JASMINE CHOI flute
Superstar flutist Jasmine Choi is renowned throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States for her brilliance in every musical genre: solo, chamber, orchestral, experimental, jazz, pops, transcriptions, and recording.
Named one of the “Top 10 Greatest Flutists in History” by Sinfini Magazine (UK) in 2015, Choi is celebrated for her golden tone, highly sophisticated musicianship, and charismatic stage presence. Her adventurous approach to repertoire, made possible by Choi’s groundbreaking technique, has established her as a renowned innovator who also writes her own transcriptions of great works for other instruments.
Choi’s list of important “firsts” is extensive indeed. She was the first Korean musician to join the Vienna Symphony as a principal in the orchestra’s storied 113-year history; the first Korean woodwind player to be hired as associate principal by a major symphony orchestra (the Cincinnati Symphony) in the United States; the first classical musician to embark on the official Pops Recital tour in Korea; and the first Korean featured as a cover story in Flute Talk magazine (USA). Following her orchestral career, Choi –dubbed “the Goddess of the Flute” by the Korea Times -- has now moved on to a high-flying career as a full-time soloist.
Born in Seoul, Jasmine Choi was raised in a family of professional classical musicians, including a conductor grandfather and a violinist mother. At the age of three, she began violin studies, followed by piano lessons at five. But it wasn’t until she received a flute for her ninth birthday that Choi’s passion for music was ignited. Just seven years later, at 16, she was accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music on a full scholarship, as one of the last students of legendary New York Philharmonic principal Julius Baker – who called her "a huge sensation." Choi subsequently earned a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Philadelphia Orchestra principal Jeffrey Khaner, and later she continued her further studies with Thomas Robertello. Upon her graduation with Master's degree at Juilliard School at 22, she was immediately hired as associate principal flute at Cincinnati Symphony; six years later she moved on to Vienna Symphony.
Nominated by Symphony magazine as one of "America's Emerging Artists" in 2005, Jasmine Choi was presented on the "Rising Stars" series in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Subsequent performance highlights include solo recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, Konzerthaus Schubert Saal in Vienna, the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, Seoul Arts Center in Seoul; she also has appeared as a soloist in the fabled Großer Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, the Konzerthaus Mozart Saal in Vienna, Großer Saal and Kammermusiksaal in Philharmonie Berlin, KKL in Luzern, Dvorak and Smetana Halls in Prague, and Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
Choi’s performance credits include solo engagements with many of the world’s greatest orchestras. She has been featured with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Juilliard Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Berlin Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, Riga Sinfonietta, Czech Philharmonic Chamber, Bangkok Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, and KBS Symphony, among many others.
Her charismatic performance style has made Choi the choice of presenters of many special occasions. She performed at the UN president Ban Ki-Moon's inauguration reception in New York, and she was a soloist with Vienna Symphony for the opening concert of the Bregenz Festival. Choi was invited as a featured soloist for the National Flute Association (NFA)’s 40th anniversary in Las Vegas, where she was celebrated with solo performances at the opening gala concert and the closing ceremony, as well as in a solo recital.
Widely known for expanding the repertoire for flute, Jasmine Choi performs her own arrangements of the violin concertos of Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky, and the Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and his Zigeunerweisen, as well as numerous other violin and cello sonatas. Her arrangements of the Bach’s Double Concerto for two violins and Monti’s Czardas have been published by the Falls House Press (USA).
Other composers also are eager to showcase her fabled technique and her glorious tone. Most recent works include concertos by Ittai Shapira and Texu Kim. Choi is the dedicatee of “Winter Jasmine,” a work by flutist and composer Gary Schocker, composed in honor of her new 14k gold flute handmade by David Straubinger. Composer/conductor Mark Laycock conducted the U.S. and European premieres of his “Flute Concerto for Jasmine Choi.” Choi also performed the world premiere of the Detlev Glanert's “Mozart Variations” for flute and orchestra, which was broadcast live by ORF-TV in Austria. Earlier commissions include works by Korean-American composers Solbong Kim and James Ra; Choi also frequently performs the works of Isang Yun.
As a solo recording artist, Choi has recorded Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp K. 299 and the Concerto for Flute K. 314; Claude Bolling’s Suite for Flute and Jazz Trio, Mozart Flute Quartets, and the 12 Fantasies for Solo Flute by Telemann. This last recording, called “The Telemann Files,” was launched through an innovative and highly successful online crowd-funding campaign. Upcoming albums in 2017 are "Love in Paris", works consist of French romantic, as well as a live CD and DVD of Boehm's Grand Polonaise Op.16(b) from Gasteig Munich, plus a CD of improvisations with jazz musicians in New York.
An avid chamber musician, Choi was the founding member of the Astral Winds (woodwind quintet) and Trio Morisot (flute, viola, harp) and toured extensively in the US between 2003 and 2009, before she had to leave due to the geological distance. Now she appears as a chamber musician every year in Seoul Spring Festival in Seoul, as well as touring regularly in Europe with a guitarist Benjamin Beirs. During summer season, Choi enjoys playing as principal flute of the Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in New York and Paavo Jarvi's Estonian Festival Orchestra every year.
Jasmine Choi also has endured adversity during her rise to the top: from homesickness and illness as a 12-year-old studying far from her family, to a more serious nerve-related issue with her right hand and a subsequent depression during her Curtis Institute years (satisfactorily resolved after six months). Her struggles, Choi believes, have made her stronger, more appreciative of life and her talent, and more profound in her approach to music.
Highlights of Jasmine Choi’s 2016-2017 season include performances with the New Year's Eve concert with Berlin Symphony at the Philharmonie Berlin (Germany), Salzburg Mozart Players (Austria), National Symphony in Kiev (Ukraine), Jyväskylä Symphony (Finland), Sarasota Festival Orchestra (USA), Lubbock Symphony (USA), Olten Philharmonic (Turkey), New York Classical Players (USA), KBS Symphony (Korea), Recitals in Paris (France), Goslar (Germany), Lustenau (Austria), Munich (Germany), Seattle (USA) as well as tours in Korea and Hong Kong.
Jasmine Choi currently lives in Bregenz, near Lake Constance, between tours and engagements. She is a real-life ambassador as well as a musical one, appointed to that post by the mayor of her hometown -- Daejon, Korea. Seeking to use music as a conduit to inspire her listeners, Choi enjoys sharing her thoughts and communicating directly with fans. For more news, videos, and schedule updates, watch this website (www.jasminechoi.com).