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A Brief Chat with Catherine Cho,
New CCMF Artistic Co-Director

By Susan Clifford

Catherine Cho

“When we drive down from New York City,” Catherine Cho muses, “one of my favorite moments is crossing into Maryland, rolling down my windows, and anticipating my warm reception from friends I have developed over 21 seasons with the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.” She continues, “I am honored to be chosen new Artistic Co-Director and look forward to working with Marcy Rosen, protecting the essence of the Festival and support its continual growth and the development of its reach via energized programming and connections with the community.”

One of her thoughts is to create a Young People’s Concert, where young artists from some of the top conservatories in the world come to the Eastern Shore to play for students and young musicians in a free concert. “These fine young artists with international careers can share their artistry and experiences with local students and budding musicians to ignite their passion for music and sharing, and lend support for their dreams.”

She remarks that she is very interested in the fact that, next season, we are celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday, thus “you may hear some of his masterpieces at the Festival!”

Catherine replaces the outgoing Lawrie Bloom and lives in Brooklyn, NY with her devoted husband, Todd Phillips, and son Brandon. She is the stepmom of three, Lia, Eliza, and Jason. When she is away from her teaching and performances, you may find Catherine making soup in her crock pot, baking, practicing yoga, catching up with the New York Times, or creating crafts with her family.

Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival Wraps Up 2019 Season with Announcement of New Artistic Co-Director

Chesapeake Music has announced that violinist Catherine Cho has been named to replace clarinetist J. Lawrie Bloom as Artistic Co-Director of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival. Bloom retired from the position this year after collaborating with Marcy Rosen for 34 years directing the music for one of the nation’s most prestigious chamber music festivals, held in June each year on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Cho has been playing with the Festival for 19 years.

Catherine Cho is recognized for her remarkable virtuosity, combining technical mastery of her instrument with an extraordinary and distinctive musicality. Praised by “The New York Times” for her “sublime tone,” she has appeared worldwide as soloist with many orchestras and chamber ensembles as well as in recital at the Kennedy Center, Ravinia, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y, and Salzburg Mozarteum, among others. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Juilliard where she studied with Dorothy DeLay, Felix Galimir, Franco Gulli, Ruggiero Ricci, and Michael Avsharian Jr. She has been a member of the school’s College faculty since 1999 and of the Pre-College faculty since 1996.

Cho is a member of the Johannes String Quartet and La Fenice and was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as top prizes in the Hanover Competition, Queen Elizabeth Competition, and Montreal International Competition. Her repertoire ranges from the traditional works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms to those of Bartók, Korngold, and Berg, in addition to music of our time.

She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Todd Phillips, and their son, Brandon.

Marcy Rosen states, “Cathy will bring new ideas, new visions and an infusion of excitement to our programming and approach. I am so happy to have the opportunity to work together in this way!”

This year’s Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival had great success in reaching even larger audiences at its venues in Easton, Oxford, and Cambridge. At the Festival’s Gala, held at the new Temple B’nai Israel in Easton, Bloom was honored for his years of service with a number of proclamations from Maryland local and state government bodies.

Left to right are Don Buxton, Executive Director of Chesapeake Music, presenting proclamations to J. Lawrie Bloom, retiring Artistic Co-Director of Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.

The Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival completed its 34th year in 2019. Spy Newspapers of Maryland interviewed Don Buxton, Executive Director in 2017 to learn more about the founding of the Festival. See the complete article in The Spy.

In 2019, the Spy Newspapers of Maryland interviewed J. Lawrie Bloom.  The topic: “Looking Back: Lawrie Bloom and 34 Years of the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.” See the complete article in The Spy.

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