Portrait of the Artist
Pianist Choo Choo Hu has been recognized as a musician of inordinate versatility. Praised by The Bethlehem Morning Call as “one of the finest musicians I’ve ever heard...her technique was as solid and smooth as could be wished...in addition, she managed to bring out the richness of Schubert’s music with impeccable phrasing and tempi.”
Choo Choo has performed across the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. Always striving for innovation and new challenges, she has shared the stage with everyone from the Imani Winds to John Legend. Recent solo engagements include appearances with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Philharmonic, and the Spokane Symphony. As an orchestral musician, she has played with the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Prince George’s Philharmonic, and York Symphony. She frequently collaborates with the Atlanta Opera as a rehearsal/performance pianist and outreach musician. Her solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on MPR’s Performance Today, WYPR in Baltimore, and WABE in Atlanta. An avid proponent of contemporary music, Choo Choo is a founding member of the Atlanta-based new music collective ensemble vim. She has played for the contemporary opera workshop NANOworks, was a core member of the SONAR New Music Ensemble, and has performed alongside members of Alarm Will Sound and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Her guest artist residencies include the Levine School of Music, McDaniel College, Washington University, and East Central College, as well as the Prague Summer Nights Festival, the Bethlehem Music Festival, the Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival.
Born in China and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Choo Choo began taking lessons at the age of five with pianist John Sun. She made her concerto debut at age twelve with the Washington University Symphony Orchestra. By the time she was sixteen she had already accumulated top prizes at competitions throughout the United States such as the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, the Biennial Lee Competition, the Washington University Young Artists Concerto Competition, and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Concerto Competition. At age seventeen she enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, studying with renowned musicians Leon Fleisher and Brian Ganz. While at Peabody, Choo Choo was the recipient of the Albert and Rosa Silverman Memorial Scholarship, the Yale Gordon Chamber Music Fellowship, and the Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in Chamber Music.
Choo Choo currently resides in Atlanta, where she is on faculty at the Lovett Conservatory of Music and maintains an active performance schedule. Her favorite thing on this earth is to invite friends over for wine and chamber music reading parties, and she has never been known to choose a side salad over fries.