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.