been featured on documentary and art films, including No Denying and A Box of Whistles, and promotional films such as An Autumn Day in the Hagley Powder Yard for the Hagley Museum and Library. Her compositions have also been exhibited as music-video art in galleries such as Philadelphia's Crane Arts; utilized as musical underscoring for theatrical productions, such as a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest in Mumbai, India; and broadcast on American public radio (including Performance Today), Hong Kong radio, Swedish radio and the BBC. Published by Boosey & Hawkes, Theodore Presser, Southern Percussion, Vanderbeek & Imrie and McKenna-Keddie, Dr. Barker's compositions have been released on the Naxos, Albany, New World Records, Composers Recordings Inc., Meyer Media and PnOVA record labels. In February 2019, she received her first performance at Carnegie Hall, with a choir and strings work commissioned for the occasion by East-West ensemble 6-WIRE.
In addition to a wide variety of international awards, Dr. Barker has received grants from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, The Scottish Arts Council, Creative Scotland, the Pew Charitable Trust, the American Composers Forum, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Norfolk (USA) Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Grant, the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour and the Philadelphia Music Project. In 2007 she received an Established Artist Fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts for her contributions to the state of Delaware. In 2018 she was awarded the Pi Kappa Lambda Composition Commission, with the premiere of the work taking place at the Centennial Anniversary Convention of Pi Kappa Lambda in Washington, DC.
Dr. Barker was a composition student of American Pulitzer Prize-winners George Crumb, Melinda Wagner and Richard Wernick, as well as Jay Reise, James Primosch and Daniel S. Godfrey. In addition, she studied with British composers Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies, Judith Weir and John Maxwell Geddes. As a pianist, she studied with Lawrence Glover and Gustav Fenyö at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) and with George Pappastavrou and Gary Spielstead in North America. She studied violin with J. Mullen Begbie (concertmaster of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra) and Angus Andersen (concertmaster of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra) and oboe with Phillip Hill (principal oboist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra).
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