Jesse Mills, violin

www.jesse-mills.com

Rieko Aizawa, piano www.riekoaizawa.com

Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. 


In 2004, Mills made his professional concerto debut with the Ravinia Festival Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan in a unique partnership with Salsa trombonist, Jimmy Bosch.  This project combined a classical performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with Mills as violin soloist, and a Salsa band arrangement of the same piece, fronted by Bosch and Mills as improvising soloists. 


Mills is also known as a pioneer of contemporary works, a renowned improvisational artist, as well as a composer. He earned Grammy nominations for his work on CDs of Arnold Schoenberg's music, released by NAXOS in 2005 and 2010. He can also be heard on the Koch, Centaur, Tzadik, Max Jazz and Verve labels for various compositions of Webern, Schoenberg, Zorn, Wuorinen, and others. As a member of the FLUX Quartet from 2001-2003, Mills performed music composed during the last 50 years (including the famous six-hour-long String Quartet No. 2 by Morton Feldman), in addition to frequent world premieres.


As a composer and arranger, Mills has been commissioned by venues including Columbia University’s Miller Theater and the Chamber Music Northwest festival in Portland, OR.


Mr. Mills is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Dorothy DeLay, Robert Mann and Itzhak Perlman.

Praised by the NY Times for her “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing”, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed in solo and orchestral engagements throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago's Orchestra Hall and Vienna's Konzerthaus.


At the age of thirteen, Ms. Aizawa was brought to the attention of conductor Alexander Schneider on the recommendation of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida.  Schneider engaged Ms. Aizawa as soloist with his Brandenburg Ensemble at the opening concerts of Tokyo's Casals Hall.  Later that year, Schneider presented her in her United States début concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with his New York String Orchestra. She has since established her own unique musical voice.


An avid chamber musician, Ms. Aizawa has performed as a guest with string quartets including the Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet.  She has participated in numerous festivals, including the Marlboro, Evian, and Ravinia Festivals.  


March 2005 marked the release of Ms. Aizawa’s first solo recording of Shostakovich's and Scriabin's "24 Preludes," on the Altus Music label.  Her second  album of Messiaens' and Faure's preludes will come out in 2012.  


Rieko Aizawa was the last pupil of Mieczyslaw Horszowski at the Curtis Institute and she also studied with Seymour Lipkin and Peter Serkin at the Juilliard School.

Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

© 2008-2016 Rieko Aizawa & Jesse Mills

"concentrated, clear-textured reading"

- NY Times

"Mills played [Messiaen] as if he'd just received it from some distant, vast and magnificent reach of the cosmos."

                       - Washington Post

"She played with a beautiful, limpid tone and a sense of characterization and cohesiveness that is unusual."

                       - Washington Post

Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Comprised of pianist Rieko Aizawa and violinist Jesse Mills, Duo Prism is a dynamic ensemble committed to the full spectrum of works composed for this instrumentation. The metaphor of a three-sided prism represents the perfectly balanced relationship which these two artists together make with the composers of the works that they present.


Since its inception in 2005, Duo Prism has performed throughout the United States. In May of 2006, Duo Prism won 1st Prize at the Gaetano Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Verona, Italy, returned the following season for a tour of Northern Italy. 


Based in New York City, the duo frequently collaborates with contemporary composers in addition to their exploration of the vast traditional repertoire. In 2008, Duo Prism worked closely with composer Peter Lieberson, performing his Theme and Variations as part of a Composer Portrait performance at Columbia University’s Miller Theater in New York City. They are in the process of performing the complete sonatas by Beethoven, and they aim to commission new works in the upcoming season. In 2010, they became artistic directors of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado.


Both Aizawa and Mills are graduates of the Juilliard School. Aizawa also studied at The Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where she was the last pupil of Mieczyslaw Horszowski. A native of Japan, Aizawa began her career with a US debut at the age of fourteen at the Kennedy Center and at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra conducted by Alexander Schneider. Praised by the NY Times for her "impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing", she has since established her own unique musical voice.


Mills earned a Grammy nominations for his work on a CD of Arnold Schoenberg's music, released by NAXOS in 2005 and 2010. He is known as a pioneer of contemporary works, a renowned improvisational artist, as well as a composer. Mills recently made his concerto debut at Chicago's Ravinia Festival. He can be heard on the Naxos, Koch, Centaur Records, Tzadik, Max Jazz and Verve labels.


Duo Prism has a passion for understanding the voice of every composer; they seek to illuminate the music as well as their own joy recreating it. Both Aizawa and Mills are the founding members of the Horszowski Trio, and they are on the faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College.