Ji Hea Hwang


Photo by Matt Dine


dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, NYC, 2017, 2019; Apotheosis Opera, NYC, 2016; Bay View Festival, MI, 2015; Castleton Festival, VA, 2013; Bowdoin International Music Festival, ME, 2011–12

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

My mom always used to listen to classical music at home since I was a baby, so I grew up listening to it.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century?

I think it should be more casual and approachable, with more diverse programming.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Martha Argerich

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most?

I really enjoy playing 20th century and contemporary music, as well as exploring less-known composers. I also feel a good connection to French music.

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it?

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. Gorgeous music, relatable characters, some funny moments sprinkled here and there, and it’s so dramatic, especially the poker scene at the end of Act 2.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician?

The moments when I can feel that the audience is enjoying the music and engaged in the performance.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

Bill Evans

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

Not really an instrument, but I would like to learn to sing.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Probably some kind of medical doctor