Join us on Saturday, March 8, 2025 at 2:00 pm to enjoy a performance of by cellist Annie Jacobs-Perkins and pianist Katelyn Vahala. This will be their first appearance at these concerts.
About the Artists
Praised for anything from “hypnotic lyricism, causing listeners to forget where they were for a moment” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker) to “delightfully pluck[ing] and slapp[ing] her cello like a rockabilly upright bassist” (The Democrat and Chronicle), cellist Annie Jacobs-Perkins is known for “eras[ing] all kinds of boundaries” (USC Thornton School of Music) with her music.
Annie is the recent winner of the 2023 Pierre Fournier Award. In the coming seasons she will present a recital in Wigmore Hall, perform as soloist with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, and record a debut album on the Champs Hill label. Annie is also 1st prize winner of the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs Emerging Soloist Competition, New England Conservatory Concerto Competition, and Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition. She will begin her roles as Artist-in-Residence of the Austin Chamber Music Center and EstOvest Festival Contemporary Cello Week this fall. In 2021 she was also chosen to be Young-Artist-in-Residence at NPR’s Performance Today.
Annie is principal cellist of Joshua Weilerstein’s Phoenix Chamber Orchestra in Boston and cellist of Trio Brontë, 1st prize winners of the 2023 Ilmari Hannikainen International Piano Chamber Music Competition in Finland. She has performed at venues such as the Library of Congress, Het Concertgebouw, Jordan Hall, Carnegie Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Berliner Philharmonie, Ravinia Steans Institute, Krzyzowa Music, Yellow Barn Festival, and La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest.
After winning the Father Merlet Award from the Pro Musicis Foundation in 2022, Annie commissioned composers Stratis Minakakis and Daniel Temkin to write two works for cello and piano responding to the climate crisis. Her passion for new music has led her to work with composers Brett Dean, Jörg Widmann, Timo Andres, Jeffrey Mumford, Konstantia Gourzi, and Jessie Montgomery.
Annie is currently working towards an Artist Diploma at the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. She previously studied at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin (MM ‘23, Ottilie-Selbach-Redslob Stiftung scholarship), New England Conservatory (MM ‘20 and GD ‘21, Laurence Lesser Presidential Scholarship), and USC’s Thornton School of Music (BM ‘18, Outstanding Graduate Award and Trustee Scholar). Her primary teachers include Frans Helmerson, Troels Svane, Laurence Lesser, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Kathleen Murphy Kemp. Other influential teachers include Guy Fishman, David Geringas, Geoff Dyer, and Thomas Gustafson.
Annie spends her free time foraging for indigenous edible plants, relearning the history of the United States from the perspective of BIPOC, feminist, and LGBTQ+ communities, pretending to be a dog with her dogs Georgie and Farley, and adoring her nephews Charlie and Robin.
Praised as a “highly accomplished pianist with wonderfully rhythmic and robust playing” (New York Concert Review), Katelyn Vahala is a passionate soloist, chamber musician, educator, and arts advocate in the Los Angeles area.
As Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the traveling outdoor concert series Insert Music Here, Katelyn brings carefully curated musical programs outside the concert hall and into nature – most recently through partnerships with the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, and LA Times Festival of Books. Insert Music Here presents concerts in scenic locations with a hybrid grand piano and unique portable stage to expand access to the arts for new communities while supporting awareness for environmental conservation organizations.
In addition to winning the 2021 USC Thornton Concerto Competition, Katelyn is the first prize winner of the 2019 Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, where she also won the contemporary music award. Upon completing her Masters degree, she was named a 2018 Outstanding Graduate at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Katelyn’s upcoming engagements include performances in Leipzig as a Semifinalist in the Leipzig International Bach Competition, taking place in July 2022.
One of Katelyn’s greatest passions is chamber music. As pianist of the Callisto Piano Trio, Katelyn was a prize winner at the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, where the trio was the youngest ensemble to ever compete in the senior division finals. Since then, the Callisto Trio has toured throughout Holland and Slovakia as part of the International Holland Music Sessions’ Masters on Tour and has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Da Camera Society in Los Angeles.
Katelyn has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Het Concertgebouw, Salzburg Mozarteum, Bratislava Reduta Philharmonic Hall, St. Petersburg Union of Composers, Porto Casa da Música, and LACMA’s Bing Auditorium. Her past collaborations include performances with artists from the Juilliard and American String Quartets, as well as appearances with the Tandru Trio and the Julius Quartet. She has attended the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program, Perlman Music Program, Colburn Academy Piano Festival, and Port Townsend Chamber Music Workshop. Previous chamber music mentors include Ralph Kirshbaum, Seth Knopp, Itzhak Perlman, Roger Tapping, and Andrew Cook.
A recipient of the Heartwell Endowed Scholarship, Katelyn is pursuing a DMA in Piano Performance at USC’s Thornton School of Music with Dr. Lucinda Carver and Jeffrey Kahane. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Piano Performance at USC, in which she was a Trustee Scholar.