Ignace Jang, Concertmaster


Concertmaster Ignace Jang, Photo Credit

Photo courtesy: B. Goda Photography


How did you choose your instrument?

Though my brother and sister played piano when I was young, my mother would play my favorite LP of the Bruch and Mendelssohn Violin Concertos. When my parents asked about learning an instrument, the choice was easy.

Do you have any performance rituals?

Anything to clear my mind and help focusing. To slow down, if I can. I plan my ritual going backwards from the start of showtime: warm-up, drive time, shower, eat, nap if I can.

Best part about being an orchestral musician in the HSO?

You learn to work as a unit, but you also try to understand each individuality.

What is your favorite Hawai’i Symphony moment?

It is the silence you “hear” from a captive audience. It is the unadulterated release of emotions from Jake Shimabukuro after his concerto.

What is your favorite musical style?

Motown, 70s, some Jamiroquai.

Who were your major teachers?

First teacher was the best. She passed away last year in my hometown, Grenoble, France. Flora Elphège. Also Gérard Poulet at the Paris Conservatory, and Franco Gulli at Indiana University.

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What are your activities, hobbies, interests, outside of music?

I like to wake up at 4 am to watch European soccer on TV. Still searching for the perfect baguette here. (Or on the mainland…)

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Gummy candy.


What famous figure, living or dead, would you most like to invite to dinner, and why?

I’d like to meet the Little Prince in person. The Little Prince is a fictional character from a book of the same name, written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I really would.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

One that doesn’t start too late, one when I can get better at the violin.

What is your favorite stress reliever?

Still searching. I’m preparing for the String Program of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival every July, so that is taking its toll at the moment  But once the camp starts, it is one of the most gratifying experiences as an educator.

More About Ignace Jang

An active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, violinist Ignace (Iggy) Jang is the concertmaster of the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra, faculty member of the Music Department at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Punahou Music School.

Jang has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia in concert halls such as the Bunkamura Hall in Tokyo, Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Seoul Arts Center and the Sejong Cultural Arts Center, playing before the First Lady of Korea. Solo appearances include the Honolulu Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Versailles Chamber Orchestra, and L’Orchestre Provence Alpes Cote d’ Azur in France. As a chamber musician, he was invited among others to the Berlioz, Trieves and Chirens Festivals in his native France, the Jeju Isle Music Festival in Korea, and toured Brazil, China, Brazil, Turkey and England most recently. This past spring, Jang was a featured artist at the Music Teachers National Association national convention in Los Angeles, CA.

Jang is honored to have shared the spotlight with artists such as pianists Jon Nakamatsu, Jon Kimura Parker, Ralph Votapek, violinists Hilary Hahn, Chee-Yun, cellist Franz Helmerson and ukulele extraordinaire Jake Shimabukuro.

Since 2011, Jang is the String Program Director of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, a two-week music camp for talented students, offering performing opportunities and various activities taught by renowned faculty and. The festival welcomes students from around the globe, in an idyllic environment conducive to higher learning.

Mr. Jang was a grand prize winner at the Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition, held in Italy, where he was also the recipient of the Jury’s Special Prize for outstanding musical personality. Jang also won prizes at the Lion’s Club of France Violin Competition and the Eastern Music Festival. He received the early part of his training from Professor Flora Elphege, before entering the Premier Prix as the youngest laureate of that year. Various grants from the Franco-American Commission and the French Ministry of the Culture allowed him to further his studies under the tutelage of Franco Gulli at Indiana University. After receiving the Artist Diploma degree, he was invited the following year as a visiting scholar.

Born to Korean parents in Grenoble France, Jang met the violin at the age of five. He grew up listening to the legendary violin virtuosos of the past, nurturing respect for the individuality of their artistry and mastery of their instrument. He later discovered musical genres outside the classical realm and became appreciative of the array of emotions they conveyed. The music of the Americas, ranging from the sixties pop tunes of Detroit to the Argentinean tangos of Piazzolla is of special interest to him. In his playing, he strives to express a similar spectrum of feelings while unfolding a unique color and depth of sound for which he has seen praise in the American, European and Korean Press.