Flutist | Collaborator | Entrepreneur | Mentor
A renowned flutist, Jennie Brown is an energizing and creative force in the field of music. Brown is an active performer throughout Chicago in solo, chamber, contemporary, and orchestral settings.
“The irrepressibly creative flutist and new music advocate celebrates the release of her new album…” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, November 8, 2019 (Giantess Innova 043)
“The tone Brown draws from her flute is meltingly beautiful—rounded, seamless through all registers, robust. ” Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review, November 2019 (Live concert, Constellation Chicago)
Best Classical Albums of 2019, Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, December 6, 2019 (Giantess Innova 043)
“The performances are flawless, and the recording quality excellent; Vox Balaenae is a timeless masterpiece.” Max Christie, TheWholeNote.com, May 5, 2020 (Vox Innova 040)
“As evidenced by this album, Jennie Oh Brown really understands Schwantner’s compositional intent, and her playing reflects the beauty, intensity, rawness, and virtuosity his music requires. She excels in changing characters rapidly, and her beautiful, expressive sound is perfectly suited to Schwantner’s emotional, lyrical, and acrobatic music.” Jennifer Slaughter, National Flute Association Flutist Quarterly, Fall 2016 (Looking Back Innova 919)
As an Innova Recording Artist, her commercially released albums have been met with critical acclaim. Her recent solo album Giantess features the music of Carter Pann, Shulamit Ran, Augusta Read Thomas, Valerie Coleman. Shortly after its release, it was featured in Howard Reich’s Best Classical Albums of 2019, Chicago Tribune December 8, 2019.
Her latest project released in 2020, her trio album titled Vox with the Heare Ensemble featured Vox Balaenae by George Crumb and works by Stacy Garrop, Narong Prangcharoen, and Carter Pann. Crumb described her opening solo of Vox Balaenae as “perfect.” in a conversation she will forever cherish.
She released her debut solo album in 2015, “Looking Back: Flute Music of Joseph Schwantner,” to critical praise, including an Honorable Mention in New York Classical Review Critic George Grella’s “Best Classical Albums of 2015” list. She has also been featured numerous times on WFMT broadcasts, including a performance of Schwantner’s Looking Back as well as an interview with Narimon Safavi for WBEZ’s Worldview regarding her Midwest premiere of Valerie Coleman’s powerful Hair, Cloth, Thread for flute and percussion.
Jennie is the Executive and Artistic Director of Ear Taxi Festival together with Curatorial Director Michael Lewanski and Managing Director Jessica Wolfe. With support from Helen Zell and grants from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Helen F. Whitaker Fund and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., Brown continues to lead the development of the budget to create this vibrant showcase of Chicago’s vibrant new music community.
With over 110 proposals received, Ear Taxi Festival will launch in 2021 throughout Chicago with concerts, keynote speakers and panel discussions with leaders in the field, professional development workshops, and premieres of major commissions.
Additionally, she launched the New Music Chicago Presents series at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2019, energizing momentum towards Ear Taxi Festival, an ongoing monthly noon-time concert series at the Chicago Cultural Center which features music written since 2000 by living composers, as the first and ongoing recipient of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events ArtSpace Grant. The series was given a major feature article by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune in February 2019 as well as an interview with Cindy Bravo on Comcast Community Network.
Jennie serves as Executive and Artistic Director of the chamber ensemble Picosa, which launched an ongoing four concert series in Allen Recital Hall at DePaul University’s Holtschneider Performance Center and at the Driehaus Museum. It will be launching a new series at The Epiphany Center for the Arts in 2021. The ensemble also holds residencies at Elmhurst University and North Central Colleges, and previously held a short-term residency at Roosevelt University.
Entering its seventh season, the ensemble performs regularly on Chicago’s most prestigious concert series which have included Live from WFMT, Frequency Series at Constellation Chicago, and The International Music Foundation’s Rush Hour Concert Series at St James Cathedral. For Ear Taxi Festival 2016 (the inaugural city-wide festival showcasing Chicago’s world-class new music), Brown performed as both a soloist and as a member of Picosa.
Brown considers teaching to be central to her career and feels truly privileged to mentor the next generation of musicians, whether music lovers or professionals. She serves on the faculties of Wheaton College (since 2002) and Elmhurst University (since 2012). As a faculty member at Interharmony International Music Festival, Italy (2019), she gave the European premiere of Carter Pann’s Giantess with pianist Geoffrey Burleson. Her private studio includes two distinct tracks for younger students and her Art and Resonance professional career coaching.
Jennie is founder, director and faculty member of Credo Flute where she works with Bonita Boyd (Eastman School of Music), Walfrid Kujala (Emeritus, Northwestern University and Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Elizabeth Ostling (Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Kelly Zimba (Toronto Symphony Orchestra). Now entering its seventh year, the seminar adapted to a virtual format in 2020, reaching flutists across the globe.
Brown proudly serves on the board of Chamber Music America and New Music Chicago, organizations with a deep commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access. She has recently published articles in the National Flute Association’s Flutist Quarterly, Flute Talk, and Chicago Flute Club’s Pipeline Magazine.
She is also coordinator of the National Flute Association’s Convention Performers Competition which features winning compositions of the Newly Published Music Competition. She has performed in six National Flute Association conventions, and will give the premiere of the commissioned solo piece Sungji Hong’s Vidimus Stellam in 2021.
Dr. Brown remains indebted to her teachers Walfrid Kujala and Bonita Boyd and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (DMA, MM, Performers Certificate), Northwestern University (BM) and the Interlochen Arts Academy (HS). She has also performed in music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival – Yale Summer School of Music.
She performs on a Brannen 10k flute and a 18k Lafin headjoint, Yamaha brass alto flute, a Keefe and Powell grenadilla piccolo, and a C. Palanca/Wenner Grenadilla Traverso.
Innova 043: Giantess (solo, 2019)
Innova 040: Vox (Heare Ensemble – trio, 2020)
Innova 919: Looking Back: Music of Joseph Schwantner (solo, 2016)
Parma Recordings: Crimson and Lace (chorus and ensemble, 2015)
FLUTE TALK MAGAZINE
Ask the Pro: Coping with Nerves, May 2018
Composing for Flute: Thoughts from Jennifer Higdon, Katherine Hoover, Carter Pann, December 2017.
An Interview with Shulamit Ran, January 2015.
NATIONAL FLUTE ASSOCIATION, THE FLUTIST QUARTERLY
Collaborative Play: Flutist-Composer Commissions, June 2015.
CHICAGO FLUTE CLUB, PIPELINE MAGAZINE
Chicago’s Giantess of Flute (Gianna Capobianco interviewed me), Summer 2020
Life Balance (Pipeline Editor Julie Marcotte interviewed me), April 2018
Behind the Scenes – Creating the album Music of Joseph Schwantner, March 2016.
An Interview with Joseph Schwantner: The Composer at Work, March 2016
The NFA Comes to Chicago, June 2014
Chicago Flute Club Commissions: Celebrating the Chicago Flute Club’s 25 Years, June 2014
Photo enhanced by Marc Perlish
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Land Acknowledgement for Chicago
Chicago is the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Potawatomi Nations. Many other Tribes like the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac and Fox also called this area home. Located at the intersection of several great waterways, the land naturally became a site of travel and healing for many Tribes. American Indians continue to call this area home and now Chicago is home to the sixth largest Urban American Indian community that still practices their heritage, traditions and care for the land and waterways. Today, Chicago continues to be a place that calls many people from diverse backgrounds to live and gather here. Despite the many changes the city has experienced, both our American Indian and Chicago community see the importance of the land and this place that has always been a city home to many diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
American Indian Center, Chicago