Hidden from small

Choong-Jin Chang - Behind the Scenes

March 31, 2015

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? In Seoul, Korea.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Anything by J.S. Bach.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Bluefin Sushi Restaurant.

Tell us about your instrument. It’s a no-name old viola believed to have been made around 1650. It was originally a five-stringed tenore viola cut down to become regular viola in 1842.

What’s in your instrument case? My viola, three bows, four different rosins, about five sets of strings, more than 10 mutes, two dampits, a tuning fork, some tools, scotch tape, pencils, steel wool, sand paper, and an extra bridge.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would ask Beethoven why he wrote “Must it be?” over the introduction to the last movement of the Op. 135 String Quartet and “It must be” over the faster main theme. I want to ask “What must be?!”

What piece of music never fails to move you? So many but especially the slow movement of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola.

When did you join the Orchestra? I joined the Orchestra in 1994 as the associate principal viola and in 2006 I became principal viola.

Do you play any other instruments? I use to play the violin but not anymore.

What’s your favorite type of food? Korean, of course!

Do you speak any other languages? Korean.

Do you have any hobbies? I am a wine drinker/collector.
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? In 1980 when it came to South Korea.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Among all the great halls, still Carnegie.

Photo: Jessica Griffin

Read other "Musicians Behind the Scenes" Playbill features.