"FRIDAYS with FRIENDS"

Jude Ziliak
Violinist Jude Ziliak became a full member of American Bach Soloists in 2013, one year after he joined the ABS Academy in 2012. He has since performed with ABS in Handel’s Messiah , Alexander’s Feast , La Resurezzione , and Acis & Galatea ; Bach’s Magnificat, Easter & Ascension Oratorios, Christmas Oratorio, Hunting Cantata, and three recent recordings: Bach’s Motets for Double Chorus, “Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen Sings Gluck, Handel, and Vivaldi,” and Bach’s Orchestral Suites on which he served as concert master and leader.
He is the first violinist of Sonnambula, and a member of the orchestras of the Clarion Music Society, Teatro Nuovo, Holy Trinity Bach Vespers, and Blue Hill Bach. An American Fellow of the English Concert, he has also performed with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants at the Festival dans les Jardins de William Christie, and with Musica Angelica, Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Cantata Profana, and New York Baroque Incorporated.

Raised in Sewanee, Tennessee, Jude resides in New York City, where he teaches at the Special Music School and Lucy Moses School. Enjoy his recent pursuits by getting started with the video below.
Q: How have you coped with sheltering-in-place?

I, personally, cannot complain, even though the separation from family, friends, and colleagues weighs on me. The sustained time with my son, who turned two a couple of weeks into the shelter-in-place order, has been a great gift. In normal times, I travel quite a bit, like many musicians, so I am grateful for the chance to be home with my family. We are lucky to live near beautiful parkland in northern Manhattan, and have spent more of our time in nature than you would guess from our NYC address! Professionally, while the cessation of concert activity has been difficult, I am lucky to be able to continue working in my half-time teaching position. I work with extraordinary young people at Special Music School, a public school for musically gifted children in grades K-12. I’m fortunate to remain partially employed, and my students inspire me daily with their dedication, resourcefulness, and good spirits. 
The Heather Gardens in New York's Fort Tryon Park
Photo by Jude Ziliak
Q: These days, lots of people are sharing lists of the favorite books, movies, etc. that might be enjoyed by others. Do you have any recommendations?
 
Christoph Wolff’s new book,  Bach’s Musical Universe,  was one of the first books I read during the lockdown, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is missing live music at the moment. It has a fascinating section on Bach’s  Triple Canon for Six Voices , which is what piqued my interest in playing it for you Rereading W.G. Sebald’s  The Emigrants, a profound meditation on memory, loss, and isolation, has been healing in the midst of so much grief in the world. On a lighter note, my friend Max Gladstone’s  Craft Sequence  is some of the most compelling fantasy I’ve ever read. 
 
I’m an incurable news junkie, but these days feel a strong need to escape the daily news cycle. To that end I am grateful for weekly thoughtful analyses by Preet Bharara on his podcasts, “Stay Tuned” and “Cafe Insider.” 
 
As to TV,  Star Trek: Picard  was terrific, and I can’t wait for the second season. An older documentary by David Attenborough,  The Private Lives of Plants , is beautiful and startling. 
Q: So many musical performances have been canceled recently, but have you been able to take on any new musical projects? Have you delved into repertory that you hadn’t had time to work on before? 
 
I’ve been learning the Partitas for solo violin of Johann Paul Westhoff, an elder colleague of Bach’s in his Weimar years. They are the oldest multi-movement works for unaccompanied violin, so their historical interest is obvious, but somehow I’d never quite realized how beautiful they are. I’m very excited about playing them and look forward to sharing them with listeners soon. 
 
My teacher from my graduate studies at Rice University, Kenneth Goldsmith, passed away a couple of weeks ago, and in the wake of his death, I’ve been practicing studies and routines that he taught me, in some cases for the first time since I was in school.They have been valuable in helping me stay limber in this “ tempus clausum ,” but even more than that, they help me feel my late teacher’s presence in the room, and bring back to mind many long-forgotten words of guidance.
 
Q: Our audiences love you and your performances. And we’re so happy that you love to be with us at ABS. Are there any standout reasons why you look forward to your future projects with ABS?
 
ABS is a community of incredibly sincere musicians who are also curious thinkers. I consistently come away deeply enriched, spiritually and intellectually, from working on the great music ABS focuses on, under Jeffrey Thomas’s inspiring leadership. I know of no more devoted or knowledgeable group of listeners anywhere than ABS’s audiences. I very much look forward to being back.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) 

Triple Canon for Six Voices
Jude Ziliak, baroque violin
Be well and stay well!
from all of us at ABS
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