Jinjoo Cho, South Korea – Gold Medalist
Violinist Jinjoo Cho is an artist model of the 21st-century. Since her concert debut at age seven, she has been numerously recognized as the winner of world’s most prestigious competitions such as the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Montreal International Musical Competition, Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition, and a laureate of 2011 Isang Yun International Music Competition. As a charismatic female solo artist, a vibrant and engaging chamber musician, a devoted teacher, an innovative artistic director and a published writer, Jinjoo is redefining what it means to be a consummate classical artist in the modern society.
Jinjoo can be found performing in distinguished international venues and festivals alike including Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, the Herkulessaal of Munich, Schwetzingen SWR Festspiele, Seoul Arts Center, and Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, with world’s leading orchestras and musicians as The Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic, Orquesta Clasica Santa Cecilia de Madrid, Phoenix Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, James Gaffigan, Michael Stern, Kent Nagano, Peter Oundjian, Tan Dun, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Tito Muñoz, Mathieu Herzog, Itamar Golan and Roger Tapping. She regularly tours with creative programs that include works of living composers and lesser-known repertoire.
A passionate teacher, Jinjoo is on the violin faculty at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and has previously taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. She is also the Founder/Artistic Director of ENCORE Chamber Music, an intensive summer training program for talented young performers in Cleveland, and regularly gives master classes worldwide.
Jinjoo is an alumna of Cleveland Institute of Music (BM, MM, PS) where she studied with Paul Kantor and Jaime Laredo. She also received training at the Curtis Institute of Music, Kronberg Academy, Aspen Music Festival and School, Perlman Music Program, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Music@Menlo, and Banff Centre’s Chamber Music Residency Program. Jinjoo’s artistic personality was greatly influenced by the Cavani String Quartet, members of the Cleveland Quartet, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and conductor David Zinman. Jinjoo now lives in Montreal with her toy poodle, Miso, and enjoys visiting art galleries, collecting kitchen magnets and stationeries, and listening to Indie Rock in her spare time.
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.
Violinist Tessa Lark, recipient of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time. A budding superstar in the classical realm, she is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky. Since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at sixteen, Ms. Lark has appeared with dozens of orchestras, festivals and recital venues including Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, San Francisco Performances, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Marlboro Music. Highlights of her 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons included multiple performances of two works for violin and orchestra written for her: Love Letter by bassist-composer Michael Thurber, and Sky, a bluegrass-inspired concerto by Michael Torke premiered and recorded with the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra. Additional recording projects include a fantasia-themed album including Ms. Lark’s own Appalachian Fantasy and works by Telemann, Ravel, Kreisler and Schubert; Invention, a debut album of the violin-bass duo Tessa Lark & Michael Thurber that comprises music of J.S. Bach along with non-classical original compositions; and a genre-bending disc in collaboration with such artists as multi-instrumentalist/composer Jon Batiste and American fiddling legend Michael Cleveland. Recent and upcoming activities include Australia’s Musica Viva festival—a four-concert engagement highlighted by a duo collaboration with bassist/composer Edgar Meyer—and debuts with the Seattle and Indianapolis symphonies. Ms. Lark is a graduate of New England Conservatory with an Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. She plays a c. 1600 G.P. Maggini violin on loan from an anonymous donor through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Ji Young Lim, South Korea – Bronze Medalist
Ji-Young Lim has become a star since she won the first prize of Queen Elisabeth Competition 2015. In 2014, she won the bronze medal in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and received the ‘Best Performance of a Mozart Sonata’ prize. Even before these, she has already acknowledged her brilliant talents and fruitful musicality by many domestic and international competitions and festivals.
Ji-Young Lim started to play the violin when she was seven years old. She studied at Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts and has continued her study with Nam Yun Kim at the Korea National University of Art; now she continues further study at the Kronberg Academy in Germany. With this outstanding achievement, she received Kumho Musician Award from the Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation and New Artists Prize from Daewon Cultural Foundation as well.
Ji-Young Lim has performed with orchestras such as the Orchestra Philharmonique Royal de Liege, Brussels Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Wuhan Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra , Philharmonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais, L’Orchestra National Du Capitole de Toulouse, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and the KBS Symphony Orchestra among others. She has been invited to many popular festivals and concert series, such as HongKong Arts Festival, Copenhagen Summer Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Great Mountains Music Festival, etc.
Ji-Young Lim performed at the concert hosted by the King of Belgium during his visit to Korea, and played as an artist representing Republic of Korea at the first anniversary of the Panmunjeom Declaration.
Since 2015, she has played the Stradivarius “Huggins, 1708”, which is a four-year special loan for the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Concours, and she has been chosen as the recipient for Stradivari “Sasserno” which was made in 1717 after Huggins.
Dami Kim, South Korea – Fourth Place Laureate
The recipient of a number of awards and honors, violinist Dami Kim won first prize in the 2012 Hannover Joseph Joachim International Competition in Germany, where she received a G.B. Guadagnini violin and a CD recording contract with Naxos as a part of the prize. She is a Laureate of both the 2014 Indianapolis Violin Competition in the United States, where she received ‘Best Performance of a Classical Concerto’ and ‘Best Performance of a Beethoven Sonata’ prizes, and is a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. She received 2nd prize (no 1st prize awarded) from the 2010 53rd Premio Paganini Competition in Italy, where she was also given the ‘Barbieri Special Prize’ for the best interpretation of Paganini Capricci, and the ‘Ruminelli Special prize’ to the best placed finalist. She has won first prize in the 2011 3rd Munetsugu Angel Violin International Competition in Japan, where she acquired the chance to use the Stradivarius “Rainville” violin for 2 years. She also received several prizes in various competitions worldwide, including the 2010 Sendai International Competition in Japan, the 2009 Michael Hill Violin International Competition in New Zealand, second prize in the 2006 Johansen International Competition in the U.S., and the 2004 Greenfield Philadelphia Orchestra Competition.
Kim gave recitals and has appeared as a soloist with various orchestras throughout Europe, America and Asia, including her successful debut recital in the 2015 Swiss Lucerne Festival, and a performance with the NDR Philharmonie in Hannover, Germany with Maestro Manze. The various orchestras with which she has appeared include the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Macau Orchestra, Orchestra Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the KBS Orchestra, the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Thailand Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others throughout the world.
Kim recently began a new position as a professor at Seoul National University.
YooJin Jang, South Korea – Fifth Place Laureate
Applauded by The Strad for her “fiery virtuosity” and “consummate performances,” violinist YooJin Jang is a winner of the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Competition and First Prize winner of the 2016 Sendai International Music Competition in Japan. These two victories have resulted in a busy itinerary of international recital and concerto engagements and also the release of two new recordings for the rising young talent lauded by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as being “a performer without fear or technical limitation.”
Recent concerto performances include appearances with the Columbus Symphony playing the Brahms Violin Concerto and with the symphony orchestras of Chautauqua, Dubuque, DuPage, Roswell, and University of Chicago. In recital, highlights include YooJin’s Carnegie Hall debut and concerts at Jordan Hall and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert series in Chicago, and Rockefeller University in New York City. A passionate chamber musician, YooJin has performed with Caramoor’s Rising Stars and toured with Musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute and Musicians From Marlboro.
Internationally, YooJin has performed with her native country’s KBS Symphony Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with the Budapest Festival Orchestra (led by Ivan Fischer), Bulgaria National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonia Orchestra, Erato Ensemble, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, and Spain’s Extremadura Orchestra; and recitals in Japan for the Sendai Competition Winner’s series in Sendai, Nagoya and at Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo.
In 2017, YooJin released two albums: live performances of the Mendelssohn and Stravinsky Violin Concertos with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and Junichi Hirokami, and a recital disc featuring music of Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, Grieg and Sibelius with pianist Kae Ozawa. Her first album, Korean Young Musicians, was released on the KBS (Korean Broadcast System) label, in cooperation with Aulos media & KBS Classic FM. She is also regularly heard on the radio, including a recent appearance on WQXR’s McGraw Hill Young Artists Showcase.
YooJin’s latest victories at CAG and Sendai follow a long line of international competition success. In 2013, she won Japan’s 4th International Munetsugu Violin Competition, which included the loan of the 1697 ‘Rainville’ Stradivari violin. She was also a top prize winner at the prestigious International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the Michael Hill International Violin Competition (including the Audience Prize and Best Performance of the New Zealand Commission Work), and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition.
YooJin is also a co-founder of The Kallaci String Quartet, which made its international debut at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea and the Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music. Recognized for her creative work in chamber music, she won the 2011 Borromeo String Quartet Guest Artist Award, and in 2009 she was awarded the Schloss Weikersheim Scholarship as part of the London String Quartet Competition. YooJin has also participated in the Marlboro and Ravinia Festivals, where she worked with artists such as Menahem Pressler, Dénes Várjon and Peter Wiley.
Jiyoon Lee, South Korea – Sixth Place Laureate
First concertmaster of Staatskapelle Berlin, Jiyoon Lee is rapidly building an international reputation as an emerging young artist, winning praise for her brilliant virtuosity and passionate performances which the BBC Music Magazine called “full-toned, consistent and energetic playing” and the New York Times described as “deeply personal solo with juicy tone.”
She is the recent first prize winner of the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition. Her success has been preceded by numerous awards, including the first prize in David Oistrakh competition in 2013 and the Windsor String Competition in 2015.
Jiyoon Lee is an aspiring soloist, performing with renowned orchestras such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orquesta de Valencia, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Odense, Indianapolis, KBS and Korean Symphony Orchestra, and the philharmonic orchestras of Poznań, Seoul and Gyeonggi.
Highlights of her recent and forthcoming performances include concerto debut with Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim and solo recital in Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin, followed by engagements with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Incheon and Gyeonggi philharmonic orchestras.
In 2018, her debut recording of the Korngold and Nielsen concertos has met much critical acclaim, earning five-star reviews and simultaneously named ‘Editor’s Choice’ on BBC Music Magazine as well as in Gramophone Magazine. Her following album titled Mythes featuring duo works by Szymanowski, Bartók, Stravinsky and Ravel was described on Gramophone Magazine as “another fine disc from Lee that consolidates her growing reputation and marks her out as an artist to watch in the future.”
Also a devoted chamber musician, Jiyoon regularly participates in music festivals across the world including the Verbier, Tanglewood, Kronberg and Hamburg chamber music festivals. Furthermore, she appears in numerous concerts as part of the Boulez Ensemble with artists such as Sir Antonio Pappano, Francois-Xavier Roth, Jörg Widmann and Daniel Barenboim.
Born in 1992 in Seoul, her career as a violinist commenced at the age of four. She studied at the Korean National University of Arts and with violinist Kolja Blacher at Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin.
Jiyoon Lee plays on a beautiful C. F. Landolfi, kindly on a loan from Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben in Hamburg.