Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Tessa Lark
BBT Fellowship 2018

Tessa Lark - Biography

Tessa Lark received support from BBT between 2018 and 2023. For an up-to-date biography please visit

Violinist Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time, consistently praised by critics and audiences for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, and musical elegance. In 2020 she was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category and received one of Lincoln Center’s prestigious Emerging Artist Awards: the special Hunt Family Award. Other recent honors include a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition.

She solos regularly with many of the major orchestras around the world, from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to Seattle Symphony, and has appeared in recital in such prestigious venues and series as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall’s Distinctive Debuts series in Weill Hall (2017). She made her London concerto debut with the UK premiere of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ A Portrait of a Lady by Swan Lake with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in March 2023.

She is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky, delighting audiences with programming that includes Appalachian and bluegrass music and inspiring composers to write for her – most notably SKY, a bluegrass-inspired violin concerto written for Tessa by Michael Torke which earned both a GRAMMY nomination for Tessa and a Pulitzer finalist distinction for Torke. She collaborates with a number of bluegrass legends on her second disc for First Hand Records, the BBT-supported The Stradgrass Sessions.

Lark is a graduate of New England Conservatory and completed her Artist Diploma at The Juilliard School. She plays a ca. 1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

To receive this Fellowship and to be included among the incredible musicians who are part of the BBT family is such a gift. The Borletti-Buitoni Trust is extraordinary in its encouragement of creative individuality, and the multifaceted career support I’ve experienced thus far has facilitated a rare type of deep, fruitful artistic exploration. What’s most extraordinary is the team behind the Trust – their invaluable guidance, unmatched expertise, and unwavering commitment to musical excellence and its profound impact on the world. This is a most unusual organisation in the most beautiful way.

Photographs by Benedict Allen