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A Four-Year-Old Violin Prodigy

Posted May. 20, 2006 02:59,   


A four-year-old Korean American is being introduced in American media, one after the other, for her violin playing.

Choi Yoo-kyung (Ellie Choi), daughter of Choi Woo-hee (42, researcher at the U.S. Office of Naval Research) and pianist Jung Young-eun (40) who live in San Diego, California, started learning the violin at age three (last July).

Yoo-kyung has mastered Suzuki violin levels one and two in six months since she began learning, which is exceptionally faster than children of her age. Her genius was recognized enough to hold a recital in nine months after she started learning.

She has participated in eight concerts and was selected as one of the 15 soloists in the Junior Suzuki Method World Convention held in Turin, Italy last month. A total of 20,000 people participated in the World Convention. Yoo-kyung held a “Violin Recital to Help North Korean Children” in San Diego on May 19 in which she played 30 pieces including pieces from Suzuki levels one and two by memory.

Local media have also been reporting on the violin prodigy. San Diego’s North County Times wrote about her recital on May 15, and local Fox affiliates in Los Angeles and San Diego covered a live story on her on May 17.

Local ABC affiliate ’s 10 News decided to cover Choi’s concert on May 19, and is planning to interview her with a news anchor on May 24.

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com