Meet CAG’s Newest Artists

From the 2016 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition

Jiji, guitar (First Prize Winner)

JijiĀ is a multifaceted instrumentalist, playing a wide range of music from free improvisation to contemporary classical music on both classical and electric guitar. She has performed a variety of concertos and solo recitals in major venues including Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, Kauffman Center, Miller Theater, Mass MOCA, SubCulture, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her recent tour of Hong Kong consisted of collaborations with a performance artist, a traditional Chinese instrument ensemble, and an erhu player in art galleries, clubs, and even on a moving trolley. New music is Jiji’s biggest passion, and in 2015 she premiered a duo piece, Talking Guitars, by world-renowned composer Paul Lansky. She has also performed the works of many emerging young composers, including Gabriella Smith, William Gardiner, Riho Esko Maimets, Krists Auznieks, and Farnood HaghaniPour.


Yoonah Kim, clarinet (Winner)

Clarinetist Yoonah Kim is rapidly earning recognition as a young artist of uncommon musical depth and versatility. In 2016, she became the first woman to win First Prize at the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition. This season, Yoonah joined Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW) under the joint auspices of Carnegie Hall, The Weill Institute, and The Juilliard School. She recently debuted at Zankel Hall with Ensemble Connect under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Born in Seoul and raised in British Columbia, Yoonah holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Mannes College The New School for Music, where she studied with Charles Neidich.



Sam Suggs, bass (New Music/New Places Fellow)

An omnivorous musician, Sam Suggs was recently named New Artist of the Month by Musical America and earned First Prize at the 2015 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition, performing many of his own compositions. As a collaborative bassist, he has performed at Mostly Music, Chamber Music Northwest, Yellow Barn, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and was named a Laureate Winner in the Open Division of the 2016 M-Prize Competition. Currently Assistant Professor of Bass at James Madison University (VA), Sam received a Presser Award towards his ongoing doctoral studies at Yale University.