High school student has dream opportunity with Schenectady Symphony Orchestra

SCHENECTADY — Niskayuna High School junior, Eujeong Choi, 16, will be the featured soloist in Shostakovich’s “Concerto for Violoncello in Eb Major” with the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra on the MainStage at Proctors 7 p.m. Saturday, March 11.

“I am incredibly excited to work with SSO. Having only ever played in youth orchestras, this will be a thrilling experience and I hope to learn a lot from this professional setting,” Choi said.

SSO will host Choi, winner of the Empire State Youth Orchestra 2022 Concerto Competition, in their upcoming performance of “The Age of Nationalism (1918-1959).” The orchestra will also perform Copland’s “John Henry” and Sibelius’ “Symphony No. 5 in Eb Major.”

After hearing a cellist perform Shostakovich’s “Concerto for Violoncello in Eb Major” in 2018 at an ESYO, show it’s been one of Choi’s biggest dreams to be able to perform it herself.

“When I received this opportunity, I was overjoyed and the dream that I had talked about non-stop since 2018 finally came true,” she said. “I hope to give the same impact that the soloist I heard perform this piece five years ago gave.”

“The Shostakovich cello concerto had such a strong impact on me when I heard it for the first time because of its powerful musicality which Shostakovich poured anger and triumph into. Though the technical aspect of the piece is difficult as well, it’s been a journey trying to relay his message through my playing and I hope to show the audience Shostakovich’s story and resistance against a repressive government,” she added.

Choi is also a cello major at Julliard pre-college, studying under Amy Barston and Dr. David Bebe. She was the principal cellist in the El Camino Youth Symphony Camerata Orchestra and the San Jose Youth Orchestra Chamber Orchestra and played in the pit orchestra for the Los Gatos Ballet Company’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

After her family moved from California to New York, she became the principal cellist of the Empire State Youth Repertory Orchestra and has been the principal/assistant principal for ESYO since the eighth grade.

She will join Artistic Director and Conductor Glen Cortese for a pre-concert chat 6 p.m. March 11 in the Fenimore Gallery at Proctors to talk about the forthcoming performance. All are invited to attend.

Tickets are available through the Box Office at Proctors, in-person or via phone at (518) 346-6204 Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or online at schenectadysymphony.com.

SSO is a part of the Proctors Collaborative.