Jenny Oaks Baker
Grammy-nominated classical violinist Jenny Oaks Baker is known as “America’s Violinist.” She is the daughter of Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his late wife June Dixon Oaks. She began playing the violin at age four and made her orchestral debut in 1983 when she was only eight years old.
She received a Bachelor's Degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. In 2005, she soloed with the National Symphony Orchestra, with whom she was the first violinist for seven years at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch. In 2007, she resigned from the National Symphony Orchestra to devote more time to her young family.
- “The National Symphony was definitely a good thing, but it was not the best thing for me or my family at that time in our lives,” Baker said. “I am grateful that God inspired me to give up that very good career for the ultimate and best career of motherhood. It definitely strengthened our family.”
Jenny is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband, Matthew, are the parents of four children—Laura Jane, Hannah Jean, Sarah Noelle, and Matthew Dallin. Each has been taught to play an instrument. They were ages 10, 9, 7, and 5 at the time that they performed in July 2012 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, Utah, as part of her Disney concerts. The song was arranged by Kurt Bestor. She and her children, performing as Family Four, have performed worldwide and performed at the September 6, 2019, birthday celebration for President Russell M. Nelson. They also released their first album that month.
She has recorded fourteen albums, which include On Wings of Song, Songs my Mother Taught Me, American Tapestry, The Light Divine, The Best of Jenny Oaks Baker, O Holy Night, Silver Screen Serenade, Then Sings My Soul, Noel: Carols of Christmas Past, and My Home Can Be a Holy Place. Her albums have sold over 250 million copies.
She has recorded distinctly different albums. Her 2014 album, Classic: The Rock Album, features music from Guns N’ Roses, Beatles, Sting, and R.E.M. Composer and pianist Kurt Bestor arranged the album — the eleventh that they have worked on together.
Jenny Oaks Baker Musical Accolades
In late 2011, Jenny was nominated for a Grammy Award for her album Wish Upon a Star: A Tribute to the Music of Walt Disney, in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category.
She served as a judge for the 2007 Stradivarius International Violin Competition. She has also been a guest soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Jenny's music has been featured on the soundtracks of many films, including the 2007 PBS documentary miniseries, The Mormons, T. C. Christensen's 2011 film 17 Miracles, the 2015 film The Cokeville Miracle, and Mitch Davis' 2015 film, Christmas Eve, which also features her acting debut as the violinist character, Mandy.
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