This interview has been edited for style, content, and clarity.
What is your musical background Esme? How did you start playing?
Both of my parents are violinists and my older sister started the violin when she was very young. So when I was born, it was not really a question of what instrument I would play! I was two and a half, almost three, when I started in a Suzuki group back in Chicago, and that is really the place and the teacher who shaped the way I approach music now.
How did you learn about or decide that you wanted to study at Colburn?
I first came to Colburn about two years back for the one week in-person Fortissima program with a small cohort of about 10 other female musicians. The entire program was comprised of six months of mentorship and discussions, always about empowering each other, and learning about how diversity and different backgrounds can have a place in the classical music field. I had a lesson with Dr. Lipsett during my time then, and the School really spoke to me. After that it was an application process and a Zoom audition. Now I’m a senior in the Music Academy and have been working with Mr. Lipsett for the last two years.
What does a day in your life look as a senior?
I would say on most of the weekdays, it looks like waking up, doing a routine; I’ll go running for a little bit, make sure I eat breakfast, then I’ll practice for a few hours before lunch. Then a little more practicing, or I’ll have a lesson, class, or chamber music. Evenings can be more different. It’s sometimes practicing or a class or just being with people and trying to also have a social outlet.
What does the future look like from here?
Right now, I have some performances that I’m preparing quite intensely for. Next year, I would definitely love to go to a music conservatory. Music is the thing that I love the most. And then thinking long-term, I’m aiming for a solo career. I would also love to be able to do chamber music and teach. So just any aspect of music that I could find.
What are you looking forward to this coming year?
There’s a lot of cool things happening: I’m in a chamber group, a trio with two other Music Academy students, and we are learning the Schubert E-flat Trio. That’s been really fulfilling—to be able to be in a group where I feel that there’s such a level of trust—and it’s only been a couple of weeks of rehearsing together! It’s just so great to be able to connect with others to make music. And the piece is wonderful too. At the end of May, I will be soloing with the Chicago Symphony, which is very much something I’m looking forward to and even mentally preparing for now.
How do you mentally prepare for any concert, especially a performance like that?
Visualization is very helpful, at least for me. When running through the piece, I find it more impactful, more helpful when I’m really imagining this is the actual performance, visualizing the space I’m going to be in. Whatever happens, happens; you have to keep going. That’s something that my teacher always talks about. He’ll say, “right here in this room, that sounds fine, but in the concert hall, that’s not going to translate the same way.” So I’m always thinking about that as well. Doing a lot of run-throughs—as many as you can do—and in front of different kinds of people, teachers, students; just any way to put yourself in that environment where it’s a very high pressure situation—the more you do it, the more natural it will feel. This is a process, to be sure. Even in the times where I felt like I haven’t performed my best, I feel like I’ve learned something from it. I’m trying to see each performance as a steppingstone for the next thing and as a way to improve my playing so that I can be more prepared in the future.
What advice would you give to a Music Academy student or someone considering joining the Music Academy?
First, for someone considering coming to the Music Academy, I would say join! It’s a wonderful program where you can meet so many lovely people, and I’m not talking just about your music making group, but everyone here is so nice and very welcoming. The environment at Colburn feels very safe; a place where you can freely express yourself. I would also say that the Music Academy is a commitment, so be able to prioritize your time well. Lastly, whether it’s socially or in your music making, you can feel like our own technical or personal barriers get in the way of connecting with other people, so always put connections with people and with music first, and that will help you to create and to keep sharing with other people.
Will you share some memorable Colburn experiences?
Yes! There’s been so many. I would say our Academy Virtuosi concerts, the conductorless orchestra led by Margaret Batjer, have been so much fun. It’s a time when a lot of us can be together and perform music. And then on Saturdays when we have all our classes, eating lunch with people and seeing and getting to know everyone and their different personalities is just wonderful. Enjoying the collective environment of the student body is lovely.
Do you have time for any other interests?
Yes! I have a lot of other interests. I love writing, and I’ve been reading more. I’m a true crime fanatic too, so I like listening to podcasts. But a big one for me is that I’m very interested in the intersection between visual arts and music. It feels like a natural way for me to approach music; when I hear a piece, I’m not just thinking about what it sounds like but how it would appear. I like to do ink drawing, so when I listen to music, I produce a sketch that I feel represents the music. It makes each art form more vibrant and more enriching when you can see how they all overlap and intersect.
This piece is inspired by Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, which I heard the Chicago Symphony perform a couple of years ago.
What have the performing arts brought to your life?
The performing arts have given me not only a space to communicate with other people but to find a way to connect with others in a way that is so meaningful. They’ve made me feel like I can speak without barriers. Performing arts can help people understand themselves, and then help them to better communicate with others. It’s a kind of collective and shared empathy that I think is really powerful.
We are proud to recognize Esme Arias-Kim as a Kohl Scholar. Kohl Scholar students receive full room, board, and tuition scholarships to support their total Colburn experience and develop the next generation of promising young artists. Terri and Jerry Kohl created this scholarship to make Colburn accessible to and competitive for deserving students in violin and piano studios in the Music Academy.
Praised by the Chicago Tribune for his “febrile intensity,” violist Ben Ullery enjoys a multifaceted performing career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader and educator.
In 2023 he was chosen by Music Director Gustavo Dudamel for the position of Associate Principal Viola of the LA Philharmonic and previously held the position of Assistant Principal in the same orchestra since 2012. In addition to his appearances with the LA Phil, Ullery has performed across the country and abroad in the role of Guest Principal Viola with the Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
An active solo performer, he has recently given recitals at Festival Mozaic and La Sierra University where he premiered his own arrangement for viola of Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1. Ullery is currently planning his first full-length duo album with acclaimed pianist Dominic Cheli which will feature works of Paul Hindemith, Rebecca Clarke, and Lillian Fuchs.
As a chamber musician, he has been in high demand in the Los Angeles area and at festivals and concert series in the US and Europe. In addition to having performed over 50 chamber works on the LA Phil’s chamber music series in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ullery has appeared at the Mozaic, Music in the Vineyards, Mainly Mozart, Emerald City, Music at Millford, Leksand, Grand Teton, and Aspen festivals, among others. He has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today as well as local broadcasts on KUSC in Los Angeles and Minnesota Public Radio. As a recording artist, he has been featured on releases on the Bridge and Albany record labels.
An enthusiastic teacher, Ullery is on the teaching faculty at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles where he teaches orchestral repertoire as well as coaching the Colburn Orchestra’s viola section. Many of his former students have gone on to hold positions with top orchestras in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has given masterclasses at the Aspen Music Festival, California State University Fullerton, Azusa Pacific University, and the Shanghai Orchestra Academy.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Ullery earned a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Oberlin Conservatory, and later studied violin at New England Conservatory and viola at the Colburn School
Since retiring from New York City Ballet in 2002, Ms. Tracey has become an admired and dedicated teacher and arts advocate. She served as the Director of Boston Ballet School (BBS) from 2007–2021 and was profiled in a 2009 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. During her tenure at BBS, Ms. Tracey drew upon her teaching experiences, studies in psychology, and ties to community clinicians to initiate a comprehensive Wellness Program at BBS. She also created the Next Generation, a year-end performance showcasing pre-professional students, which has become an annual highlight that spotlights BBS as a leader in local and regional arts education. Her stature in the dance world brought BBS extraordinary access to the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire, enhancing the training and performance experience for students. In addition, Ms. Tracey committed to commissioning underrepresented voices in choreography by amplifying the work of women and BIPOC choreographers such as Jill Johnson, Lia Cirio, and Ja’ Malik, among others. Ms. Tracey further distinguished BBS internationally by establishing exchange programs with Canada’s National Ballet School, Paris Opera Ballet School, the Royal Danish Ballet, and Dresden’s Semperoper Ballet. And under her leadership, BBS also became a partner school with the prestigious Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition.
Ms. Tracey continues to dedicate her efforts as a dance educator with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access to champion change. She has served on panels for MoBBallet’s annual educational symposiums (2019, 2020, and 2022) and has worked with colleagues at Dance USA School Directors Affinity Group to share learning around culturally responsive teaching practices to better support faculty. Tracey’s work as an international arts educator continues as she serves on the organizing committee for World Ballet School Day (2020 and 2021), and the 2023 edition of Assemble Internationale; an Olympic-caliber gathering of pre-professional students and directors from schools around the globe empowering young artists to develop their voices, hosted by Canada’s National Ballet School.
Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Ms. Tracey began ballet studies with her mother, Nancy Tracey, at age six. In 1982, she was accepted as a student at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB). At SAB, she was the recipient of an Atlantic Richfield Foundation scholarship (1982–85) as well as a Princess Grace Foundation award (1985–86) that cited her “exceptional promise and dedication to excellence.”
In 1986, Ms. Tracey joined the NYCB corps de ballet, launching a celebrated 16-year stage career. A principal dancer from 1991 until her retirement in 2002, she excelled in the Balanchine repertoire, appearing frequently in such core works as Apollo, Allegro Brilliante, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Serenade, Square Dance, Symphony in C, Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?, among others. She was also featured in a range of Robbins’ ballets, including Andantino, Afternoon of a Faun, The Four Seasons, and The Goldberg Variations, and created a role in the choreographer’s Ives, Songs (1988). She originated roles in works by William Forsythe, Richard Tanner, Ib Andersen, Trey McIntyre, and Peter Martins, including his Les Petit Riens, Fearful Symmetries, Zakouski, and his production of The Sleeping Beauty, in which she appeared both as Princess Aurora and Princess Florine. With NYCB, Ms. Tracey toured Europe and Asia, appeared in the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series, and danced the Marzipan Shepherdess in the 1993 film of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.
As a Balanchine Repetiteur, Ms. Tracey has staged several of his works including, Concerto Barocco, Theme and Variations, Scotch Symphony, Raymonda Variations, and Divertimento #15, among others in both professional companies and schools. And in 2011 she was recognized with a Jerome Robbins Foundation award for her distinguished interpretation as a Robbins’ dancer.
Please introduce yourself and share a little bit about your background.
My name is Arian Cazares, I’m 18 years old and a senior in high school; I play the viola. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and lived in a small town in Mexico City for a few years during my early childhood. I grew up in Waldorf education. [Waldorf is an education environment that integrates the arts in all academic disciplines for children from preschool through twelfth grade.] Waldorf school is where I began playing. In the third grade, I was introduced to the stringed instrument family. That was a really special moment for me because it was also my first encounter with the viola. The teacher started to play the instruments and asked us to listen to them in order to choose which one we liked. It was this moment when I first heard the sound of the viola and thought, ‘wow, this is something really special,’ and I wanted to explore it. I was fascinated by its warmth and depth of the lower register. And now, almost 10 years later, I’m still exploring it! Now, I’m at the Colburn School. This is my first year in the Music Academy, and I’m studying with Tatjana Masurenko.
Would you provide some background on your Waldorf experience?
In Waldorf, you stay with the same class from kindergarten to eighth grade, often into high school if offered. We also stay with the same teacher; you go through all these different stages of education with one teacher who is a main person guiding you through. It helps to develop a more personal relationship between teacher and students and supports each child in their own way. I attend the Pasadena Waldorf High School in Altadena.
You spoke about your first exposure to string instruments. What was it about music that drew you in and made you determine to invest yourself?
That’s a big question. I’ve been with music for a while, though my family is not actually very musical. I’m more or less the first person in my family to really pursue music. I’ve been singing since I was in kindergarten; through Waldorf, we’re taught about the development of the human voice through singing with each other. And so even though it’s a different type of music, it’s always been a big part of me. And the viola is just another way of accessing that part of me. Over the years, I’ve had a number of instances where I’ve felt a growing passion for music and for what it does. And for me, it’s about the community building—when you’re engaging with someone else, let’s say in chamber music or in orchestra and other musical activities, and there’s this vibrant energy that I have experienced. This experience is sometimes even more meaningful than just playing the music. It’s connecting with others on a different level and that keeps me going and doing what I love to do, which is music.
How did you learn about the Colburn School and the Music Academy?
I’ve known about the Colburn School for a while. When I was much younger, my mom wanted me to be a dancer because both my parents were dancers when they were younger. One time, my mom brought me to Colburn for a modern dance class but it was not for me. Before COVID, I was in the Community School for chamber music but unaware of the Music Academy. I was a quarter finalist in the Fischoff Music Competition, competing with a quartet from Pasadena. And it was the Music Academy’s Olive Trio’s win that I found out about the Colburn Music Academy. I was excited to learn that there were other musicians in my community area performing at this level. So I mentioned the Academy to my mom and that we needed to research it.
What have the performing arts brought to your life?
The performing arts helped me find courage to express my ideas; trust the work that I do as a musician. I think that’s really important for musicians that spend hours and hours in a practice room, questioning whether we’re doing things right, experiencing self-doubt, and all of those things. But the experience of performing is extremely important to become comfortable and to trust yourself and what you’re doing. And I think this important because it’s also reflected outside of music.
Also, to be curious about things. In working with Tatjana this year, she’s brought a whole different perspective of not just music but of life and culture. And it’s really inspired me to discover and find out more about other parts of the world—how other people approach music. This has recently influenced my playing and the way I approach music, and I’m eager to learn more.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to a new Music Academy student?
I would say most importantly, come with an open heart, with an open mind. At the beginning of the year, I came in not knowing anybody and not really knowing what to expect. It took me saying to myself, ‘Okay, I’m here now and what can I learn? What can I see? And how can I get ahead?’ Oh, also to have patience with yourself. I came in with a very ambitious attitude at the beginning. I told my teacher, Tatjana, that I want to do all these competitions, all these programs; I want to aim for all these things. And I was really surprised when she told me, “I think you should actually wait and organize yourself first.” And I was like, ‘What? But everyone else is doing all these things.’ And she said, “Yes, but it’s most important that you organize yourself and that you find peace in yourself and in you’re playing before you go out into the world.” And that’s really changed the way I think about music.
How about some memorable Colburn experiences?
There’s definitely been a couple; it’s hard to choose. One of them was the first time I played in Tatjana’s studio class with another Academy student and some Conservatory students. It’s a bit daunting since they are older and so talented. But back in November, I played on stage for the first time for everyone and there was a moment where all the stress melted away. I felt really supported by everyone; I could feel their attention for what I was doing. And that helped me loosen up and be more comfortable with my performance. I try to remind myself of that feeling every time that I play.
As the spring semester comes to a close, what’s on your summer schedule?
One thing I’m very much looking forward to is spending a couple of days in Switzerland, accompanied by Tatjana. I’ll be taking some master classes by Tatjana. I’m looking forward to being in such a beautiful landscape in the mountains.
As you applied to the Conservatory and have been accepted, you’ll be joining as part of the fall 2023 incoming class. What do you envision for your future?
I absolutely want to continue playing music. It’s my goal to continue this as a career. I’m very passionate about chamber music; one of my dreams is to tour the world with a quartet. I’m doing a lot of solo work to, and I envision continuing to do so. But for now, I’m most focused on absorbing as much as I can from my teachers and those immediately around me. I leave the rest to the music gods!
Special appreciation goes to Colburn Society members whose annual giving supports transformational scholarship opportunities for our Music Academy students. To join the Colburn Society and contribute to the futures of our exceptional students, please visit colburnschool.edu/give or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tatjana Masurenko is one of the leading viola players of our time. Her distinctive style is
shaped by her expressive playing and her thorough and intensive musical studies. Her
charisma and natural stage presence are captivating. Alongside the great viola concertos by
Walton, Bartók and Hindemith, Tatjana’s wide-ranging concert repertoire also includes
modern classical works such as Schnittke, Gubaidulina and Kancheli and the rarely performed
viola concertos by Hartmann and Bartel.
Tatjana Masurenko has made solo appearances with orchestras including the
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Radio Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the NDR
Radiophilharmonie and other leading orchestras in Europe and Asia. She has been a welcome
guest at major international festivals as both soloist and chamber musician for many years.
She grew up in a family of Russian academics and jazz musicians. Her musical path began in
St Petersburg where she was able to benefit from the traditional St Petersburg school with
the best teachers of her time. She continued her musical studies in Germany with Kim
Kashkashian and Nobuko Imai. Her search for new forms of expression on the viola and new
techniques and tonal concepts were encouraged and influenced by encounters with figures
including Boris Pergamenschikow, György Kurtág, Brigitte Fassbaender and Herbert
For some years now, Tatjana Masurenko’s major objective in her musical career has been the
further development of the viola as a solo instrument which also explains her commitment to
contemporary music. She has given numerous first performances of new compositions, many
of which are dedicated to her and originated on her initiative. She has worked with
composers such as the recently deceased Gladys Krenek, Moritz von Gagern, Dimitri Terzakis,
Wolfgang Rihm, Hans-Christian Bartel, Luca Lombardi and Nejat Başeğmezler. Tatjana
Masurenko’s discography reflects the musician’s high artistic standards. Right from the start,
she compiles the programmes of her CDs meticulously and with great deliberation.
Tatjana Masurenko plays the music of Ernst Krenek with enthusiasm, supports the Ernst
Krenek Institute in Krems, Austria, and has recorded all his works for solo viola. Several of her
CD recordings (for example the concerto by K. A. Hartmann and British Viola Concertos
featuring concertos by Walton, Beamish und Britten) received awards including the Preis der
deutschen Schallplattenkritik and international accolades such as the Supersonic Award
(Luxemburg) and the Diapason découverte (France). Her 3-CD box set “White Nights – Music
from St. Petersburg”, which she recorded with pianist Roglit Ishay, is one of the most
important recordings of this repertoire.
At present, Tatjana Masurenko is intensively dedicated to historical performance practice
and especially to 19th century playing and the romantic repertoire. For several years she has
been engaged in playing the viola d’amore: thus, she interprets baroque and classical
repertoire with passion, but at the same time she develops modern music on this baroque
instrument with much interest in an experimental and innovative way with new sound ideas.
She plays a viola d’amore by Charles Jacquot, Paris 1849.
Tatjana Masurenko is dedicated to promoting young musicians. Since 2002 she has been
professor of viola at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy”
Leipzig with an international reputation and since 2019 in the same position at the Haute
Ecole de Musique de Lausanne in Sion, Switzerland. She gives master classes in Europe and
America and is artistic director of the International Viola Camp in Iznik (Turkey) as well as of a
master class in Leipzig.
Many of her students have built successful careers and travel the world as soloists,
professors, principal violists in major orchestras and as chamber musicians.
Her teaching style is built on the St. Petersburg tradition of the 19th/early 20th century and
merges with the new ideas and sensibilities of the 20th/21st century, especially in the
interpretation of Baroque and Classical music.
Tatjana Masurenko plays a viola by P. Testore, Milan 1756 and a specially built instrument by
Jürgen Manthey, Leipzig 2017, who has developed new acoustic and tonal construction
methods that clearly distinguish his instruments from others. She changes the bows to match
Teng Li is a diverse and dynamic performer internationally. Recently Ms. Li was appointed as Principal Violist of the LA Philharmonic after more than a decade as Principal with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. An impassioned teacher, she is the Artistic Director of Morningside Music Bridge, teaches at the Music Academy of the Colburn School and continues to give master classes at conservatories worldwide. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Li taught at the University of Toronto, Royal Conservatory of Music, and Montreal’s Conservatoire de Musique.
Ms. Li is also an active recitalist and chamber musician participating in the festivals of Marlboro, Santa Fe, Mostly Mozart, Music from Angel Fire, Rome, Moritzburg (Germany) and the Rising Stars Festival in Caramoor. She has performed with the Guarneri Quartet in New York (04/05), at Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall) and with the 92nd St. “Y” Chamber Music Society. Teng was also featured with the Guarneri Quartet in their last season (2009), and was also a member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two Program. She is a member of the Rosamunde Quartet (led by Noah Bendix-Balgley, Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic).
Ms. Li has been featured as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Haddonfield Symphony, Shanghai Opera Orchestra, the Canadian Sinfonietta and Esprit Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio 2, National Public Radio, WQXR (New York), WHYY (Pennsylvania), WFMT (Chicago), and Bavarian Radio (Munich).
The brilliant Italian born pianist Rodolfo Leone was the first-prize winner of the 2017 International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna. Described as “a true sound philosopher” (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten), Rodolfo released his debut album on the Austrian label Gramola in May 2018. The all-Beethoven disc features two pillars of the piano repertoire: the “Hammerklavier” Sonata and the “Waldstein” Sonata. His playing has been described as having “impeccable style” and “absolute technical control.” (Il Nuovo Amico).
Rodolfo’s 2018–19 season included debuts with the San Diego Symphony (Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1) and the Pasadena Symphony (Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21); he also performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Colburn Orchestra. In May 2019, he gave a recital tour in Austria, culminating in a performance in Vienna at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein. He also performed recitals in Los Angeles and Naples, Florida, and appeared on the chamber music series Le Salon de Musiques in Los Angeles. As a 2018–19 Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, Rodolfo’s live recordings were broadcast nationally throughout the United States.
A native of Turin, Italy, Rodolfo made his orchestral debut in 2013 performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento (Italy). He toured Italy with that orchestra the following year performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Rodolfo made his North American debut in 2014 performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Toronto Concert Orchestra. Since then, he has performed with, among others, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra with Stéphane Denève and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and recitals at Festival Napa Valley and the Soka Performing Arts Center. He has also performed chamber music with Lynn Harrell, Fabio Bidini, Andrew Schulmann, and the Viano String Quartet.
Rodolfo has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, and China. These performances include debuts in venues such as the Musikverein in Vienna, Steinway Hall in London, the Music Hall of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Politeama Theatre in Palermo, the Mozart Concert Hall of Accademia Filarmonica in Bologna, and the BASF Gesellschaftshaus in Germany. A top-prize winner of several major piano competitions, Rodolfo was awarded top prizes at the 2014 Toronto International Piano Competition and the 2013 Busoni International Piano Competition. Pianist magazine described his concerto performance during the 2017 International Beethoven Piano Competition as a “communion with the orchestra” that “was raptly convincing… robust and joyful.”
Rodolfo is currently based in Los Angeles where he previously studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He holds both a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma from Colburn, where he studied with Fabio Bidini. He previously studied at the Hans Eisler School of Music in Berlin, Germany and at the G. Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, Italy.
Joan Kwuon, whom The New York Times describes as “fiery, intensely musical and impassioned,” enjoys a critically-acclaimed performing career appearing with leading international orchestras. She was previously head of the violin department at Cleveland Institute of Music, where she also currently teaches, and was on the violin faculty at The Juilliard School.
Ms. Kwuon made her debut at the invitation of Sir André Previn at the Tanglewood Music Festi-val in 2000 and was presented at Lincoln Center the following season. Since then, Ms. Kwuon has been engaged by celebrated orchestras, including playing Mozart Violin Concerti with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Mozart’s 250th birthday, performing the Sibelius Violin Con-certo with the London Symphony Orchestra and Previn, and appearing with Previn and the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. She has also appeared with NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Seattle Symphony, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Jyväskylä Sinfonia of Finland, Moscow State Radio Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Chicago Philharmonic, Janáček Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, Festival Internacional Cervantino in León, Mexico, Buffalo Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Bulgarian National Academic Orchestra, Orchestra Europa, and Busan Philharmonic.
An avid recital performer, Ms. Kwuon has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum with Previn, the Library of Congress with Sergei Babayan, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with Previn. She has also performed at the Ravinia Festival, Caramoor’s Great Artists Series, San Francisco Performances, the Peggy Rockefeller Concerts in New York City, Krannert Center, Hoam Art Hall in Seoul, and the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.
In duet with Tony Bennett, Ms. Kwuon performed jazz classics at Lincoln Center Jazz and the Grammy Awards MusiCares Gala. As an active chamber musician, Ms. Kwuon has collaborated with members of The Juilliard Quartet, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Sergei Babayan, and Cho Liang Lin on series including the 92nd Street Y, Nevada Chamber Music Festival, and La Jolla’s Summerfest.
Born in Los Angeles, Ms. Kwuon began playing violin at age six. She attended Crossroads School and studied at Indiana University with Miriam Fried, The Juilliard School with Joel Smirnoff and Robert Mann, and Cleveland Institute of Music with Donald Weilerstein. In addition to her faculty positions at CIM and at The Juilliard School, Ms. Kwuon regularly teaches and performs at numerous music festivals including Heifetz International Music Institute, The Round Top Festival in Texas, Interlochen Violin Institute, Borromeo Music Festival in Switzerland, Great Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, and Bowdoin International Music Festival, as well as featured masterclasses for The Juilliard Starling-Delay Symposium and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.
Signing a multi-disc contract with Azica Records, her upcoming release of recital works by Strauss, Mozart, and Previn will be followed by a complete Beethoven Violin and Piano Sonata recording project.
Hailed by The New York Times as “a brilliant soloist, … [who] played with extraordinary precision and luminosity,” violinist Fabiola Kim is one of the most dynamic players of her generation with a wide variety of repertoire from classical to contemporary music. Her recent engagements include a CD recording with Munich Symphony Orchestra that will be released summer of 2019, engagements with Munich Symphony, Nuremberg Symphony, Berlin Symphony, and Owensboro Symphony Orchestra.
After beginning her studies at the age of four, she made her concerto debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra just three years later. Ms. Kim is the winner of various awards and competitions, including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra’s Concerto Competition as the youngest competitor in the history of the competition to win. Since then, she has won the Aspen Music Festival Violin Concerto Competition, Livingston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Concerto Competition, the Kumho Prodigy Music Award, an award given to the most promising young musicians in Korea, and was a prize winner at Corpus Christi International Competition and the Irving M. Klein International Competition for Strings.
She has collaborated with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gilbert Varga, Jane Glover, and Nicholas McGegan. Her past solo performances include engagements with the Seoul and Suwon Philharmonics; a European tour with Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra to the Bruckner Festival in Linz and Merano Festival in Merano, Italy, The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonia, the Kangnam, Korean, Broward, and Prime Symphony Orchestras; the Livingston Symphony; Koln Chamber Orchestra; North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Orquestra Sinfonica OSUANL, the Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAV, the Hofer Sinfoniker, Berlin Symphoniker, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Westdeutche Sinfionia, Munich Chamber Orchestra, and Colburn Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated and performed with renowned musicians such as Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Frans Helmerson, Marc Coppey, and Ida Kavafian at festivals like Ravinia’s Steans Institute and La Jolla Music Society Summerfest. As a fellowship student, Ms. Kim has been accepted to the Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Ishikawa Music Festival in Japan, the Courchevel Music Festival in France, and the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado; she has also taken part in Verbier Festival Academy, the London Masterclasses and the Mozarteum Summer Academy where she took master classes with Gyorgy Pauk, Zakhar Bron, and Vadim Gluzman.
Ms. Kim is an Artist Diplomia recipient at the Colburn School under the guidance of Robert Lipsett, and she is a Bachelor and Master of Music recipient of Juilliard under the tutelage of Sylvia Rosenberg and Ronald Copes. Her former teachers and mentors include Kyung Wha Chung, Namyun Kim, and Choongjin Chang. She is now on faculty for Community School of Performing Arts at the Colburn School.
Praised by critics for her “passionate…polished and expressive” performances, pianist HyeJin Kim is one of South Korea’s most thrilling young classical stars. Born in Seoul, she began playing piano at age five, and later enrolled at the prestigious Yewon Arts School. She furthered her studies in Germany, earning her master of art in musical art as a “Konzertexamen” (highest distinction) from Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. She recently received an artist diploma at the Colburn School in its Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Fabio Bidini.
Ms. Kim first attracted international attention at age 17 when, as its youngest participant, she won third prize in Italy’s prestigious Busoni Competition. Andrea Bonatta, the head of the jury, said ‘I am thrilled about her flawless musicality and technique, which promises success as an internationally recognized pianist.’ Since then, Ms. Kim has received numerous awards including prizes at the 2008 Hong Kong International Piano Competition, DAAD Prize, Steinway and Sons Advancement Award Competition, and Toronto International Piano Competition. She has performed and toured with numerous orchestras such as the Russian State Philharmonic, Konzerthaus Orchester, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Praha Broadcast and Budapest Symphony Orchestras; Bohuslav Martinů, Seoul, Dae-jeon, Pilsen, and Moravian Philharmonic Orchestras; and the State Symphony Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester. She has worked with noted conductors including Eliahu Inbal, Carl St. Clair, Christoph Poppen, Achim Fiedler, Yehuda Gilad, Tomáš Hanus, Shi-yeon Sung, Dae Jin Kim, Jiri Malat, and Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
Ms. Kim has been invited to participate in international venues and music festivals including the Konzerthaus of Berlin, Herkulessaal of Munich, Rudolfinum/Dvorak Hall and Smetana Hall of
Prague, Seoul Arts Center, Marvão Music Festival, Napa Valley Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Korea Symphony Festival, Cesky Krumlov Festival, Praha Spring Festival, and Kotor Arts Festival, among others. Ms. Kim has participated in master classes with artists such as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Jerome Rose, Robert McDonald, Aquiles Delle Vigne, Bernd Geotzke, John O’Connor, Arnold Steinhardt, Clive Greensmith, Martin Beaver, Robert Lipsett, and the Opus One Quartet.
Ms. Kim made her major label debut in 2013 with her recording of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra led by Eduard Topchjan, on
Sony Classical. In 2016, Ms. Kim made her Carnegie Hall recital debut performing music of Scarlatti, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Barber, and Gershwin. She made her west coast debut with
George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with MUSE/IQUE. Last season, she appeared on the live broadcast program What Makes It Great? hosted by Robert Kapilow on National Public Radio, chamber concerts with the Salastina Music Society including the west coast premiere of Fanny Mendelssohn’s Easter Sonata and a U.K. tour of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Russian State Philharmonic under the baton of Valery Polyansky.
In fall 2018, Ms. Kim began teaching at the Community School and pre-college Music Academy divisions of the Colburn School.