The world of classical music is now shining with bright young artists. These artists include, of course, instrumental soloists – and most of them displayed their prodigious talent at a very young age which has eventually made them famous on the world stage.
While most of the famous classical instrumental soloists are pianists, there are other well-known soloists of other instruments as well. One of these instruments is the flute.
In the hands of a professional player, the flute is an instrument that soars above the orchestra in concertos and symphonies. It “sings” alongside the soaring voices of heroes and heroines in an opera. It also “dances” its way through ballets and musicals. A versatile instrument, the flute is also equally at home in jazz, pop, rock, and folk music.
The flute has an incredible history that dates as far back as the Stone Age! With its beautiful tone and considerable versatility, it won’t be surprising that the flute has attracted many listeners, as well as musicians, over the years.
One of these musicians is Jasmine Choi, one of the most celebrated flutists in the world today. Learn about the critically acclaimed and award-winning classical musician in this article.
Early life and education
Jasmine Choi is a South Korean flutist. She is an active soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra musician. She has been critically acclaimed and celebrated worldwide for her rich tone, technical brilliance, exquisite musicianship, and mesmerizing stage presence.
The world-famous flutist was born on May 23, 1983 in Seoul, South Korea but initially raised in Daejeon, a city not too far away from Seoul. She began her musical studies on the piano and violin. At age nine, she began playing the flute, and a year later gave her first public performance with the Chongju Chamber Orchestra, performing Concerto in D Major by Haydn. Choi started her solo career in South Korea at fourteen.
Choi’s road to fame in the classical music world is not easy, of course, but her hard work and dedication to her craft have brought her to where she is now. When she was sixteen, Choi enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, coming under the wings of renowned veteran flutists Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner, among her other mentors. Baker, who later called Choi a “huge sensation,” was one of her last mentors before passing away in 2003. In 2004, Choi graduated from Curtis with a degree of Bachelor of Music.
After the Curtis Institute of Music, Choi attended Juilliard School, where she later won the Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra. She graduated from Juilliard with a Master of Music degree.
Choi’s debut album, Jasmine Choi Plays Mozart, was released by Sony BMG in South Korea in 2006. It contains her interpretation of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp K. 299 and the Concerto for Flute K. 314.
At 22, Choi was appointed Associate Principal Flute of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under renowned conductor Paavo Järvi. She was later appointed principal flute of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under conductor Fabio Luisi.
From 2012 to 2013, Choi served as Principal Flute of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, becoming the first Korean-born member of the orchestra’s history. Choi made several recordings with the same orchestra, notably Mozart’s flute quartets.
Choi has also made flute versions of other works originally written for other instruments, such as Mendelssohn’s and Tchaikovsky’s violin concertos. She has also transcribed Saint-Saens’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso for flute.
In addition to her home country, Choi has toured and performed in Europe, Japan, and the United States, sometimes with the orchestra. Her recent solo performances include recitals at Wigmore Hall in London, the United Kingdom; the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, USA; the Konzerthaus Schubert Saal in Vienna, Austria; and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea.
In addition to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Choi has performed with other orchestras and ensembles: the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum, Seoul Philharmonic, and KBS Symphony, among many others. She has also performed in several venues, including the Smetana Halls in Prague, Czech Republic; Disney Hall in Los Angeles, California, USA; Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna, Austria; and the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, USA, among many others.
Choi has won numerous awards and accolades, including a citation as one of “America’s Emerging Artists” by Symphony magazine in 2006, 2007, and 2008. She also emerged as the winner of the Astral Artists’ 2004 National Auditions.
Choi is not limited to just interpreting classical music works in a conventional manner. She has also performed her own arrangement of some classical music masterpieces, including Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky’s violin concertos and several violin and cello sonatas. She is also active in the contemporary classical music scene. Among her commissions include works by Korean-American composers James Ra and Solbong Kim. She also frequently performs the music of the late South Korean composer Isang Yun.
Choi branches out her talents by playing in a variety of other genres, such as pop and experimental jazz.
An avid chamber music performer, Choi regularly plays with some members of the Cincinnati Symphony. She has attended several music festivals, including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, and Carnegie Hall’s Professional Workshop.
Since starting her solo career early in her teens, Choi has continued to perform as a soloist in several South Korean cities each year.
In addition to her native Korean, Choi speaks English and German. She lives in Austria between concert tours. Like many other young classical musicians, Choi also makes her strong presence on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and enjoys sharing her music and interacting with her followers.
Learn more Jasmine Choi – her discography, news, upcoming tour dates, and more – on her official website: https://www.jasminechoi.com/.