Admired for her “expressive phrasing” and “gleaming tone,” Oboist Victoria Chung has performed in some of the world’s celebrated halls like Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, St. Paul Cathedral (UK), Muza Kawasaki Hall (Japan), and Seoul Arts Center (South Korea) with renowned conductors like Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Susana Mälkki. She is currently the Principal Oboist at the Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Virginia.
Born into a musical family, Victoria was first introduced to piano and violin by her violinist grandfather, a beloved teacher and colleague to many celebrated musicians in South Korea. However, touched by her oboist mother’s beautiful tune of Bach and Poulenc at home, Victoria was instead drawn to the oboe and begged her for lessons—her mother relented and allowed Victoria to study the instrument when she was 12.
After a month of lessons, the wildly happy Victoria was onstage with a youth ensemble. Then, after ten months, she was accepted to South Korea’s most prestigious arts middle school, Yewon School, where her mother had also graduated with the highest honors. And after two years, she performed in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Driven by her true calling and commitment to excellence, Victoria won several national competitions and debuted as a soloist at age 13 with Hankook Symphony Orchestra. She played J. Hummel’s Introduction, Theme & Variations. However, at age 14, Victoria moved to the United States with her family, leaving behind a promising career in Korea for a bigger dream and hope. In New Jersey, Victoria performed in several recitals while serving as a principal oboist at the New Jersey Youth Orchestra. She also studied chamber music, ear training, and music theory at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College under the tutelage of Richard Dallessio. She graduated high school with the highest honors in outstanding musicianship.
Victoria is passionate about serving local communities as an active soloist. Recent solo engagements include Mozart Concerto with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra; Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds with the National Orchestral Institute; with the Sejong Soloists at Carnegie Hall; and Cimarosa Concerto with Atempo Ensemble in New Jersey.
Victoria received her Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where she studied with Nathan Hughes. She received additional instruction from Elaine Douvas, Linda Strommen, and Scott Hostetler.
At Juilliard, she also discovered the joy of playing chamber music. In 2018, she and other graduate students formed a woodwind quintet, “SOOM Quintet.” Soom, which means breath in Korean, is the life-giving air fundamental to both human and wind instruments. The group was recently featured on New York’s classical music radio station, WQXR’s Midday Masterpieces series, with works by Paul Taffanel and John Harbison.
After her time at Juilliard, Victoria joined the New World Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. There, she experienced the life of a full-time orchestra musician while putting her creative musical ideas into practice, including the production of a multimedia recital in 2020. Victoria also started her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at Rutgers University with Nathan Hughes.
Victoria’s experience with orchestral music dates back to her first year at Interlochen Arts Camp in 2011, where she also met her mother’s teacher, Linda Strommen. Since then, Victoria has worked with the members of the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. She also participated in renowned festivals, including Classical Tahoe Festival, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Festival USA, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), and National Repertory Orchestra. At the Music Academy, she won the Keston Max Fellowship, through which she performed as a resident musician with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle in 2022. Victoria has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and Sejong Soloists. She is currently the Principal Oboist at the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the University of Richmond in Virginia.
Seeking to make classical music accessible to a broader, diverse audience, Victoria frequently visits her high school in New Jersey to play with its student ensembles and offer private lessons. She also serves as a soloist and a member of the New York City region of the Back to Bach Project, supporting elementary school students who have very little access to classical music. In addition, she served as an Executive Director of D Ensemble, a non-profit organization that promotes the next generation of classical musicians in local communities through public awareness campaigns and interactive concerts.