Christine Chon

Concert Recording:   Soli & Sorcery, 8 March 2008

Christine ChonChristine Chon was a senior at Monta Vista High School in2008. She is now attending college in Chicago.  Born on August 29, 1990, she started playing the violin when she was six years old. Her current teacher is Li Lin from the San Francisco Conservatory. She joined the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) in 1999 and has been the co-concertmaster for one year. She also joined the KAMSA supported Korean Youth Symphony shortly after in 2001 and has been the concertmaster in 2006 and 2007.

 Outside from playing in orchestras, Christine has also been competing around the Bay Area. In 1999, she was as Laureate in Palo Alto’s Sounds of Music Festival, received Honorable Mention at 2000 Saigon Chamber Ensemble’s Vivaldi Four Seasons Competition in San Jose. She participated in Berkeley’s 2003 Junior Bach Festival and later placed first in the MCA Bay Area Piano & Violin Competition and the Menuhin Dowling Competition in 2004. More recently, she received first alternate in the VOCE State Finals and won the Grand Prize in the Silicon Valley Youth Music Competition, both in 2007.

 Christine has also soloed on several occasions. Her earlier solos were with PACO starting in 2004. Joining them on their international tour to Europe, she soloed with PACO in 2007. Most recently, she soloed with KAMSA in August of 2007.

Outside, Christine loves spending time with friends, running, and baking. She hopes to pursue violin performance when she attends college in the fall.

T en years ago, in 1998, I met seven-year-old Christine Chon at the World of Music store in Cupertino.  She was having a violin lesson with her teacher at the time, James Xuan.  Mr. Xuan asked me to come into her lesson and listen to her play an excerpt from the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A minor.  I was totally amazed at her playing and decided to ask her to play the Vivaldi as soloist with the De Anza Symphony (I was Music Director of the De Anza Symphony at that time).

 Christine Chon

Christine’s proud father, Jaeson Chon, brought her to all of the rehearsals.  Cupertino Courier’s reporter Pam Marino and photographer George Sakkestad attended on of the rehearsals and you can see and read the results in the article below.  At another rehearsal I showed Christine how to put her bow up in a flourish at the end of the piece and photographer, Michael Rondou, from the San Jose Mercury News took the photo below that ended up winning one of the “ten best photos of the year.”  Please see also the wonderful article written in the SF Mercury News on June 4, 1998, below

Christine’s debut performance, at age 7, on June 11, 1998 of the Violin Concerto in A minor, played completely from memory, was flawless.

In January of 2007 I was asked to be an adjudicator for a music competition: Silicon Valley Korean-American Alliance with the sponsorhip by Korean Consulate General in San Francisco, Korea Daily News Paper, and KTVN.  Christine won 2nd prize (I voted for her to win 1st prize) in the competition.  This was the first time I had seen Christine since our performance with the DeAnza Symphony in 1998.  She played an exerpt from the Sibelius Violin Concerto.  I was so impressed, I asked her if she would like to be soloist with the Silicon Valley Symphony.  She said yes, and now you will get to hear how wonderfully she plays -- ten years later.  I am very proud to have given her her first orchestral solo opportunity and I am now privileged to work with her again.

Michael Paul Gibson
Music Director
Silicon Valley Symphony

Christine Chon at 7

Christine Chon photo in rehearsal with Deanza Symphony, June 1998 - Photo by Michael Rondou - SJ Mercury News.  This picture was selected as one of the top ten photos of the year and was reprinted full-page later in 1998.

 The Cupertino Courier

Christine Chon Cupertino Courier 

 Photograph by George Sakkestad

 Seven-year-old Christine Chon--playing a violin modified to accommodate her small size--is set to make her 'world debut' as a soloist with the De Anza Symphony in early June.

 Seven-year-old to solo with the De Anza symphony

By Pam Marino

 Christine Chon was just 6 years old when she picked up a pint-sized violin and played her first hesitating notes on the strings.

"She said, 'Daddy, this is easy, and also I like it,' " proud father Jaeson Chon said. Christine would practice, on her own initiative, for sometimes two hours at a time. She would play songs by ear and try to figure out complicated finger positions on her own.

 A year and a half later, Christine is about to solo for the first time with the De Anza Symphony.

Christine's teacher, James Xuan, introduced Christine and her father, Jaeson, to symphony director Michael Paul Gibson last fall. Gibson was amazed at Christine's ability to play beyond what most children could play. He asked her to perform with the symphony, but her father decided it was too soon.

At 8 p.m. on June 11 at Foothill College, Christine will be playing the Violin Concerto in A minor by Antonio Vivaldi, completely from memory. Gibson is heralding Christine's performance as her "world debut"; he calls her a child prodigy.

This, just a couple of years after other teachers turned Christine down because they said she was too young and too small. Very few violins are made as small as she needs.

Christine's brother, Timothy Chon, 19, a De Anza College student, also plays with the symphony. He started playing the violin at age 7 and was also encouraged to become a professional. But he said he knew it was only a hobby for him.

At 7, the Garden Gate Elementary student said she already knows she wants to be a professional violinist. And she is willing to practice, practice, practice to reach her goal.

 "She wants to do it," said Timothy, who gives Christine lots of pointers.

The drive pushing Christine from within is not unusual, her father said. At age 3 she saw some people performing cartwheels. When she got home she spent hours teaching herself how to do them. She can now do one-handed cartwheels with ease all over the house.

 "Her attitude is very good," Jaeson said. "She keeps doing it until it's done."

Christine is shy when asked questions, but she always flashes a big smile. She said she likes lots of other things besides practicing violin.

 "I like to read stories, I like to play outdoors, I like to color, I like to play on the monkey bars," she said.

Christine Chon
Christine Chon
Christine Chon at 7
Christine Chon
Christine Chon
Merc_article 1998

Web Design by BACH to Music © 2013
© Copyright 2013 Silicon Valley Symphony  All rights reserved.