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Jorja Fleezanis



Jorja Fleezanis has been concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra since September 1989, assuming that position after nine years with the San Francisco Symphony, eight of them as associate concertmaster. A frequent soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Fleezanis appeared in November 2002 in the world premiere of John Tavener's Ikon of Eros, for Violin, Chorus and Orchestra, commissioned and written for her. The Reference Recordings CD of Ikon of Eros appeared in September 2003. The Absolute Sound named it one of the ten best classical recordings of 2003, and SoundStage! Music Online included it as one of its twelve best recordings of the year.

In November 2003 Fleezanis was soloist with the Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä in the John Adams Violin Concerto, a work commissioned and written for her in 1994. In the decade since she performed its world premiere, with the Orchestra and then- Music Director Edo de Waart, the work has become a staple of the violinist's concerto repertoire. Fleezanis has given first performances of several other important violin works, including Nicholas Maw's Sonata for Solo Violin and, with violist Thomas Turner, the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's Double Concerto for Violin and Viola.

A master teacher, she is on faculty at the University of Minnesota and is artist-in-residence at the University of California-Davis. Fleezanis began her violin studies with Ara Zerounian while attending public school in Detroit, where she was born. After further studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, she joined the Chicago Symphony at age 23. Fleezanis plays a Matteo Goffriller violin, hers made in 1700 and given in 2003 to the Minnesota Orchestra for her use by John and Nancy Lindahl.