October 9, 2023

MSM Student Spotlight:
Violinist Eugenia Cho performs in OPUS130 on OCT 11 at 7:30 PM

Violinist Eugenia Cho (MM ’25) is a first year master’s student in the MSM Orchestral Performance program, studying under the tutelage of David Chan and Lisa Kim. We spoke with Eugenia about the upcoming OPUS130 concert in Neidorff-Kaparti Hall, her time at MSM so far, and more!


Eugenia Cho from Ann Arbor, Michigan is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. She has always been passionate about orchestral playing and has been concertmaster and principal position for numerous orchestras, including the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Campus Symphony Orchestra, as well as in four consecutive seasons of the Michigan All State & Honors Orchestras.

She’s worked with musicians such as Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra,  Oriol Sans of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Dr. Larry Livingston of the University of Southern California (USC) who awarded her a full scholarship to attend the Idyllwild Chamber Festival Intensive in 2018.

This summer, Eugenia was selected to be a fellow in the Aspen Conducting Academy (ACA) Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival.


JT Kane, Dean of Instrumental Studies and Orchestral Performance explains the meaning of the title OPUS130

“We were brainstorming a name for the OP orchestra and I suggested calling it OPUS130. My thoughts were that obviously, OPUS is a reference to music. But under that, it incorporates Orchestral Performance “OP” and “US” as in a group. The 130 is in reference to the MSM address and David pointed out that Opus 130 is a famous Beethoven String Quartet. So, it all kind of fell into place one Sunday morning!”)

OCT 11 | WED
7:30 PM

David Chan, Conductor
Arthur Li (MM ’23), piano

CARLOS SIMON Fate Now Conquers
ALFRED SCHNITTKE Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra
FELIX MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 (“Italian”)

Arthur Li is a winner of Manhattan School of Music’s 2022–2023 Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition 

Neidorff-Karpati Hall
130 Claremont Ave
New York,  New York 10027

Funded in part by a grant from the New York City Tourism Foundation.

(scroll down to read our interview with Eugenia)

Eugenia (center) with her friends during rehearsal at MSM

Why would you recommend that people come to the OPUS130 concert?

Eugenia: MSM students in particular should come and watch this concert to support your friends and peers! I know it’s barely been a month into the academic year, but even if you recognize just one person from one of your classes in the orchestra or have never spoken to anyone in the orchestra, it will be a great way to bond and get a conversation going with your peers.

Also, we are playing such a wide variety of music from different genres and time periods, which is super interesting to play as the performer but I also think will be really interesting to listen to as the audience!

What is your favorite piece in the concert and why?

Eugenia: I think my favorite piece in this cycle has to be the Mendelssohn Italian Symphony, even though it’s so difficult in so many different ways. There’s the major violin excerpt in this symphony and to be able to hear that little blurb in context is really exciting and I feel like I can get a better idea of how to actually play the excerpt. Each movement has such a different character, which makes it very fun to play.

What’s your favorite thing about working with David Chen?

Eugenia: Maestro Chen is so thorough when he rehearses us. He doesn’t just go over ensemble togetherness, intonation, tempo, which are all important for a strong foundation of an orchestra, but Maestro Chen talks to us about how to make the piece come alive and give it character. He also suggests in what ways we can make the specific sound come out (both emotionally and technically), which is much different than a lot of conductors I am used to working with.

“Having an open mind will really help you expand your already deep understanding of music and broaden your horizons on so many different aspects of your life!”

What are you looking forward to this year? Any special MSM performances or performances in the city you’re particularly looking forward to?

Eugenia: I’m looking forward to improving my technique with my new teachers and hopefully finding more opportunities to play and explore around this huge city. I think I am most excited (and slightly terrified) for the Faculty-Student side-by-side concert because I feel like seeing our professors in their element, in context, is going to be such an inspiring experience.

I am also definitely looking forward to the Wynton Marsalis The Fiddler’s Tale  concert  — I played with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra last year and it was such a fun concert to be a part of, so it would be really great to get to connect with them again.

What piece of advice do you have for anybody interested in pursuing violin at MSM?

Eugenia: Come with an open mind! It’s NEW YORK! Whether it’s at school or around the various neighborhoods, you are going to meet so many different people, see so many different things, hear so many different styles.

Having an open mind will really help you expand your already deep understanding of music and broaden your horizons on so many different aspects of your life!

What are you listening to right now?

Eugenia: I’ve been listening to Laufey’s new album Bewitched nonstop. It’s a perfect blend of jazz, lofi, and pop, and it gives off fall vibes that I’m so obsessed with.

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