Pianist Junie Cho in recital with cellist Isaac Casal

Pianist Junie Cho in recital with cellist Isaac Casal


Thursday, May 19, 2022 – 7:30pm

Two great virtuosos, pianist Junie Cho and cellist Isaac Casal, in recital at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Returning to NY after a long absence, former Brooklyn Conservatory Artistic Director Junie Cho will be in recital with cellist Isaac Casal (brother of faculty member Luis Casal). The program will feature two world premieres by former Conservatory Curriculum Director Howard Lew, and also music by Ginastera, Lecuona, and Bolcom – a thrilling Pan-American program!

General Admission: $20
Students & Seniors: $10

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Health & Safety Protocols

  • Everyone 5 years and above must show a Vaccination Card or Excelsior Pass to attend.
  • Mask wearing will be required for all audience members throughout the concert.

The Artists

Junie Cho

Pianist Junie Cho has appeared as soloist with orchestras, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia. Her performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with Prime Symphony Orchestra at Merkin Hall in New York City was acclaimed for its “majestic resonance and graceful melodies”. The New York debut recital at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, in the Winners Series of the Artists International Presentations has been followed by continuous engagements of solo recitals and chamber music concerts with partners from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. As a founding member and principal pianist of the New York Contemporary Music Band, Cho has given numerous performances of the World and U.S. premieres. Her world premiere presentations include a performance at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program of the U.S. Department of State, and Italian Composers Showcase at the United Nations. After graduating with the President’s Award for Distinction from Seoul National University and magna cum laude from Indiana University, she continued her studies at the Mannes College of Music, and Manhattan School of Music where she earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Her teachers include Nina Svetlanova, Lilian Kallir, Claude Frank, James Tocco, and Marylène Dosse. Cho has previously been on the piano faculty at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music Diploma Programs in New York City, where she also served as Dean of Students. After her return to the United States from teaching as Visiting Professor of Piano at Yeungnam University in South Korea, she joined the Collaborative Piano faculty at Appalachian State University Hayes School of Music in Boone, North Carolina in 2014. In addition to performing on campus, she appeared as an annual guest pianist for a lecture-recital series at California State University Channel Islands. She is frequently invited to adjudicate competitions and to give masterclasses and lectures in various institutions and festivals in the United States and in Korea.

Isaac Casal

Versatile, classically trained cellist whose trademark is built around the concepts of performance variety and flexibility, covering a range of musical languages that span from classical to world, latin, and folk. Panamanian cellist Isaac Casal has brought international recognition to his country through his artistry. With an active agenda, he has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber and orchestral music concerts, and as a soloist throughout Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Furthermore, he has been recognized for his entrepreneurship and commitment to the development of the younger generations of musicians.

Impeller of new works, he has premiered pieces by composers such as Miguel del Aguila, Jorge Figueroa, Jorge Bennett, Darwin Aquino, Dinos Constantinides, Guido López-Gavilán, among others. In 2012 he created the Ensemblast Project, which fuses the aesthetics of the classic quartet with Latin American styles borrowing freely from an array of musical languages. In 2019 with the support of the University of Panama, Ensemblast Project launched its first discography.

A visionary of his generation, at the age of 25, Isaac founded Sinfonía Concertante Foundation of Panama (FUNSINCOPA). The foundation’s mission has been to create educational music programs for low-income children and youth, including an orchestra system for high-risk children inspired by El Sistema orchestral program of Venezuela. He is also the Artistic Director and founder of the Alfredo Saint-Malo Music Festival of Panama (ASMF), an annual one-week festival that saw its inception on May 25, 2007 and has become one of the most important music festivals of the Central American region. In May 2019, the Festival has been recognized by law by the Panamanian Government as a national annual festival. In June 2015, the ASMF received the award “Anita Villalaz,” granted by the Anita Villalaz Panama national cultural award commission.

In December 2021, Dr. Casal won an Emmy Award as part of the production of the musical work “River of the Last Valley,” in the category of Musical Composition/ Arrangement. The piece was part of a larger project entitled “United we Stand.” The same year, in September first, the Panamanian National Parliament confer him and his brother, Luis Casal, a recognition for their social contribution in promoting classical music in Panama. In April 2016, Isaac received an award for his “Cultural Achievements” by the Youth Orchestra of The Americas. In May 2015, he received the award “Ciudadanos Notables de Panama 2015” (Remarkable Citizens of Panama 2015), granted by the Panama’s National Commission of Pro Civic Values and Morals. In 2013, he was invited to participate by the Salzburg Global Seminar to the “Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders II.” In 2012, he received the Hildegard Behrens Foundation Young Artist Humanitarian Award. In the same year, the Junior Chamber International of Panama City awarded Isaac the Outstanding Musician in the Culture category. He has degrees from Florida International University, Baylor University, and Southern Methodist University, and a Doctoral in Musical Arts degree from Louisiana State University (2015).

Presently, and aside from his active agenda as a performer and Artistic Director of FUNSINCOPA and the ASMF, he holds the “Extraordinary Professorship” position as Cello Faculty at the University of Panama School of Music and a Miami Philharmonic Artist.

Howard Lew

Howard Lew has been working in New York as a composer since the 1980’s. He has written extensively for voice, and has been performed by noted singers such as Rachel Rosales, Mary Kay McGarvey, and Christine Sperry.

Mr. Lew’s First and Second Rhapsodies for String Orchestra and Soprano were premiered to acclaim by the Gotham Chamber Orchestra with soprano Christine Sperry and conducted by Dorothy Savitch. His Third Rhapsody received its NY premiere in 2017 with the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra and tenor Victor Starsky.

From 2013-2014 Mr. Lew produced the “Haiku Song Project” an online gallery of new music written and performed in collaboration with a collective of NY poets and singers. They produced 27 exhibits of music and writing at their tumblr site. Most recently Mr. Lew has been exploring the intersection of painting and music with a series called “Colors and Lines: “music videos” inspired by legendary painters and paintings. See the entire playlist at

Educated at Columbia University, Mr. Lew studied composition with Max Lifchitz and Fred Lerdahl and piano with Niels Ostbye. In the 1990’s he was Curriculum Director and Dean of Students at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and also taught for many years at New York City Technical College. For more samples of his music go to https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEmwUz7x-MhWCgI0gXR-Zte6D9T7btX7Y

Additional information


Students and Seniors, General Admission