Violist/Violinist Jen Herman has concertized in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa and is currently based in New York City. She can be heard playing viola and violin in The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, American Ballet Theatre, American Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a violist on Sunset Boulevard. Often a guest principal violist for many local orchestras, Jen has performed with the Flint, Lansing, Midland, Spoleto Festival USA, Princeton, Symphony in C, Distinguished Concerts International, Arcos, New Haven, Glens Falls, Greater Bridgeport, Chelsea Opera and the Medomak Conductor’s Retreat Orchestras.
Festival appearances include Summergarden at MoMA, Sarasota Music Festival, and Spoleto Music Festival USA. As a chamber musician, Jen has performed in venues such as Carnegie’s Weill Hall where her performance was featured on NPR, Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, MoMA’s sculpture garden, and was a founding member of the contemporary ensemble Lunatics at Large, of which Allan Kozinn of the New York Times described as “young, energetic, and finely polished.” An advocate for new music, she has premiered dozens of works by living composers and is currently commissioning new works for viola and violin.
Jen made her orchestral solo debut in March 2013 performing the Hummel Potpourri for Viola and Orchestra with Ensemble 212 in Lincoln Center. She performs recitals regularly and most recently performed a benefit recital to create a scholarship fund for the Clinton Hill Music School where she raised $7,500 to provide free private music lessons to 7 students (and 4 partial) during the 2016-2017 school year. Jen has also recorded numerous pop/rock/jazz albums with artists including Grammy Award-winner Kenny Garrett and A-Ha’s Paul Waaktaar-Savoy.
Jen received her Bachelor of Music Degree with honors at the Mannes College of Music as a student of Daniel Panner, where she won the Low String Division Concerto Competition playing the Walton Viola Concerto as a sophomore. She continued her education at The Juilliard School studying with Hsin-Yun Huang, completing a Master of Music Degree at The University of Michigan with Yizhak Schotten where she won the String Division Concerto Competition performing the Bartok Viola Concerto in Hill Auditorium.
A dedicated teacher, Jen co-founded the Clinton Hill Music School in 2012. She is also a teaching artist who taught violin to sixth-grade classes in East New York with funding from a grant from Community Works and has worked with nursery school children at Mango’s Place in Clinton Hill for the past six years. Jen has been on the faculty of the Harmony Program, an El Sistema-based program, teaching group violin classes to elementary-school students and has been a teaching artist for the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s SmartARTS program.
Jen plays on a uniquely crafted “viola d’amore style” viola made in 2011 by Hiroshi Iizuka and a 1925 gold plated exhibition Victor Fétique bow. She enjoys performing on an early 20th century violin that was an heirloom from her late grandmother.