Shinjoo Cho is a versatile solo and ensemble musician embodying many musical traditions. Her musical path began with piano in her native Korea at the age of five. After immigrating to the US in 1991, she continued her study with Peter Coraggio in Hawaii and later with Ingrid Clarfield in New Jersey, where she studied piano performance and pedagogy at the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. During this time, she won numerous scholarships and competition prizes and performed at the Carnegie Hall. Shinjoo traveled to Serbia for an immersion in Balkan music and studied bandoneon with Matias Gobo in Argentina.
She has collaborated with international music, dance, and film artists in multi-disciplinary projects. Equally at home with classical music, she participated in the Marlboro Music Festival under the direction of Leon Fleisher and performed with the Cleveland Orchestra in 2012. Her recording credits include Oscuro Quintet, F!, and the West Philadelphia Orchestra.
Joseph Kauffman was born in Oakland, California. He began studying the violin when he was five with Dejin Sun, and later with Yayoi Numazawa of the Philadelphia Orchestra. During the summers, Joseph participated in international music festivals such as Interlochen, Luzerne, Music in the Mountains, Kinhaven, and Recontres Musicales International des Graves, and the Mozarteum Festival where he worked with many fine musicians and teachers.
Joseph graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008 with a BM in Violin Performance, and was honored to receive the Creative Achievement Award given out to one exceptional student. Joseph was a winner of the Beene, Kroulik, and Brewster competitions in Pennsylvania, and in 2008, received first prize in the PSU Philharmonic Concerto Competition where he performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto. He returns to Penn State every summer for the Penn’s Woods Music Festival under the direction of Maestro Gerardo Edelstein. Joseph founded “Valens” Piano Quartet which earned 1st Prize in the MTNA Chamber Music Competition. Kauffman was accepted into the class of Professor Eduard Schmieder in 2008 where he began his studies in the master’s degree program at Temple University, and is currently in the DMA program. He often serves as concertmaster for Temple Orchestra in opera and symphonic performances.
Saine Hsu holds a B.M. from Eastern Michigan University, and a M.M. from The University of the Arts; both in Piano Performance. Her teachers included Taiwanese conductor/pianist Tah-Sheng Chang, Joseph Gurt, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Sheila Paige.
She was a 3-year recipient of EMU Uniqueness Award, and Uof A’s Strine Graduate Scholarship. As a performer she represented EMU and Uof A by performing in symposiums, recitals, high school workshops and master classes including those of Dorothy Taubman, Andre Watts, Paul Maillet, Michael Gurt, Robert Roux, Francis Fanelli, Susan Starr, and Thomas Rosenkranz.
Saine has played for The Pennsylvania Ballet Company, The Shirley Rock School of Ballet, and the Dance Schools of Temple University and Uof A. She performs mostly in the Philadelphia area in private venues and different concert series. Notable were the Naudain Park summer music series in Farmington Hills, MI; The Latin American Guild for the Arts of Philadelphia; John Kozar’s Grand piano Orchestra; Keyboard Wellness Seminar in Texas in the summers.
In addition, she accompanies choruses and gives piano lessons at the Shipley School and
her private studio in Center City Philadelphia.
Alban Bailly is a multifaceted instrumentalist who studied composition, jazz, and improvisation in France. He performed extensively in Europe before moving to the United States in 2005. Playing rock music in his youth, Alban moved onto studying jazz, which led him to free improvisation. In 2001 he studied Arabic music and oud in Marrakesh, Morocco. After his return to France, he became an active performer, collaborating with various music and dance ensembles in Europe. Alban is in demand as an improvisor and continues to tour in United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as collaborating with dance and theater companies as a composer and sound designer.
He is a founder, composer, and guitarist of the trio Inzinzac and quartet Yapp.
Benjamin Blazer attended Temple University, where he attained a BM in music theory and double bass performance, as well as an MM in music composition. He studied double bass with John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra and composition with Matthew Greenbaum, Maurice Wright and Richard Brodhead. Benjamin currently thrives in the field of music education as a music teacher for Central High School in the School District of Philadelphia as well as a faculty member for the Temple Music Preparatory Division. He continues to compose and have his music performed regularly, and plans to write more for the Oscuro Quintet in the near future. His works include Sustenance for Double Bass, Five Pages for Piano, Dunbar Songs for baritone and piano and several works for strings.