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 Mack, 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.
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.