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    • Ava Cho performing at the Spring 2021 Orchestra Concert.

    • Ava Cho '22

Artist of the Issue: Ava Cho

Rose Robertson ‘24 Assistant Arts Editor
Ava Cho ‘22 was encouraged to learn an instrument at the age of seven, and has been enthralled with the violin ever since. Whether through studying AP Music Theory at Hopkins, or enjoying the work of Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, and Beethoven, Cho has been persistent in honing her violin virtuosity.
Cho described the start of her musical journey: “After sitting in a couple of lessons at a music school, I felt myself drawn to the sweet, melodious sound of the violin.” She discovered her “true passion” for the instrument three years later, with the help of a new teacher: “She pushed me to unlock an emotional connection with music, where I learned how to physically portray my playing through movements and discover stories through
the phrasing and dynamics.” That same year, Cho first encountered chamber music and a commonality with other young musicians. After almost ten years of playing the violin, she is currently tackling the Sibelius Violin Concerto, “one of the most famous, difficult pieces of violin repertoire.” Cho plans to continue studying music in college, as either a minor or as half of a double major.

The shared love of music between Cho and her fellow performers brings them closer together. Despite her enthusiasm for being a member of an orchestra, she prefers performing chamber music. Cho recalled a cherished musical experience at the 2019 Hopkins Spring Orchestra Concert: “One of my favorite, memorable moments was performing the second movement of Shostakovich’s 8th Quartet along with alumni Alex Zhang ‘19,
Kyle Shin ‘20, and Noah Stein ‘21.” She said, “Music allowed me to connect with these musicians on a very deep level through hours of practice and laughter together. Same thing goes with my piano trio that performed at the opening day Assembly this year; I believe chamber music builds a strong community.”
 
Cho also wants others to reap the benefits of music, so she founded the Busking for Change (BFC) Club, which raises money for non-profit organizations through the performance of music in public spaces. The club began at Weston Middle School, spreading to Weston High School and then to Hopkins where Cho effectuated it in her Sophomore year. Her previous experience in busking drove the idea for the club: “I had previously busked on my own back in seventh grade, but I wanted to further use my violin and busking experiences to help my community.” The group strives “to bring musicians together and connect the community through the joy of music.” The Covid-19 pandemic has not halted the BFC’s positive impact. Cho said, “Members and I organized several in-person and virtual performances over the past few years, raising over ten thousand dollars for various non-profit organizations.”

Cho advised young musicians hoping to make their mark creatively to find a compelling motivation behind their work: “I would recommend searching for an inspiration that will help influence both practicing and a love for music. Whether it be from a famous violinist or working with other musicians in a chamber/orchestral setting, inspiration goes a long way when trying to improve.”
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The Razor's Edge reflects the opinion of 4/5 of the editorial board and will not be signed. The Razor welcomes letters to the editor but reserves the right to decide which letters to publish, and to edit letters for space reasons. Unsigned letters will not be published, but names may be withheld on request. Letters are subject to the same libel laws as articles. The views expressed in letters are not necessarily those of the editorial board.
     
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