HELLO AMERICA—Because I had a professional relationship with classical pianist June Choi Oh, it is always exciting to hear about her constant mobility moving ahead as a musician. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life when I witnessed the recording of my symphonic work, “Flight of Columbia 7 & Dances of Remembrance in San Francisco which also included members of the celebrated San Francisco Symphonic Orchestra. By the way, the session also highlighted Frederic Chiu, another powerful force to deal with, and conductor Florin Pauvulescu. The symphony was recorded at Skywalker Sound Studio, the studio that introduced the “Star Wars” music.
When the sound studio went silent and conductor Pauvulescu slowly raised his baton for June Choi Oh to begin the piece, the silence of everyone close by was overwhelming. Tears were shed by several of the Dominican students who donated their time for the day-long session. We had never heard June Choi Oh perform in the way, she seemed to make love to each sound of music that was being recorded for history. My magical moments when meeting such music geniuses as Art Tatum, Duke Ellington at the age of 12 and 13 back in Philadelphia filled each part of my existence. I realize more than ever how fortunate I was to finally compose an important piece of music they possibly would accept.
It is important to note that pianist June Choi Oh, one of my professors, was not some little music teacher who didn’t know her way around. She was tough, extremely disciplined and one of the most centered creative human beings I had ever known.
June currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts, Dominican University of California, and holds BM, and MM degrees from the Juilliard School, where she was a recipient of the prestigious Endowments for the Arts Scholarship and the William Petschek Scholarship Awards. She has concertized around the world, appearing as soloist with the New Haven Symphony, Aspen Concert Orchestra, and Filarmonica de Jalisco in Mexico, among others.
As a recitalist, she has performed at the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium at the United Nations in New York City, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Kieler Schloss in Germany, and Stadsgehoorzaal in Holland, also appearing in the Aspen Music Festival and Victoria Music Festival (Canada). She has performed on radio stations WNCN in New York City, WPKT in Connecticut, WFMT in Chicago, and KQED in San Francisco, as well as on nationally televised performances on PBS, and abroad on Danish National Television (DR).
An avid chamber musician, June appears frequently in leading chamber concert series, including by the San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall, and the New York Philharmonic series at Merkin Concert Hall. She has performed at Dinkelspiel Auditorium at Stanford University, St. Mary’s College, Holy Names College, Kutztown University (PA), Arrowhead Arts Association, San Jose Chamber Music Series, Berkeley Chamber Series, and a multi-island concert tour of Hawaii made possible by a National Endowments for the Arts Grant. She has given recitals and masterclasses in Cabrillo College, Napa Valley College, Mendocino College, and Mission College.
June was a performer and a faculty member at Yong Pyong International Music Festival in Korea and Victoria Music Festival in Canada. She also directed the Pacific Music Festival of California from 1996 to 1999, which was held at Stanford University and Santa Clara University. She is a former faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.