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Cellist Hayoung Choi

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Born On February 6, 1998
Born in Germany
Cello Ex-Starker Giuseppe Guarneri 'filius Andreae' 1707
Bow F.X. Tourte
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Kronberg Academy, Queen Sofia College of Music
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Frans Helmerson, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Ivan Monighetti
Notable awards/competitions won
First Prize at the 2022 Queen Elisabeth Competition, Belgium | First Prize and Special Prize at the 2018 Krzysztof Penderecki Competition | Leyda Ungerer Music Prize at the 2017 Kronberg Academy Festival | First Prize at the 2011 Johannes Brahms Competition | Landgrave of Hesse Prize at the 2008 Kronberg Academy Masterclasses

South Korean cellist Hayoung Choi, born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1998, is the First Prize Winner of the 2022 Queen Elisabeth Competition for Cello. She also won First Prizes at the 3rd Krzysztof Penderecki International Cello Competition and Johannes Brahms International Competition. During the Kronberg Cello Masterclasses, she was awarded the “Landgrave of Hesse Prize” and “Leyda Ungerer Music Prize.” Most recently, she was selected as the inaugural recipient of the FENDI Music Award.

Her recent and current highlights include performances with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, Kosice Philharmonic Orchestra, Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Classical Players, and KBS Symphony Orchestra.

The 23/24 season brings her debut with orchestras such as the LA Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra, and Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais.

Hayoung made her debut with the Camerata Salzburg performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 at the age of twelve. She has performed with numerous orchestras such as the Kremerata Baltica Orchestra, Frankfurt Opera and Museum Orchestra, Barcelona Chamber Orchestra, and Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. She was invited to play at renowned music festivals, among them are the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, Kronberg Cello Festival, City of London Festival, and Prades Pablo Casals Festival.

As a chamber musician, she has performed with musicians such as Sir András Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Kim Kashkashian, Jörg Widmann, and Mitsuko Uchida.
She attended the Purcell School in the UK and received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the Kronberg Academy in Germany under the tutelage of Professor Frans Helmerson. Later on, she completed the professional studies program in Kronberg in the class of Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. She currently studies at the prestigious Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain with Professor Ivan Monighetti.

Hayoung Choi plays on the 1707 ex-Starker Joseph filius Andrea Guarnerius cello on loan from an anonymous donor.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I love creating artwork with my own hands. Pottery is one of my biggest passions. Not only does it enable me to explore creativity but also allows my mind to unwind from the stresses of a busy life. In my free time, I love taking dance classes (contemporary, dance, and ballet), painting, cooking, going to the theater, and visiting museums.
If you were not a musician, what profession do you feel you’d be doing now?
I could imagine being a dancer, architect, or working in the field of visual art (ceramics, painting, sculpture...)
What would your dream gig be?
Dreaming of performing the Brahms double concerto with my violinist younger sister, SongHa!
What is a song that makes you turn the radio up?
Nina Simone, Queen, Beatles songs
What would you say makes you unique as a musician?
When interpreting a new work I always strive to channel my own voice and musical instincts, staying true to the composer in the meanwhile as well as respecting the distinctive historic elements of the era the music derives from.
Do you keep all 3 meals phone-free? No social media scrolling.
I actually do not look at my phone while eating. But I do enjoy putting on a vinyl player in my kitchen, listening to some of my favourite records.
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