Choo returns to youth symphony as leader

October 01, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With Dvorak's Eighth Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Fifth on its programs for the 1998-1999 concert season, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra won't be blazing new repertory trails, as both works have been performed in recent years by the orchestra's talented young musicians.

But the orchestra will have a new leader this season: David Ik-Sung Choo, a 35-year-old native of Seoul, Korea, with an impressive resume of guest-conducting appearances throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

Choo will serve as music director and conduct the Youth Symphony Orchestra, the senior of three performing ensembles in the organization. This marks a return to the CYSO fold for Choo, who conducted the Repertory Orchestra from 1994 to 1996. CYSO also maintains a string orchestra for the youngest players and a chamber ensemble program.

"David did an outstanding job with the Repertory Orchestra and developed a strong rapport with the students," said CYSO President Jay Middleton. "We are extremely pleased to have him return to us as music director."

Choo also serves as conductor of the Columbia Camerata Musica Chamber Orchestra, the Washington Central Orchestra and Choir, and the Peabody Korean Christian Fellowship Orchestra. He also is assistant conductor of the Frederick Symphony.

In demand internationally

Concert appearances in China, Russia, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic attest to his talents being in demand on the international circuit.

Choo received his doctorate in musical arts from the Peabody Conservatory earlier this year.

In 1992, he was a prizewinner at the Nicolai Malko International Conducting Competition and was a finalist in the Masterplayers International Conducting Competition in Lugano, Switzerland.

Choo becomes the fifth principal conductor to head the Youth Symphony since its founding in 1990. In less than a decade, the CYSO has grown from a single ensemble of 35 players to three performing orchestras of about 150 young musicians.

Travel plans

In addition to performing masterworks of the symphonic repertoire, CYSO players get an opportunity to share their talents with other young musicians of the world. In June, for example, the CYSO's Symphony and Repertory orchestras will travel to the Czech Republic to study and play with musicians in that country.

The CYSO is always looking for talent. Maryland musicians ages 8 to 18 are encouraged to audition.

Information: Cindy Morford, 410-849-2837.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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