Holly Choe

Lies Askonas Fellow


Holly Choe is the Music Director of the Orchesterverein Wiedikon and the University of St. Gallen Alumni Symphony Orchestra. She is also a conducting fellow in the German Music Council’s Dirigentenforum (2018), one of the Award Recipients of the Marin Alsop Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship (2019), and a fellow for the Peter Eötvös Foundation Mentoring Program (2020). ​

Highlights of her 2018/19 season included guest conducting concerts with the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester in Denmark and Germany and a children’s concert engagement with the Collegium Musicum Basel. With a mission to promote female composers, she featured the award-winning composer, Jennifer Higdon, and Grazyna Bacewicz with the Orchesterverein Wiedikon. She has also premiered three new works by Swiss composers — Cedric Ziegler’s “Neon Diaries”, Marylène Müller’s “Pages d’écriture” and Jacqueline Gemperli’s “Artikel einunddressig.” In the upcoming 2019/20 season, she will work with the Musikkollegium Winterthur, Janacek Philharmonie Ostrava, Hradec Kralove Filharmonie, Pilsen Opera House, Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, and Ensemble Reflektor.

Holly has participated in masterclasses with conductors including Bernard Haitink, Neeme Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Kristjan Järvi at the Pärnu Festival, Jaap van Zweden at Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Sylvia Caduff, Simone Young, and Teodor Currentzis being featured on the SWR Currentzis LAB. While studying at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), she conducted several professional orchestras such as the Trondheim Symphony, Heidelberg Symphony, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Brandenburg Symphony, Picardie Orchestra, and the Hofer Symphony.

Going beyond the standard canon of classical music, she was involved in projects such as performing with a 3D printer as a part of the live performance in a piece written by Stefan Bachmann – “Black Wire Concertina #1-5.” In hopes to bond different cultures, she directed for three years a 250+ member Samulnori ensemble presenting Korean traditional percussion music in the form of an American parade band performing in several major USA national parades. An avid supporter of new music, she has given world-premieres of living composers from Greece, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, China, France, South Korea, and the USA.

Holly was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in California, USA. She began her musical journey as a self-taught clarinettist aged thirteen and received her first private music lesson at age nineteen. She received a full-tuition scholarship toward her Bachelor’s Degree in clarinet performance and music education at the Bob Cole Conservatory in Long Beach, CA. Her first conducting Master’s Degree was completed at the New England Conservatory with Charles Peltz. Recently, she finished her orchestral conducting Master’s Degree at the Zurich University of the Arts with Johannes Schlaefli.