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2014 Laureates

Jinjoo Cho, South Korea - Gold Medalist

Critically acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho has established herself as one of the most vibrant, engaging and charismatic violinists of her generation. Gold Medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of the Indianapolis, Jinjoo made her first appearance on the international music scene when she garnered the First Grand Prize and Radio Canada’s People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Montreal International Musical Competition at age 17. Times Argus of Montreal proclaimed her performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto as possessing “an undeniable charisma and depth...with an intense lyricism and heartfelt tenderness that sent shivers up the spine.”

Since then, she has won numerous international awards including the First Prize and Orchestra Award at the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition in 2010, 2nd Laureate at the 2011 Isang Yun International Music Competition, First Grand Prize at the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition, and the Dorothy DeLay Award at Aspen Music Festival.

Jinjoo has concertized throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe, performing as a soloist with such prestigious orchestras as The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Argentina) among many others. She has been privileged to perform with renowned artists Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Michael Stern, Yoel Levi, James Gaffigan, Robert McDuffie, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Paul Neubauer, Roger Tapping and Anton Nel. She has appeared in international venues and festivals including Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, the Herkulessaal of Munich, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Seoul Arts Center, Aspen Music Festival, Schwetzingen SWR Festipiele, Festival de Lanaudière, Cleveland Chamberfest, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Spring Chamber Music Festival, and Tongyeong International Music Festival.

Recent and upcoming engagements include her Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium concerto debut with the New York String Orchestra in addition to appearances with the Greensboro, Grand Junction, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Vermont, Phoenix, KBS (Korea) and Orquestra Sinfônica de Minas Gerais (Brazil) symphonies. Jinjoo’s recitals at Bard College, Brattleboro Music Center, Dame Myra Hess, Indiana University, Mercyhurst University, La Jolla Music Society, Linton Chamber Music, Chamber Music International, Rockefeller University and the Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami will culminate in a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium recital debut in June 2016.

Jinjoo’s biggest passion is arts education and audience engagement. As a result, she is the founder of a new chamber music program for high school and college students in Cleveland, Ohio named the Encore Chamber Music Institute. The institute will have its inaugural season in the summer of 2016. Starting with the 2015-16 school year, Jinjoo has also accepted a part-time appointment at Oberlin Conservatory teaching violin and coaching chamber music. Another project of hers on the opposite side of the globe is Classical Revolution Korea, where musicians travel all across Korea to give free concerts and meet audiences in cafés. The programs in 2015 include performances in Seoul and Jeju Island. Recently, she also started writing a column in the performing arts magazine, Auditorium, titled “The Art of Practice.”

Born in Seoul, Korea, Jinjoo moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a Young Artist Program student. Within a few years of arriving in the United States, she had won most of the local competitions for both high school and collegiate level students, including the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s concerto competition and the Cleveland Institute of Music’s collegiate level concerto competition. One of the jurors at the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra competition was the legendary oboist John Mac, who later became very closely tied to Jinjoo’s musical development. At age 16, she was awarded the Gold Medal at the Stulberg International String Competition. Additionally Jinjoo served as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and later, the New York String Orchestra Seminar. The New York Times described her concertmaster solos as “rich and open...finely polished, (and) focused.”

A passionate advocate for community outreach and education, Jinjoo has performed at over 100 venues, giving master classes, presenting showcases, and delivering lecture recitals. Her ties to the Cleveland community are especially apparent as she performs often for local organizations such as the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, the Beachwood Arts Council, the Cleveland Clinic, the Women’s Committee at CIM, Arts Renaissance Tremont, the Tuesday Musical Association of Akron, CityMusic Cleveland, and more. Recently, she gave a masterclass for the students at Oberlin Conservatory.

Jinjoo finished her Bachelor of Music degree both at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, and Paul Kantor, who has been her mentor since 2001. She also received her Master of Music and Professional Studies from CIM, having studied with Jaime Laredo. She has coached with the Cavani String Quartet, Peter Salaff, Gilbert Kalish, Itzhak Perlman, Donald Weilerstein, David Finckel, Wu Han, and Mark Steinberg, and participated in masterclasses given by the Takács Quartet, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, Samuel Rhodes and Zakhar Bron, with whom she worked at Kronberg Academy’s Masterclasses Program. Jinjoo has spent the summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, Music@Menlo and the Chamber Music Residency Program at The Banff Centre with her pianist Daniel H.S. Kim as Duo Istas. Duo Istas regularly tours in North America with intensely creative programs that features seldom played works and contemporary repertoire.

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Tessa Lark, United States - Silver Medalist
Silver Medalist of the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and winner of the Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of her time. She has been consistently praised by critics and audiences alike for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility and musical elegance.

Tessa, 25, is a recipient of a career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts. Other awards include the first prize in both the 2008 Irving Klein International Strings Competition and the 2006 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players; and top prizes in the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition as part of her piano trio, Modêtre, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2009.
At age 16, Lark was soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and has since performed concerti with the Louisville Orchestra; Santa Fe, Cheyenne, Santa Cruz, Cape Ann, Melrose and Peninsula Symphonies; Gettysburg and Mission Chamber Orchestras; Chinese Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra, and New England Conservatory's Symphony Orchestra as a result of winning the school's Violin Concerto Competition in 2010 with the Walton Violin Concerto. Lark has given many solo recitals, including her Carnegie Hall debut recital in Weill Hall and other concerts for the San Francisco Performances series, the radio broadcasted Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series, Ravinia's Bennett-Gordon Classics series, Chamber Music Tulsa series, and the Caramoor Wednesday Morning Concert series.

A passionate chamber musician, she has been invited to many summer festivals including Yellow Barn, Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival, the Perlman Music Program's Chamber Music Workshop, and Music@Menlo. Tessa Lark is a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi and has participated in the Music in the Vineyards Festival, the Wadsworth Chamber Music series and Caramoor's Rising Star Series. She has collaborated with a long list of renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Miriam Fried, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Kim Kashkashian and Ralph Kirshbaum. Tessa also participated in the 2012 Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Music Institute concert tour.

Tessa started playing violin at age 6 studying with Cathy McGlasson. She joined the Starling Strings Program at University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music in 2001 and studied with Kurt Sassmannshaus. She entered New England Conservatory in the fall of 2006 to begin studies with Miriam Fried and completed her Master's degree in May 2012 under the tutelage of both Ms. Fried and Lucy Chapman. In addition to her busy performance schedule, Tessa has served on the faculty of the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, China and as resident faculty at Lee University School of Music. As a From the Top alumna, Tessa plays an active role in their arts leadership program as a performer and educator.

Keeping in touch with her Kentucky roots, Tessa enjoys playing bluegrass and Appalachian music. She collaborates frequently with Mark O'Connor and is included in his CD "MOC4," recently released in June 2014.

As part of her prize from winning the Indianapolis Competition, Tessa plays on the 1683 ex-Gingold Stradivari violin which is on loan to her for four years.

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Ji Young Lim, South Korea - Bronze Medalist

Young Korean violinist Ji Young Lim, born in 1995 is the First Prize winner of the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Belgium. She also is the Bronze Medalist of the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis where she won an additional prize for the “Best Performance of a Mozart Concerto”.

Ms. Lim started to play the violin when she was only 7 years old. She was accepted to the Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts and continued her study at Korea National University of Arts under Nam Yun Kim.

She has been highly regarded for her brilliant talents and engaging musicality in many domestic and international competitions. In 2013, she won First Prize at the Euroasia International Competition in Japan and the MIMC Prize at the Montreal International Musical Competition. In 2011, she was third laureate of the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition and in 2012 she won both the Ishikawa Music Award in Japan and the Great Mountains Concerto Competition in Korea.

Ji Young Lim has been invited to many famous festivals and concert series, such as the Great Mountains Music Festival, Ishikawa Music Festival, concert series of Seoul Arts Center, etc. She has toured not only in Korea but also in Japan, the United States, Canada, and throughout Europe including Germany and Switzerland. She has performed with the violinist/conductors Maxim Vengerov, Joel Smirnoff and Koichiro Harada, all of whom have influenced her deep sense of musicianship.

Ms. Lim’s 2015/2016 season includes recital and concerto tours in Asia, North America and Europe.

Currently, Ms. Lim studies at Korean National University of Arts with Nam Yun Kim.
Since 2014, she has played on a Giuseppe Guadagnini (1794) sponsored by Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation and now is playing the “Huggins” Stradivarius 1708 sponsored by the Nippon Music Foundation as a result of winning the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

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Dami Kim, South Korea

Highly praised Korean violinist Dami Kim is the recipient of a number of awards from many of the world’s prestigious international competitions. Kim won First Prize at the 2012 Hannover Joseph Joachim International Competition in Germany, where she received the use of a G. B. Guadagnini and a CD recording contract with Naxos as a part of the prize. She is a Laureate of the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis in the United States where she was also awarded “Best Performance of a Classical Concerto” and “Best Performance of a Beethoven Sonata” Prizes. She was also a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She received 2nd prize (No 1st prize was awarded) at the 2010 53rd Premio Paganini Competition in Italy, where she was also given the “Barbieri Special Prize” for the best interpretation of Paganini Caprices and the “Ruminelli Special Prize” awarded to the best-placed finalist. In 2011, Kim won First prize in the 2011 3rd Munetsugu Angel Violin International Competition in Japan where she acquired a chance to use the “Rainville” Stradivarius violin for 2 years. She has won several additional prizes in various competitions throughout the world including the 2010 Sendai International Competition in Japan, 2009 Michael Hill Violin International Competition in New Zealand, Second prize at the 2006 Johansen International Competition in the U.S.A., and the 2004 Greenfield Philadelphia Orchestra Competition.

Kim has given recitals and appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout Europe, America and Asia including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Macau Orchestra, Orchestra Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, NDR Radio Philharmonie, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Seoul Phil Orchestra, KBS Orchestra, Wuhan Phil Orchestra, Macau Orchestra, Sendai Phil Orchestra and the Thailand Royal Phil Orchestra. Kim will give her Debut Recital at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland in August 2015.

Kim has shown a great interest towards chamber music as well and has participated regularly in many chamber music festivals including Ravinia, Yellow Barn, Taos, Aspen and Crans­Montana music festivals among others. She has collaborated with renowned artists Gidon Kremer, Frans Helmerson, Shlomo Mintz, Donald Weilerstein, Curtis Macomber, Atar Arad and Itamar Golan. As part of a project of 2014 Kronberg Chamber Music Connects the World, Kim collaborated with Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis and Christian Tetzlaff.

Kim began studying the violin at age five in Korea and entered the Curtis Institute of Music in the United States in 2002. She received her Diploma in 2007 while studying with violinist Aaron Rosand. Kim was the recipient of the Mark and Esther Kramer Fellowship, a merit­based full scholarship at Curtis. In 2010, 2012 and 2013 respectively, she earned her Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree and Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory, studying with renowned violinist Miriam Fried. While there, she won the Concerto Competition and performed with the NEC Symphony Orchestra in 2009. She currently studies with Mihaela Martin at Kronberg Academy in Germany.

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Yoo Jin Jang, South Korea

Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Laureate Yoojin Jang is a powerful young violinist who has been praised for her “fiery virtuosity” and “sensitive interpretation.” She has been performing with top Korean orchestras such as the KBS Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra since the age of nine. An active international soloist as well, Yoojin has appeared with Ivan Fischer’s Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Bulgaria National Radio Symphony Orchestra under Emil Tabakov, the Sofia Philharmonia Orchestra under Ljubka Biagioni, the Erato Ensemble with Sholomo Mintz, the Exremadura Orchestra led by Jesus Amigo and the Kioi Sinfonietta Tokyo. Yoojin’s recent and upcoming engagements in the United States include the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Caramoor Rising Stars and Ravinia Steans Institute on Tour. International concerts include the Munetsugu Competition Gala Concerts in Tokyo and Nagoya, the Nagoya Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, Shizuoka Symphony Orchestra and the Kumho Artist Series in Seoul. She will also solo with the NEC Philharmonia under conductor Josh Weilerstein. Yoojin will release her first CD titled “Korean Young Musicians” under the KBS (Korean Broadcast System) label, Aulos media & KBS Classic FM.

A seasoned competition winner, Yoojin won all of the top youth competitions in Korea including the prestigious Ewha Kyunghyang Competition. She also won the 4th International Munetsugu Violin Competition in Japan in 2013 for which she was awarded the loan of the 1697 “Rainville” Stradivari violin. Most recently, Yoojin was awarded Fifth Place and the special prize of “Best sonata other than Beethoven” at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Yoojin was the grand prix winner at the Tchaikovsky Homeland International Competition for Young Musicians where she was also awarded “Best Performance of a Commissioned Work.” She has been a prizewinner at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition, the Yfrah-Neaman International Violin Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition, where she won the Audience Prize and Best Performance of the New Zealand Commission Work. Yoojin is the recipient of many prestigious international prizes including the Second Daewon Music Award, Ishikawa Music Academy I.M.A Award and the Lotos Mozart Prize.

A sought after chamber musician, Yoojin founded The Kallaci String Quartet with Hyuk-ju Kwan, Hanna Lee, and Joon-Ho Shim. In 2012, The Kallaci String Quartet made its international debut at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea and at the Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music. Yoojin has been recognized for her creative work as a chamber musician—in 2011 she won the Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award and in 2009 was awarded the Schloss Weikersheim Scholarship as part of the London String Quartet Competition. Yoojin has participated in the Marlboro and Ravinia festivals where she worked with esteemed artists Menahem Pressler, Dénes Várjon and Peter Wiley.

Yoojin holds a Bachelor of Music from The Korean National University of Arts, where she studied under Nam Yun Kim. She received her Master of Music and Graduate Diploma from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Miriam Fried and is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma.

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Ji Yoon Lee, South Korea

Born in 1992 in Seoul, Korea, Ji Yoon started learning the violin at the age of 4 and showed her musical talent from early days. She studied with Professor Nam-Yun Kim from 2001 until 2012 at the Preliminary School of the Korean National University of Arts (KNUA). After graduating Yewon School, the top secondary art school in Korea, she joined the college course of KNUA at the age of 15 as a prodigy student in 2008. Since 2013, she has been pursuing her Master’s Degree under Professor Kolja Blacher’s instruction at Hochschule fur Musik “Hanns Eisler”.

Ji Yoon’s first success in her music career was winning the Grand Prix at the Korea Times Music Competition at the age of 7. At the age of 11, she won the Grand Prix at the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra Competition and became the youngest winner of all age groups and musical instruments. She took the first place for violin and won the Grand Prix in the 21st KBS-KEPCO Music Competition which is the most prestigious annual music competition in Korea hosted by the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS). She was the youngest Grand Prix winner in its 21-year history. In 2009, she won 2nd prize and the Beethoven Sonata Award at Kloster Schöntal International Violin Competition held in Germany. In 2011, she was a recipient of the “Ishikawa Music Award” in Ishikawa, Japan. She also was awarded 2nd prize together with the “Sarasate Prize” at the 11th Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition held in Spain. Ji Yoon won 1st prize at the 5th David Oistrakh International Competition in Moscow, along with “Best interpretation of a Sonata Prize” and the “Audience prize”. In 2014, she was named a Laureate at the prestigious International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Most recently she was the winner of the 5th Windsor Festival International String Competition. Since February 2014, she has been a recipient of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and plays on a Petrus Guarnerius Anno 1730 Venedig.

At the age of 7, Ji Yoon had her first public appearance as a soloist with Union Symphony Orchestra. Ever since, she has performed concerts with numerous orchestras including the Korean Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and KNUA Orchestra. She has appeared in many other public and private concerts as a guest soloist. In 2011, she had a solo concert on the Kumho Young Artist Concert Series, sponsored by the Kumho-Asiana Cultural Foundation. In the same year, she had two concerts as a soloist with the KBS Symphony Orchestra which were broadcast on national television. She was also invited to perform with Camerata Luce Chamber Orchestra (based in Pohang, Korea), appeared as a soloist on the Rising Star Series at the Great Mountain Music Festival in Korea and performed at Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan. She has performed with Navarra Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra de Camara Galicia in Spain and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio. She has appeared as both soloist and chamber musician in international music festivals including Kronberg Music Academy in Germany and Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland, where she was chosen as the winner of the “Hahnloser Prize”.

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2014 Laureates