Jiji, Guitar and Danbi Um, Violin
Applauded by the Calgary Herald as “…talented, sensitive…brilliant,” Jiji is an adventurous artist on both acoustic and electric guitar, playing an extensive range of music from traditional and contemporary classical music to free improvisation. Her impeccable musicianship combined with compelling stage presence and fascinating repertoire earned the Korean guitarist First Prize at the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition.
The Kansas City Star described Jiji as “A graceful and nuanced player,” adding that “…she presented an intimate, captivating performance.” Career highlights include a wide array of venues, including Carnegie Hall, 92ndStreet Y, Festival Napa Valley, Krannert Center, Purdue Convocations, Virginia Arts Festival, National Sawdust, Miller theater, Mass MOCA, Subculture NYC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Princeton Sound Kitchen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her upcoming 20-21 season highlights include performances at the Green Music Center, Market Square Concerts, University of Delaware and concerto performances with the Richmond Symphony and Sinfonietta Riga in Latvia.
A passionate advocate of new music, Jiji has premiered a duo piece Talking Guitars by renowned composer, Paul Lansky, released on Bridge Records. She has premiered works by numerous emerging composers, including Nina C. Young, Gabriella Smith, Riho Maimets, Krists Auznieks, Gulli Björnsson, Andrew McIntosh, and Farnood HaghaniPour. She also performs her own compositions, incorporating electronic media and acoustic music. Her music is influenced by her regular activities as a DJ, where she highlights the electronic dance styles of happy hardcore and Berlin experimental electronica. As a chamber musician, she performed with members of Eighth Blackbird, Bang on a Can All-Stars, wild Up, and the Aizuri Quartet. Her performances have been featured on PBS, NPR’s From the Top, WHYY-TV, FOX 4-TV, Munchies, The Not So Late Show, and Hong Kong broadcast station RTHK’s The Works.
Jiji is currently based in Tempe, Arizona where she holds the post of Assistant Professor of Guitar at Arizona State University. She is sponsored by D’Addario Strings.
Danbi Um, violin
Praised by The Strad as an “utterly dazzling” artist, with “a marvelous show of superb technique” and “mesmerizing grace” (New York Classical Review), violinist Danbi Um captivates audiences with her virtuosity, individual sound, and interpretive sensitivity. A Menuhin International Violin Competition Silver Medalist, winner of the prestigious 2018 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant, and a recent top prizewinner of the Naumburg International Violin Competition, she showcases her artistry in concertos, solo recitals, and in collaboration with distinguished chamber musicians.
This season’s highlights include a solo recital at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, duo programs with the guitarist Jiji at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, and a rejuvenated trio program with tenor Karim Sulayman and pianist Juho Pohjonen for The Cliburn in Fort Worth. Other recent and upcoming engagements include solo appearances with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (Kimmel Center), a national tour with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and performances at premiere national series including Wolf Trap, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, Parlance Chamber Series, and Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Concerts. Notable recent festival engagements included performances at Caramoor and Music@Menlo’s “Carte Blanche” recital series with pianist Orion Weiss. In 2018, Ms. Um made her New York recital debut at Lincoln Center presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
After winning the 2014 Music Academy of the West Competition, Ms. Um made her concerto debut in the Walton Violin Concerto with the Festival Orchestra, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein. Past concerto engagements include appearances with the Israel Symphony, Auckland Philharmonic, Vermont Symphony, and the Dartmouth Symphony. She also recently appeared in recital and in chamber music performances in such venues as the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Harris Theatre in Chicago, Wigmore Hall in London, and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Um is a current artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) and will see her opening the CMS's 50th anniversary season, broadcast live on Medici TV, in fall 2019 at Alice Tully Hall. Festival appearances have included those at Marlboro, Ravinia, Yellow Barn, Moab, Seattle, Caramoor, and North Shore. Ms. Um also recently made her critically acclaimed debut at the Moritzburg Festival in Dresden, Germany at the invitation of Jan Vogler. Her chamber music collaborators have included Anthony Marwood, Vadim Gluzman, Pamela Frank, Cho-Liang Lin, Paul Neubauer, Frans Helmerson, Jan Vogler, David Shifrin, and Gilbert Kalish.
Born in 1990 in Seoul, South Korea, Ms. Um began violin lessons at the age of three. In the year 2000, she moved to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree. She also holds an Artist Diploma from Indiana University. Her teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo, and Hagai Shaham.
Ms. Um is a winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions. She plays a 1683 “ex-Petschek” Nicolo Amati violin, on loan from a private collection.