Dr. Soon Cho, Lyric Mezzo Soprano
Lyric mezzo-soprano Soon Cho has been hailed by Opera News for her “potent presence” and praised by Cincinnati Post as “regal in bearing, with vocal endowments to match… tears were listener response to her heart-wrenching performance” as Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Cho has gained recognition for her sensitive artistry and winning execution on the recital, concert and opera stages, and has performed in Australia, Belgium, China, Canada, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Korea and across the United States.
An advocate of new music and a lover of chamber music, Cho has been privileged to work with living composers including Dominick DiOrio, Michael Fiday, Joel Hoffman, Michael Ippolito, Scott McAllister and Jake Heggie. As a recitalist, she has performed on the Les Arts George V Recital Series at the Paris American Cathedral and Beaune International Festival in France, Royal Conservatory of Ghent and Ostend City Conservatory of Music in Belgium, Falmouth Recital Series in England, Grandin Music Festival in Cincinnati, International Viola Congress in New Zealand, and Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival in Leavenworth.
On the concert stage as a featured soloist, Cho has performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus, Mozart’s Requiem at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in China, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with Vocal Arts Ensemble and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, A Salute to Opera with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Berlioz’s Les Nuit D’Eté with Opera Philharmonic of Bourgas in Bulgaria, and Handel’s Messiah with Symphony Tacoma to list a few.
She has performed with such opera companies as Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Astoria Music Festival, New York Philomusica, Seongnam Arts Center Opera in Korea, Houston Grand Opera’s Opera-to-Go, Seattle Opera Outreach, Opera in the Heights, Opera Festival of Lucca, Aspen Opera Theater and Vashon Opera. Operatic roles include Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos), Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte), Costanza (L’Isola Disabitata), Mao’s 2nd Secretary (Nixon in China), Adalgisa (Norma), Mercedes (Carmen), Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Mother Goose (The Rake’s Progress), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), L’Enfant (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Mother Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Vera Boronel (The Consul).
Currently a member of the voice faculty at Pacific Lutheran University, Cho received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Voice and Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), M.M. from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and B.A./B.M. from University of Washington.
Jinshil Yi, Pianist
Jinshil Yi is an avid pianist in high demand throughout the Tacoma-Seattle area. She plays numerous solo and collaborative concerts and recitals in the area with musicians from the greater Puget Sound and beyond. Both Jinshil’s solo and collaborative playing have been broadcast on 98.1 King FM. A member of academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa, Jinshil holds three degrees cum laude from the University of Puget Sound in Music, Biochemistry, and Politics and Government. While at Puget Sound, she studied piano with Dr. Duane Hulbert and was a winner of the university’s annual concerto competition.
Currently on the collaborative piano faculty at the University of Puget Sound, Jinshil has worked extensively with their choral program and has performed both regionally and internationally with the Adelphian Concert Choir. Beyond Puget Sound, her recent performances have included frequent concert collaborations with local, regional, and national artists. In June 2018, Jinshil presented an all-Bernstein recital with tenor and professional cantor Geoffrey Fine, “Vocal music with a Jewish resonance,” as part of the birth centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein. In August 2018, Jinshil served as music director and vocal coach for a production of Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute, at the German Vocal Arts Institute in Seattle. In March 2019, Jinshil performed Mozart’s concerto no. 20 in D minor with the TCC orchestra.
Jinshil loves her work as long-time pianist and organist for two churches in Lakewood, Washington. In addition to playing for Tacoma Youth Chorus, Jinshil regularly partners with numerous schools, choirs, and private music studios for music festivals, concerts, competitions, and solo recitals as a collaborative pianist and vocal/instrumental coach. She is also active in the arts community of Tacoma and Pierce County, from singing in the Symphony Tacoma Voices and the vocal small ensemble MUSING—to serving as Managing Director for Second City Chamber Series.
A lover of scholarly inquiry, Jinshil presented an academic paper on Ives and Brahms in song-settings at a regional AMS (American Musicological Society) meeting. More recently, in 2018, she researched and presented a narrated concert funded by the Catherine Gould Chism Scholarship to honor courageous composers whose musical work reflected their resistance to the rise of fascism in early and mid-20th century Europe. The resulting program, “Music of Resistance,” drew over 200 people from the community together to remember the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and connect in a poignant musical and artistic response to past and current issues of justice.
Most recently, in February 2020, Jinshil performed George Walker’s Sonata for Two Pianos with pianist Kim Davenport at the University of Puget Sound in an all-George Walker concert—a tribute to the incredible Black composer and pianist organized by Dr. Gwynne Brown and featuring George Walker’s accomplished son, Gregory Walker. This concert also featured Music from Home’s artistic director, gifted pianist Joseph Williams, who performed with Gregory Walker. Jinshil is honored to be invited to perform by the Music from Home series, a genuine treasure in the community of Lakewood and Tacoma.