Holly Hyun Choe
Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich
Assistant Conductor 20/21 Season
The Solti Foundation - U.S.
Career Assistance Award 2020
Peter Eötvös Mentoring Program
Conductor Fellow 20/21
Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship
Award Recipient 19/20
German Music Council Dirigentenforum
Photos by: Nile Scott
Highlights of the 2020/21 season include guest conducting engagements with the Ensemble Reflektor and educational concerts with the Musikkollegium Winterthur.
A B O U T
Holly Hyun Choe is the Music Director of the Orchesterverein Wiedikon and the University of St. Gallen Alumni Symphony Orchestra. She is also a conducting fellow in the German Music Council’s Dirigentenforum, one of the Award Recipients of the Marin Alsop Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, and a conducting fellow for the Peter Eötvös Foundation Mentoring Program.
Highlights of her 2018/19 season included debut guest conducting concerts with the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester in Denmark and Germany, and a children’s concert engagement with the Collegium Musicum Basel. With a mission to promote female composers, she has featured the award-winning composer, Jennifer Higdon, and Grazyna Bacewicz with the Orchesterverein Wiedikon.
Holly has participated in masterclasses with conductors including Bernard Haitink, Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi, Jaap van Zweden, Simone Young, Marin Alsop, and Teodor Currentzis on the SWR Currentzis LAB. While studying at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), she conducted several professional orchestras such as the Trondheim Symphony, Heidelberg Symphony, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Brandenburg Symphony, Picardie Orchestra, Hradec Kralove Filharmonie, Pilsen Opera House, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, and Hofer Symphony.
Going beyond the standard canon of classical music, she was involved in projects such as performing with a 3D printer as a part of the live performance in a piece written by Stefan Bachmann - "Black Wire Concertina #1-5." In hopes to bond different cultures, she directed for three years a 250+ member Samulnori ensemble presenting Korean traditional percussion music in the form of an American parade band performing in several major USA national parades.
An avid supporter of new music, she has given world-premieres of living composers from Greece, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, China, France, South Korea, and the USA. In the 2018-19 season, she premiered three new works by Swiss composers — Cedric Ziegler’s “Neon Diaries”, Marylène Müller’s “Pages d’écriture” and Jacqueline Gemperli’s “Artikel einunddressig.”
Her passion for music extends also to education and healthcare; she currently teaches beginning conducting courses at ZHdK as well as the PreCollege conducting students. She has also presented conducting seminars in elementary schools, elderly nursing homes, a center for adults with disabilities, Immigrant Family Services Institute for Haitian Immigrants, and as a guest artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Arts Museum in Boston, MA (USA). With an interest in neuroscience, she envisions to support research in the integration of music in healthcare.
Holly was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up mostly in California, USA. She began her musical journey as a self-taught clarinetist aged thirteen and received her first private music lesson at age nineteen. She received a full-tuition scholarship toward her Bachelor's Degree in clarinet performance and music education at the Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach, CA. Her first Master's Degree in wind conducting was completed at the New England Conservatory with Charles Peltz and her orchestral conducting Master's Degree at the Zurich University of the Arts with Johannes Schlaefli.
Photo Credit: Jura Tros