‘Amazing’ violinist at SF Symphony

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Violin gold medalist Jinjoo Cho will join the Santa Fe Symphony on Glazunov’s notoriously difficult concerto at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

Cho was the 2014 winner at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she moved to Cleveland at 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Today she teaches at both the Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute.

“She’s an amazing player,” conductor Guillermo Figueroa said. “I worked with her last summer in Durango (Colo.), and she was just fantastic. You don’t get to win that kind of prize without being very, very special.”

The Glazunov Violin Concerto is “fiendishly difficult,” he said.

“He’s one of the great Russian romantic composers; he’s right up there under Tchaikovsky,” Figueroa continued.

“Technically, it’s incredibly challenging,” he said. “You have to be a very, very solid player. It’s so full of lyricism; you have to be able to project a sense of singing and line. And it requires some stamina because you don’t stop playing from beginning to end.”

The musicians will close the program with Mahler’s romantic Symphony No. 5, a 90-minute tour de force.

“The Fifth is famous for its slow movement, which has been used in movies and commercials,” Figueroa said, “most famously in ‘Death in Venice.’ ”