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Ye-Eun Choi


Saturday February 25, 2012 at 8:00pm
Calvary Baptist Church, Oshawa
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KOERNER HALL • TELUS CENTRE for Performance and Learning
Tuesday February 28, 2012 at 8:00pm
Koerner Hall, TorontoOP Facebook
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OP continues its exploration of the great Brahms symphonic opus with his 2nd Symphony • We are pleased to introduce you to the extraordinarily gifted young Korean violinist, Ms. Ye-Eun CHOI, as guest soloist for Brahms' Violin Concerto • These will be Ms. Choi's debut performances in Toronto and Oshawa. One of the most promising violin talents to emerge from Europe, Asia and USA, since her 2009 debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Alan Gilbert’s baton, she has performed with many prominent world orchestras.

During last night’s performance [with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert] she presented the audience with an interpretation of Mendelssohn’s love, jealousy, innocence and throbbing heart with an exceptional concentration that transcends her young age.
Daily Economic News Magazine


Johannes BRAHMS
Violin Concerto in D major, op.77
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Adagio
3. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Poco più presto
Soloist: Ye-Eun Choi
Johannes BRAHMS
Symphony No.2 in D major, op.73
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Adagio non troppo
3. Allegretto grazioso (quasi andantino)
4. Allegro con spirito

Ye-Eun Choi


Ye-Eun is an extraordinarily gifted individual, with a truly impressive combination of musical sensibility and courageous virtuosity. Her stylistic range is also highly developed and she has a charismatic, winning personality.
Anne Sophie Mutter

She looks like a model And she's got enough personality for two. But all this is overshadowed when the Korean reaches for her violin from Giuseppe Guadagnini, starts to play and becomes one with an instrument whose timbre is as lively and versatile as the human voice.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Young Korean dazzles with the violin. Rapturous applause from both the audience and the orchestra was showered on the violinist Ye-Eun Choi. The only just 22-year-old artist from Korea gave a brilliant rendering of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, which she endowed with an unusually thoughtful, profoundly explorative character far removed from any ostentation.
Hofer Anzeiger / Frankenpost

Ye-Eun Choi is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most promising violin talents to emerge from Europe, Asia and USA in recent years.

Since making her concert debut at the age of 10 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, she has since performed internationally with orchestras such as the Montreal Symphony, Munich Rundfunk Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Indianapolis Symphony and Indiana Chamber orchestras, Montreal I Musici Chamber Orchestra, Finland Kuhmo Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the leading Korean orchestras and chamber ensembles.

Highlights of recent seasons included her performances with English Chamber Orchestra under Ralf Gothony, the Montreal Symphony with Kent Nagano and concerts at the Frankfurt Alter Oper and the Frauenkirche in Dresden with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Trondheim Soloists(Bach Double Concerto in D minor). she is regularly invited to perform with Munich Symphony Orchestra, Neues Kammerorchester Potsdam, Hofer Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic.

In October 2009, she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Alan Gilbert and has since played with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, State Symphony Orchestra of New Russia under Yuri Bashmet and given a very successful tour with the Anne-Sophie Mutter Virtuosi. Forthcomming highlights include the concerts with Dresden Philharmonic and Pepe Romero under Rafael Fruebeck de Burgos, the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck and the NHK Symphony under André Previn.

Devoted to chamber music, Ye-Eun performs at festivals around the world including Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Asiago (Italy), Gdansk (Poland) and Rheingau. She is regularly invited to the ‘Folle journées’ in France and Japan, where she has performed with the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra and Dmitri Liss, the Prazak Quartet and Plamena Mangova, as well as the Lockenhaus and Kronberg festivals, where she has performed with Gidon Kremer, Yuri Bashmet, Lynn Harell and Khatia Buniatishvili. In 2011 she will make her debut appearances in recitals and chamber music at the Dresden and Verbier Festivals.

Ye-Eun Choi was born in 1988, Seoul, South Korea and studied as a junior student at the Korean University of Arts with Nam Yun Kim. In 2004 she moved to Germany to study with Ana Chumachenco at the Musikhochschule in Munich and a year later was brought to the attention of Anne-Sophie Mutter, soon becoming a recipient of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation scholarship and continuing to benefit from professional and personal support from Miss Mutter.

Since her meeting with Maestro Christoph Eschenbach in 2007 she has benefitted greatly from studying regularly with him on a personal basis. In the same year she was selected as one of ‘the Emerging Artists of the Year’ by the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Ye-Eun plays a violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri (1710), generously lent to her by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.



Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77

It is often said that there existed a common bond between Brahms and Beethoven, that the similarities of their early lives and later creative work ethic were inexplicably intertwined. One musical historian went so far as to describe Brahms as "Beethoven's successor in symphonic music." Joseph Hellmesberger, concertmaster to the Vienna Philharmonic in 1861, said of Brahms, "This is Beethoven's heir."

Despite the perceived similarities, dramatic writing on an ostentatious scale—like that of his contemporaries Liszt and Wagner—was foreign to Brahms' way of thinking. Brahms saw music as a pure art, more objective, more "classical". He preferred compositions like the serenade and concerto grosso with their melodic lyricism. Because his music seemed to look backward to a more traditional time, he was often labelled as dull and old-fashioned. This may also account in part for the comparison to Beethoven.

There were, however, those who recognized his genius; among them, fortunately, were many of Vienna's musical elite who saw, not nostalgia, but romanticism. Ardor, poetic expression and freedom of emotion within a disciplined structure were the fingerprints that made their marks on his masterworks.

The Concerto in D major is Brahms' only concerto for orchestra and violin. It appeared in 1878 and was dedicated to his friend and mentor Joseph Joachim. In accordance with the composer's approach to composition, the work is not intended as an exhibition of the soloist's command over his instrument; it is not virtuoso music, but rather a statement of symphonic melody, harmony and musical accord.

The work begins with the traditional orchestral introduction, progressing through two themes in the cellos, horns, oboe, violins and full orchestra. A forceful marcato section introduces the soloist who demonstrates some detailed and embellished passage work. In keeping with Brahms' technique, both themes seem rhapsodic.

The second movement is marked Adagio and can be described as nothing short of an idyllic song, found first by an oboe, then repeated in variation by the solo violin. Near its end, the movement dies out to the sound of pizzicato strings.

The finale, a robust rondo in structure, is a Hungarian Dance in style. Exciting double-stops by the soloist are soon taken up by the orchestra. A second forceful and spirited theme is presented by the soloist. It soon marches headlong toward a brief cadenza and coda, bringing the concerto to its end.

Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73

In contrast to his First Symphony, Brahms' Symphony No. 2, completed in 1877, is music of completely different character. Gone is the epic, even stormy and tragic nature that epitomized the First. Instead the composer presents us with a pastoral setting. Given the serenity, inner peace and quiet joy of this music, it is easy to believe that it was, in fact, written in a quiet and sunny village in the south of Austria. It is music of unique personality filled with gentle moods that Brahms must surely have experienced while there. Richard Specht, a musicologist well-known for his writings on classical music, described the work as a "serenade...suffused with the sunshine and warm winds on water."

Once again, music historians have drawn the comparison between the music of Johannes Brahms and Beethoven. That comparison is more than just a passing coincidence in this work; the parallels between Beethoven`s Sixth and Brahms' Symphony No. 2 are strong and evident.

The symphony is made up of four movements. The cellos expound the first principle theme in a three-note introduction. There follows a passionate outburst in the first violins and a languid song that emerges from the violas and flutes. All of this is then broadly developed by the orchestra until the movement evolves to its end with a serene horn solo.

The "pastoral nature" continues in the second movement with the cellos offering a placid almost reflective mood, soon picked up by the oboes and flutes. A second theme occurs in a similar vein, followed by yet a third. These three melodies are woven together in a development that prevails to the movement's conclusion.

The third movement, marked Allegretto Grazioso, presents itself as an intermezzo followed by a scherzo with the main theme heard in the woodwinds.

And finally, an Allegro where the full orchestra pursues a melody with excitement and vigour. Immediately, second and third themes appear in the violins, before all three, developed by the orchestra, bring the symphony to a decisive conclusion.