Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers
Anne Akiko Meyers in California in November 2017. Photo by David Zentz.
|Born||May 15, 1970|
San Diego, United States
|Origin||New York City|
|Occupation(s)||Solo concert violinist|
|Labels||E1, Sony, RCA Victor Red Seal, Avie|
Anne Akiko Meyers (born May 15, 1970) is an American concert violinist who performs as soloist and recitalist. Meyers was the top-selling classical instrumentalist of 2014 on Billboard's traditional classical charts.
The daughter of an artist and a college president, Meyers was born in San Diego, California. Her mother is of Japanese descent. Raised in Southern California, she studied with Shirley Helmick, and then with Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She then studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University—and Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir, and Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School in New York City. Combining her junior and senior high school years and graduating early from the Juilliard School at age 20, she began touring internationally and recording exclusively for RCA Red Seal.
Described as a child prodigy after her debut with a local community orchestra at the age of 7, she subsequently performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, twice on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at age 11, the Emmy Award Show and the New York Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta at age 12. When she was 16, Meyers signed with ICM Artists and began touring and recording. Two years later she recorded her first album in London at the Abbey Road Studios, featuring the Barber and Bruch Concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Having signed an exclusive RCA Red Seal contract at the age of 21, she went on to record a comprehensive discography. At the age of 23, she was the sole recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Meyers has lifetime use, for touring and performances, of the 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri "del Gesu". She previously toured with a 1730 Stradivarius violin called the Royal Spanish, and a 1697 Stradivarius called Molitor. It was purchased from Tarisio Auctions on October 14, 2010 for US$3,600,000, at the time the highest recorded auction price for any musical instrument until the Lady Blunt Strad was sold on June 20, 2011 for $15.9 million. Meyers has used the Molitor in multiple studio recordings including a recording of Bach's Concerto in D minor for Two Violins, BWV 1043, in which she plays both parts—one part on the "Royal Spanish" Strad and the other on the ex-Molitor. In 2012, an anonymous buyer purchased the 1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri for an undisclosed amount and granted Meyers lifetime use of it.
Meyers performs as guest soloist with orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, and Orchestre de Paris, among others. She also performs solo recitals in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and Lincoln Center. She has performed the National Anthem in front of 42,000 fans at Safeco Field before a Seattle Mariners-Red Sox game and in front of 250,000 fans in the Sydney Harbor, celebrating the Australian Bicentennial.
Meyers has collaborated with various artists including the singer Michael Bolton. She was also the special guest violinist in Il Divo's Christmas Tour 2009 and toured with jazz and pop trumpeter Chris Botti in 2010.
The Engagements written by novelist J. Courtney Sullivan is loosely based on Meyers's career and was one of People Magazine's Top 10 Books of the Year in 2014. Meyers also played the violinist character, Violetta, in Crumpet the Trumpet by children's book author and illustrator, Kristine Papillon.
On September 11, 2015, Naïve Classiques released "Passacaglia" Works for violin and orchestra by Arvo Pärt with MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Jarvi conducting, in celebration of Pärt's 80th birthday.
Meyers’ recording of Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Fantasia was the only classical instrumental work chosen by NPR in their list of 100 best songs of 2017. Other songs chosen were by pop artists including Drake, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Jay-Z.
Commissions and premieres
Many works are written expressly for Meyers-these include the Somei Satoh Violin Concerto, recorded live with Tetsuji Honna and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in 2002 and Angelfire by Pulitzer-prize winning composer Joseph Schwantner, premiered live in 2002 at the Kennedy Center conducted by Marin Alsop and recorded in 2004 with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Meyers commissioned Mason Bates to write his first violin concerto. She performed the world premiere with Leonard Slatkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in December 2012. It was later recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin and released on Meyers’ 2014 album, The American Masters. She has performed the work across the world including with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, among others.
On September 30, 2014, Meyers released The American Masters, which features two world premieres: Mason Bates's Violin Concerto and the Lullaby for Natalie by John Corigliano, written for the birth of her first-born daughter, Natalie. The album also features Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto and made Google Play's Best of 2014.
Meyers appeared in a nationwide PBS broadcast special aired in fall 2015 featuring the world premiere of Samuel Jones' Violin Concerto with the All-Star Orchestra led by Gerard Schwarz. The performance was also part of a DVD released by Naxos Records.
In September 2015, Meyers released Serenade: The Love Album, her 34th album featuring Leonard Bernstein's epic Serenade. Meyers commissioned seven arrangers including Adam Schoenberg, Brad Dechter, J.A.C. Redford and Steven Mercurio to arrange ten love-inspired works from classic movies and the American Songbook. The seven arrangers were chosen to resemble the seven philosophers of Plato's Symposium, which Bernstein's Serenade is based on. The album was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra with Keith Lockhart conducting.
Meyers performed the posthumous world premiere of Fantasia by Einojuhani Rautavaara, written for her, with the Kansas City Symphony conducted by Michael Stern in March 2017. Meyers met Rautavaara at his home in December 2015 to play the work for him. However, he passed away in July 2016 before its first public performance nearly a year later.
Adam Schoenberg’s first violin concerto, Orchard in Fog, written for Meyers, was premiered by Meyers with the San Diego Symphony and Maestro Sameer Patel in February 2018. The Violin Channel live-streamed the performance, acquiring the most views of any live video on the website to date.
Air – The Bach Album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard Charts on its release on February 14, 2012. It featured "Bach Double" played on two different Stradivarius violins, the first time this had been accomplished.
Meyers The Vivaldi Four Seasons Album debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard Charts when released on February 14, 2014.
Meyers was the top-selling classical instrumentalist of 2014 on Billboard's traditional classical charts.
|2018||Mirror in Mirror with Philharmonia Orchestra, Kristjan Järvi, and Akira Eguchi ||Avie Records|
|2018||Special release of Bernstein's Serenade (A live performance with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov)||BBC Music Magazine|
|2017||Fantasia: The Fantasy Album with Kristjan Järvi and the Philharmonia Orchestra||Avie Records|
|2016||Fantasia by Einojuhani Rautavaara (single) with Kristjan Järvi and the Philharmonia Orchestra||eOne|
|2016||The Complete RCA Recordings||RCA Red Seal|
|2015||Serenade: The Love Album with the London Symphony Orchestra & Keith Lockhart||eOne|
|2015||The Kristjan Järvi Sound Project – Arvo Pärt: Passacaglia with MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra & Kristjan Jarvi||Naïve Records|
|2015||All-Star Orchestra: Program 12: Mozart and a World Premiere with Gerard Schwarz||Naxos Records|
|2014||The Four Seasons: The Vivaldi Album||eOne|
|2014||The American Masters: Barber, Corigliano, Bates with the London Symphony Orchestra & Leonard Slatkin||eOne|
|2012||Air – The Bach Album with the English Chamber Orchestra||eOne|
|2011||Pride from Gems with Michael Bolton||Mointaigne / Legacy / Sony|
|2010||Seasons...Dreams with pianist Reiko Uchida and harpist Emmanuel Ceysson||eOne|
|2009||Smile with Akira Eguchi||Koch International Classics|
|2006||Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Live from Japan|
|2006||Jennifer Higdon Piano Trio. Live from the Vilar Center, Vail||Naxos|
|2005||Angelfire by Joseph Schwantner, 'Fantasy' for amplified violin and orchestra with Andrew Litton and Dallas Symphony Orchestra||Hyperion|
|2003||East Meets West (Japanese/French album) with Li Jian||Avie Records|
|2002||Kisetsu: Works By Somei Satoh 3 (Violin Concerto written for Meyers). Live with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra||Camerata Tokyo|
|2001||Romantic Violin||RCA Red Seal|
|2000||Violin for Relaxation||Sony Classical|
|1999||UltraSound Music for the Unborn Child||Sony Classical|
|1997||Franz Schubert in Performance from NPR||National Public Radio|
|1996||Classical Ecstasy||RCA Red Seal|
|1995||Sergei Prokofiev Violin Concertos with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra & Dmitri Kitayenko||RCA Red Seal|
|1995||The American Album||RCA Red Seal|
|1994||Salut d'Amour||RCA Red Seal|
|1993||Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and other works with the Philharmonia Orchestra & Andrew Litton||RCA Red Seal|
|1992||Franck and Strauss Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Rohan de Silva||RCA Red Seal|
|1991||Lalo: Symphonie espagnole; Bruch: Scottish Fantasy with the RPO & Jesus Lopez-Cobos||RCA Red Seal|
|1989||Saint-Saëns, Fauré: Violin Sonatas||Canyon Classics|
|1988||Barber/Bruch Violin Concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman||Royal Philharmonic Orchestra|
- Vivaldi Triple Concerto – Anne Akiko Meyers Performs all 3 Parts
- Summer from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
- Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons
- On the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at age 11
Awards and honors
In 1993 at the age of 23, Meyers was the sole recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, which is awarded by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts to up to five promising young artists each year.
Meyers lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Angeles, California.
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- "Einojuhani Rautavaara's FANTASIA Receive's Posthumous Premiere". Broadway World. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Overton, Marcus (2018-02-11). "Review | Meyers triumphs in Schoenberg concerto, but San Diego Symphony orchestra fizzles in Sibelius' Fifth". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
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- "Anne Akiko Meyers Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons". YouTube. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
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