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Haijin Choi - Violin


Your name: Haijin Choi       


Your instrument/position in the orchestra: section violin


How old were you when you started playing your instrument?: 7 years old


Hometown: Daegu, South Korea


When did you join the orchestra: December, 2003 - I moved from Charleston, SC in DECEMBER!


Education: BM and MM from Seoul National University and MM and Certificate Program from Northwestern University.


What made you choose your instrument? 

I started with piano when I was 6. My mom showed up one day at school when I was 7 and told me told me to start school orchestra program that day. I started taking private lessons for my piano and violin when I was 8. When I was 9, I was stuck in one of Bach’s Two Part Invention and I felt miserable for months not passing that one piece. My mom told me that I had to pick just one instrument due to budget. I was so excited to give up on piano!


In a few words or sentences, how would you describe yourself? 

I am not the nicest person.


Favorite saying or motto: Show up, Shut up and Keep up.


Pet peeve: There are so many, but I will pick bad instrument tuning for today. Tuning itself is a form of art.


Most memorable moment in the orchestra: Feeling musical freedom while maestro Rachleff was on the podium.


Inspirations: People who work hard. People who struggle, but still make their best effort.


Favorite Movie and/or TV Show: The Good Wife. Law & Order.


Who would play you in a movie?:

Meryl Streep. Just kidding. I think I am the only one who can play myself and I am pretty sure I can win Oscar.


Favorite foods: Korean street junk food.


Hobbies: Not a hobby, but I used to run a lot. And then I used to change my son’s diaper a lot. Now that he is getting potty trained, I hope I can run some more...


Bad habit: Not drinking enough water.


Most influential teachers: Blair Milton, a violinist in Chicago Symphony and a faculty at Northwestern University. My son’s middle name is Blair.


Last book you read/what are you reading now?: Make It Stick


Favorite pieces of music: Brahms Symphony No.4


Dream vacation/trip: I hope I can see Met Opera and Berlin Phil performance live.


What is your favorite thing about living in Grand Rapids? 

Watching this amazing growth in the last decade.


Last words/parting thoughts: When you see me at grocery store or on the street, say hi to me. I would love to know you too.

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