Choong-Jin Chang, viola
Concert Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2007, 8pm; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
Program: Schumann Marchenbilder for Viola and Piano; Hindemith Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 11 no. 4; Hindemith Sonata for Solo Viola, op. 25, no. 1; Brahms Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 120, no. 2 (Pianist: Daejin Kim)
Biography: A native of Seoul, Korea, Choong-Jin (CJ) Chang joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as associate principal viola in November 1994 and became principal viola in April 2006. He made his performance debut as a 12-year-old violinist with the Seoul Philharmonic as winner of the grand prize in Korea’s Yook Young National Competition. In 1981, at the age of 13, he moved to the United States to attend the Juilliard School of Music. He subsequently studied in Philadelphia at the Esther Boyer College of Music of Temple University and finally at the Curtis Institute of Music, from which he received degrees in both violin and viola. His primary teachers were Jascha Brodsky and retired Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Violin Joseph de Pasquale.
As a soloist, Mr. Chang has appeared recently with the KBS Symphony Orchestra of South Korea and the Temple University Symphony Orchestra. An ardent chamber musician, he has given recitals throughout the United States and Korea, and has also performed in numerous chamber music festivals here and abroad, including the Marlboro Festival (both in Vermont and several times on tour), Bridgehampton, Seattle, and Santa-Fe. The list of distinguished musicians with whom he has collaborated includes Emmanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Jaime Laredo, Andre Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, and most recently Yo-Yo Ma, with whom he performed as viola soloist in Strauss’s Don Quixote with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 1997 Mr. Chang joined violinists Robert Chen and Soovin Kim, and cellist Peter Stumpf to found the Johannes Quartet. Its debut performances at Philadelphia’s Ethical Society and at Carnegie Hall in New York City received glowing reviews. Since then the Quartet has performed to audience and critical acclaim throughout the United States.
Alongside his extensive performing activities, Mr. Chang is a respected teacher on both violin and viola. Among his former pupils are current members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as several winners of major competitions. He currently serves on the faculty of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Temple Music Prep.