Mi Hyeon (Esther) Chu
Mi Hyeon (Esther) Chu is an acclaimed cellist, known not only for her solo, orchestra, and chamber performances, but also as an avid educator and outreach advocate. Ms. Chu went to Germany to study at Frankfurt University at the age of eleven and came to America years later. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cal State Fullerton and her Master of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Redlands with honors. She studied with Peter Stumpf (Faculty at Indiana University), Ben Hong, Ronald Leonard(Former Principal Cellist of LA Phil), Bernard Greenhouse, Eleonore Schoenfeld, as well as many other distinguished musicians.
Ms. Chu started her professional orchestra audition winning career in 2007. She won a position as Cellist with the San Bernardino Symphony, American Youth symphony and finalist for Assistant Cello position at Redlands Symphony, and has served as the Principal Cellist for the Orange County Symphony, Orange Coast College Symphony, La Mirada Symphony, University of Redlands Orchestra, Summit Music Festival Symphony, Texas Music Festival Symphony, and Cal State Fullerton Symphony. She also served at the Burbank Philharmonic, Torrance Symphony, Downey Symphony, and more. She is also a recording studio musician.
She has performed at major venues both in the US and Europe. Such include Carnegie Hall, The Walt Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Caesar’s Palace Colosseum Theatre, La Madeleine in Paris (France), Meng Concert Hall at CSUF, Servite Auditorium and is regularly invited to the Sunday Concert Series at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. She also has collaborated in concertos, chamber music and orchestral symphonies with renowned artists such as Lynn Harrell, Bernard Greenhouse, Dr. Robert Watson, Alexander Treger, to name a few.
Ms. Chu has had several solo appearances in concertos and concert pieces by Dvorak, Schumann, Prokofiev, Vivaldi Double, and Paganini with the Orange County Symphony, the Redlands Symphony, Irvine Classical Players/Seraphim Symphony, GMI Symphony Orchestra, University of Redlands Symphony, and CSUF Symphony.
Ms. Chu is highly decorated, having won numerous awards, including Grand Prizes in the Concerto Competition both at the University of Redlands School of Music and at CSUF. She has also had consecutive first place finishes at the American String Teachers Association Competition from 1997 to 2005, and was the Grand Prize winner of the Greater Los Angeles Finals in 2004. In South Korea, she was awarded first place in the Kang Won State Annual Competition and the Music Journal Competition.
Ms. Chu is also well-known as a cello teacher. She has nearly twenty years of teaching experience and has a large private studio. Her students have delivered numerous top awards at various music competitions. Her students have won soloist opportunities with professional orchestras, and invitations to regularly perform at prestigious venues. Ms. Chu served as a cello instructor at Cal State University San Bernardino Summer Music Camp, Valley Christian School, and also at the University of Redlands Community School of Music, the West Music Conservatory, SOMA Music School, and has been on the cello faculty at the California Music Clinic, and GMI School of Music. In addition, she was selected as Conductor for the Superintendent of Schools San Bernardino County). She has been invited to coach the orchestra sectionals for the Giocoso Youth Orchestra, Irvine Classical/Seraphim Symphony Orchestra, Irvine Young Artists, GMI Orchestra, and many other chamber groups.
An avid desire to increase classical music awareness has led Ms. Chu to become involved in many outreach and educational organizations. She is the founder and music director of the Orange County Cello Ensemble, a non-profit music organization, which concert toured France in 2017. This is the first cello ensemble group to be selected and scheduled to perform at the world-famous Walt Disney Concert Hall in June 2019. Ms. Chu and the OCCE have performed over the live airwaves annually since 2006 on KUCI 88.9 FM, and performed on KGBC 1190 AM. In addition, she produced and directed the OCCE’s first professional CD album called, “Miracle of the Cellos”. All copyrights and other processes needed to prepare and release the album were made by solely Ms. Chu, where she established global connections for future projects. Samples and purchase opportunities are made available on iTunes, Spotify, and the Amazon online store, You Tube, the OCCE website, and more.
Ms. Chu is a competition chair for ASTA(American String Teacher’s Association), where she organizes competitions for music students. She also holds professional memberships at ASTA, the Music Teacher’s Association of California(MTAC), American Federation Muscians Local 47, Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF), Musical Arts Competition Orange County (MACOC), and others.