SO FASCINATING TO WATCH..
Fred Child, NPR Performance Today
As an advocate for today’s modern solo percussion art, Ji Su Jung has a distinctive voice instantly recognizable for its lyricism and insight. Her breadth of skill carries her with equal ease from the solo marimba medium to multiple percussion solos and European theatrical works.
Born in South Korea, Ji Su is a rarity in the world of percussion having begun her studies at the age of four. Her exceptional talent was recognized early on and led to recitals and concerto performances at such a young age that she needed a small platform to stand upon just to reach the keyboard of the instrument. That platform was soon left behind as her stature and musical voice matured. Numerous solo performances throughout her native country followed eventually leading her move to the United States in 2011. She completed her undergraduate studies at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University thanks to a generous grant from The Brookby Foundation in Wisconsin.
Her exceptional potential quickly blossomed into a professional musical voice leading her to performances at the Jones Hall for the Performing Arts with the Houston Symphony, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. , Romanian Orchestra and throughout the United States. In 2018, Ji Su Jung was the First Prize Winner of the 2018 Ima Hogg Competition, as well as the Audience Choice award winner. In 2015, Ji Su was invited by NPR radio host Fred Childs to be a Young Artist in Residence on his nationally syndicated program, Performance Today. During the week of her residency, she performed many of the seminal pieces in the marimba repertoire introducing the marimba to listeners in every corner of the country. Her concert for children while in Minnesota was highly successful demonstrating Ji Su’s love for bringing classical music to young audiences. Later that year she was a laureate at the International Marimba Competition in Linz, Austria that led to her joining an elite roster of solo artists endorsing the Adams line of concert marimbas.
With the rapidly expanding repertoire for percussion with other instruments, Miss Jung has become an active chamber musician alongside of her solo concerts. In 2014, she was chosen through a national audition to be the percussionist at the renown Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival. There she played with many of today’s greatest chamber musicians including legendary pianist Gilbert Kalish and Roger Tapping formerly of the Takács String Quartet. The following year she had the same honor at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Connecticut where she gave the world premieres of small ensemble pieces by six of today’s finest emerging composers.
Through her endorsement contract with the Vic Firth mallet and drumstick company, Ji Su has made numerous performance videos that have garnered over a half million views on their website. Through this medium, her lyrical approach to the marimba has drawn accolades throughout the world from composers, percussionists and general music lovers.