Robert Sang-Ung Choi was born in Chicago to a music-loving family. Through the encouragement of his parents, he began studying music at the age of three; first the violin and later, the piano and cello. His loving affection for music and exceptional musical talent became evident to his music teachers during his early ages. However, as a multi-talented person, it was only later in life that Robert decided music was a means to an end for his life. Relying upon a remarkable degree of self-awareness and self-knowledge, Robert knew what he wanted to accomplish – effortless technique, profound musicality and his pursuit of the purity of sound, without any musical boundaries.
After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, Robert went on to earn his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music. Following the advice of his mentors, Robert then pursued further studies at the Salzburg Mozarteum, where he completed the Artist's Diploma with high distinction.
Back to Nature – the natural virtuoso, purity of sound. Through years of rigorous classical training, Robert developed a pureness and clarity of tone and expression which has brought him rave reviews and numerous performances as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in Japan, Korea, North America and throughout Europe, including some of the most prestigious concert halls, like the Musikhalle in Hamburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Brahms Saal in Vienna. His chamber music performances throughout the world have allowed him to work with such classical masters as Ivry Gitlis, Benjamin Schmid, Anna Kandinksaya, Lisa Smirnova, Marco Tamayo and Luz Leskowitz of the Salzburg Soloists.
No Borders. From Bach to Piazzolla, Jazz to Modern Music. Robert´s interest in different types of music – jazz, tango, modern classical, traditional classical – is evident in his performance with various artists. His sheer breadth of projects include fuegokoori, a dynamic cello and guitar ensemble; the Ojika Piano Trio; performances and recording of Friedrich Gulda's famed Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra, which exhibits various musical styles from funk rock to Renaissance music; various guest performances with jazz groups, including drummer Ritchie Pratt for ”Jazz in Honolulu“; Jazz at Leopoldskron featuring Afro-American Spirituals; extensive chamber music with various ensembles ranging from duo to octet; contemporary classical music with the Austrian Ensemble for New Music (ÖENM); and Luigi the Barnyard Mouse, which features reading and performance of his own story and music and will soon be released as a short film.
Robert is in high demand as soloist, recitalist, session musician, chamber musician and orchestral musician - including the Malaysian Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony Orchestras - and enjoys composing and arranging as well as teaching cello and chamber music.
Currently, Robert lives in Kuala Lumpur and is Senior Cello Tutor and Chamber Music Coordinator at the Allegro School of Music & Arts. He is also Director of the Camerata, currently part of ISKL and Cellish, an all-cello ensemble that performs a wide range of repertoire from Renaissance to Heavy Metal.