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Guitar Prodigy Jiji Performs this Saturday

The Great Falls Symphony opens the 2017-18 Silver Series season with Guitar Master, featuring classical guitarist, Jiji; winner of the 2016 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Maestro Grant Harville is making his debut as Music Director.

This season of celebration is sponsored by D.A. Davidson Companies, and Guitar Master is sponsored by First Interstate Bank.

Jiji is an adventurous twenty-four-year-old artist based out of New York. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, she got her musical start at the age of nine. When asked what inspired her to pursue classical guitar, she stated, “This is actually a pretty funny story. When I was a kid I was really into rock music. My dad exposed me to a lot of music, art and culture, and I fell in love with bands like Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and Deep Purple. I wanted to play electric guitar and be a rock artist. My dad took me to a music store in Chicago, where we were living at the time. While we were there, he decided he’d first get me a classical guitar so that I could learn the basics before buying me an electric guitar. After that I really fell in love with the classical guitar, and he never did end up buying me an electric. In fact, I just bought my first electric guitar last year!

When I was ten, my family moved back to South Korea, and there I really started to focus my studies in classical guitar. The Korea National University of Arts has a collegiate program where, if you pass the generic entrance exams and an audition, you get to attend college no matter how old you are. I was fourteen when I was accepted. It was really challenging to be around people who were all much older than me. I didn’t make any friends, but it was still a really good and experience.

A year later, I came back to America after being one of two guitarists who were accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music. I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with my mentor, Jason Vieaux. I had met him a year prior when he visited South Korea for a masterclass and concert. Classes at Curtis were very challenging. I had to learn advanced essay writing when I was fifteen years old with only a basic knowledge of English. I had to be really diligent with my schoolwork and my music studies in order to succeed, but I had an amazing time doing it!”

When asked what types of music she likes to listen to, she said, “I really like to listen to all types of music. I actually have been doing a lot of work as a deejay here in New York, and I mix a lot of electronic, dance and pop music. I love everything from very early music to contemporary, experimental music. My favorite guitarist is my mentor and teacher, Jason Vieaux. But I also really love Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple—he is amazing! Prince is such a charismatic stage-winner too. He is really fun to watch and he’s such a convincing and talented performer.”

Although Jiji is already an accomplished international touring artist, she is still looking ahead. “My five year plan is such a tough question to answer, though. The work visa process is really scary to me because you never know for sure how that will work out. My hope is that I can continue to live in New York, collaborate with my amazing colleagues, and perform as a concert artist.”

Jiji will take the stage with the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Grant Harville, on Saturday, September 30th at 7:30 pm. She will be performing Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, a piece with lyric beauty and gentle sensuality. Identified as the number one most-popular guitar concerto ever written, Rodrigo describes it as capturing “the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains” in the gardens of Aranjuez.

Jiji will have several community engagements prior to the concert, including a visit to CMR high school and an informal lecture and demonstration at Great Falls College, MSU.

The Silver Series season will continue on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 pm with Halloween Spooktacular—a fun and family-friendly matinee featuring thematic symphonic music that tell the stories of things that go “bump” in the night. Come in costume! Single tickets go on sale on Monday, September 25th.

Season tickets are the best value. Subscribers get to reserve the best seats for the best prices, buy before the general public, get the same seats at every concert, and have the first right to renew those seats or exchange them for a different location each year. In addition, subscribers will enjoy exclusive offers and opportunities throughout the season. Special discounted package rates available for students age 20 and under and for young professionals ages 21-40.


The Great Falls Symphony’s mission is to infuse cultural vibrancy into the Great Falls community through transformative music events and education programs. We strongly believe in developing a legacy for our future through the enrichment of our youth, and we believe that the Symphony should be accessible to all. That’s why the Great Falls Symphony proudly offers the NEW Student Ticket Program.

This program allows for all students age 20 and under to be able to obtain a reserved Symphony ticket for the low cost of $5 per concert, if purchased in advance. The reduced rate offers students the ability to experience high quality, live symphonic music all season long in the seat of their choice. In partnership with 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union, we are able to bring this extraordinary opportunity to the students of the Great Falls community and beyond.

Student Tickets are $10 if purchased the day of the concert. To take advantage of this amazing $5 Student Ticket offer, tickets must be purchased at least one day prior to the date of the concert.

Single admission tickets for Saturday’s concert are available at the Civic Center Mansfield Box Office at 2 Park Drive South, Great Falls; by phone at 406.455.8514 (open Monday-Friday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm); or online 24-hours at Single tickets are $31-$37 for adults, $5 for students 20 and under, if purchased in advance or $10 at the door. On the evening of the concert, the box office in the theater lobby will open at 6:00 pm for ticket sales. For more information, contact the Great Falls Symphony at 406.453.4102 or at

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