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by Mike Telin

CHO-JinjooCleveland based violinist Jinjoo Cho has been named one of six contestants to be advanced to the final round of the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

Cho, who is currently in her second year of Professional Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, will perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, on Wednesday, September 17, with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. On Friday, September 19, she will perform Korngold’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 with the Indianapolis Symphony. Both performances are under the direction of Joel Smirnoff.

Final rounds begin at 8:00 pm eastern time. Click here for live broadcast information. Click here for live streaming.


by J.D. Goddard

BachBashOn Friday, March 21, Trinity Cathedral Chamber Singers and instrumentalists, directed by Elizabeth Lenti, presented a “Bach Birthday Bash” concert at Pilgrim Church, presented in collaboration with the Arts Renaissance Tremont series. It was a beautiful setting in the renovated sanctuary with its ornate organ pipes the center of attention. The welcome from the church staff was especially commendable and made for a comfortable beginning to the evening’s fare.

The program opened with Lenti at the organ performing the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543. With confidence and agility, Lenti laid down an exacting performance filled with interpretive nuance and style befitting the brilliance of Bach’s compositional genius. Infused with rambling melismatic lines, the Prelude was straightforward yet exacting in articulateness. With sensitive control and solid bravura, Lenti discharged the difficult Fugue with poignant clarity and acute definition. It was a majestic and awe-inspiring opening for Bach’s birthday celebration 2014.

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by Timothy Robson

Cho-&-KimIn its 23rd season, Arts Renaissance Tremont, based at Pilgrim Congregational Church, continues to offer an interesting and excellent variety of programs. The latest concert was by Jinjoo Cho, violin, and HyunSoo Kim, piano, on Sunday, February 9. The latest snowstorm had stopped by afternoon, and the cold sun shone brilliantly; thus, a large audience was in attendance for a stimulating program of less-often-played modern works.

Jinjoo Cho is a multi-prize winner in national and international competitions, with many solo recitals and concerto performances already in her relatively short career. After studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, she returned to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She now studies with Jaime Laredo. HyunSoo Kim is a CIM graduate and recently joined the CIM collaborative piano staff. Both are technically accomplished with strong musicality.

In brief spoken notes Jinjoo Cho described the program as consisting of “war sonatas”; each of the works, by Debussy, Janáček, Joan Tower, and Prokofiev, were composed during the various wars of the 20th and early 21st century. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Cho-&-KimWhat I love about him is that even during a first reading of a piece we already have the gestures,” says violinist Jinjoo Cho about her frequent collaborator, pianist HyunSoo Kim. “We may not have all the notes under the fingers but we are musically on the same page from the very beginning.” Perhaps it’s that certain musical chemistry that has made Cho and Kim audience favorites throughout the Cleveland area.

On Sunday, February 9 beginning at 3:00 pm, Arts Renaissance Tremont presents Jinjoo Cho and HyunSoo Kim in a concert featuring the music of Debussy, Janáček, Tower and Prokofiev at Pilgrim Church in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

A native of Seoul, South Korea, Jinjoo Cho earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. And she has had considerable success on the competition circuit, including First Prize and Orchestra Award winner of the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition and First Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award winner of the Montréal International Musical Competition. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Shapiro-&-ART-QuartetSometimes it’s not so easy to produce a concert. An established string quartet originally announced to appear with CIM piano professor Daniel Shapiro on the Arts Renaissance Tremont series last Sunday afternoon, November 17, withdrew late in the summer.

Fortunately, ART artistic director Christine Haff-Paluck had the rich resources of the Cleveland Institute of Music to draw upon, and organized a replacement quartet of excellent players: violinists Jinjoo Cho and James Thompson, violist Leah Ferguson and cellist Catlyn Kessler.

Then came the piano issue. Shapiro needed a more powerful instrument than the resident piano for a program of Romantic piano quintets, so a Steinway B was graciously loaned for the occasion from the Oberlin Conservatory.

And then there was a change in the program order after the programs had been printed: Dvořák’s Quintet in A, op. 81 was to have begun the concert, with Franck’s Quintet in f to follow. Haff announced before the concert that the two pieces would be played in reverse order. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Blue-Streak-Ensemble-1Composer Margaret Brouwer’s Blue Streak Ensemble visited Nighttown in Cleveland Heights on Monday, July 15 to preview the concert it would give the next evening in Hoover Auditorium at Lakeside. Two more disparate venues would be hard to imagine — an intimate room in a restaurant/jazz club and an auditorium you could park a Boeing 777 in — but the delightful playlist would work well under any circumstances, and was perfect for a summer evening, whether on Cedar Road or on the shores of Lake Erie.

Brouwer designed Blue Streak as an ensemble that would play summer concerts on the Lake (it gets its name from the famous roller coaster at Cedar Point) as well as a vehicle for performing her own compositions and arrangements of works by other classical composers (above: the 2012 ensemble). The personnel changes a bit from season to season. Monday’s group included Jinjoo Cho, violin, Irwin Shung, piano, Maaike Harding, cello, Sarah Beaty, mezzo-soprano and Robert Davis, clarinet, who played three contrasting pieces by Brouwer, plus movements from a suite by Milhaud, Brouwer’s arrangement of a well-known Rossini aria, Dvořák’s own arrangement for cello and piano of his Silent Woods, a duo for clarinet and bassoon attributed to Beethoven repurposed for clarinet and cello, a virtuosic cello piece by Turtle Island Quartet cellist Mark Summer, and three arias from Porgy and Bess, two of them in virtuosic violin and piano arrangements by Jascha Heifetz written for recital encores. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

VIEAUX-JasonWhiteOn Thursday, May 23rd beginning at 8:00 pm in CIM’s Mixon Hall, Classical Guitar Weekend kicks off its 2013 edition with a recital by Jason Vieaux that features the music of Paganini, Piazzolla, Ponce, and Sor. Vieaux, who heads the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Guitar department and serves on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, will be joined by hi CIM colleagues violinist Jinjoo Cho, violist Jeffrey Irvine, and cellist Melissa Kraut.

On Friday, May 24 beginning at 9:00 am, also in Mixon Hall, Vieaux will lead a master class via Distance Learning. Guitar students from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Royal Danish Academy of Music will perform on and off site via CIM’s innovative Distance Learning audio/video hook up and be coached by Jesper Sivebak, head of the RDAM guitar department.

Since winning the Guitar Foundation of America’s International Competition at the age of nineteen, Jason Vieaux has earned a reputation for putting his expressive gifts and virtuosity at the service of a remarkably wide range of music. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Ars-Futura-Wang-HallmanThe recently-formed new music ensemble Ars Futura describe themselves as a forward-thinking, mixed-chamber, new music ensemble dedicated to commissioning, performing and popularizing new works. The group’s mission is to insure the continuation of their art form by steadily adding to the repertoire and exposing audiences to the great artists who are composing today. “Our first season is dedicated to the Cleveland connection,” says pianist Shuai Wang who co-founded the group with flutist Madeline Lucas. “I have a great respect for musicians in Cleveland,” Wang adds, “and this season all of the compositions we performed were by Ohio composers.”

On Friday, May 17 beginning at 7:00 pm at Survival Kit Gallery, located on the 3rd floor of 78th Street Studios in the Gordon Square Arts District, Ars FuturaShuai Wang and Hyunsoo Kim, piano, Madeline Lucas, flute, Jinjoo Cho, violin and Carlos Javier, cello — present the final performance of the group’s inaugural season. The concert features the music of Keith Fitch, Marshall Griffith, Eric Charnofsky, Tim Mauthe and Joseph Hallman. (Pictured above: Wang and Hallman). Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Cho-ParnasConductor Robert L. Cronquist and the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra celebrated the ensemble’s seventy-eighth anniversary at Severance Hall on Sunday, April 28, with a charming Prokofiev symphony and a big double concerto — Brahms’s challenging workout for violin, cello and orchestra — featuring guest artists Jinjoo Cho and Cicely Parnas.

Prokofiev’s seventh symphony was written for a radio program to be broadcast by the Children’s Division of the Russian National Radio network. Its landscape is as child-friendly as an outdoor playground, fitted out with magical textures, wistful waltzes, playful themes and carnival gestures. The orchestra’s strings produced a nice, rich sound at the beginning, accompanied by dark, mysterious horns and graced by splendid clarinet solos (Pamela Elliot). Though the second movement exposed some tentative playing in the brass and percussion, the fine English hornist (Elizabeth Bishop) sensitively delivered lyrical lines in the third and spirited piano and bassoon solos (Linda Allen and Charlotte Hines) helped create a burlesquish atmosphere in the finale. Both conductor and orchestra both seemed to lose some energy as the piece went on and dynamics hovered in mezzo forte range. Read the rest of this entry »

by Daniel Hathaway

Cho-ParnasJohannes Brahms wrote his Double Concerto for violinist Joseph Joachim and cellist Robert Haussmann in 1887 with the intention of repairing a damaged friendship with the violinist (the two had fallen out when Brahms had taken Joachim’s wife’s side in a divorce). Joachim and Haussmann had been frequent collaborators during their long careers. By contrast, on Sunday, April 28 at 3:30 pm, the “Double” will bring together two young musicians who already have established distinguished track records but have never worked together before, as violinist Jinjoo Cho and cellist Cicely Parnas join Robert L. Cronquist and the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra for the ensemble’s 78th anniversary concert at Severance Hall. We spoke to both soloists by phone to catch up on their recent activities.

Jinjoo Cho is finishing up her master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studies with Jaime Laredo and plans to stay on next year for a Professional Studies Degree. Her recent big news was winning first place in the Buenos Aires Competition, which earned her a concert tour in Argentina. This summer, she will join her regular pianist HyunSoo Kim for a three-week chamber music residency at the Banff Center in Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

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