10th Anniversary

Irvine Young Concert Artists

KATHERINE CASH Katherine Cash, Canadian-born violinist, Juilliard graduate (B.M., M.M.), USC (Global Executive MBA), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Global Executive MBA), General Securities Registered Representative (Series 7), arranger, composer, music director and educator, performs solo and chamber music in concert, for television, recordings, films, TV, games and for major vocal artists.

Katherine has been concertmaster of the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and the New York Symphonic Ensemble, as well as many Broadway shows. Highlights of when she lived in Japan, were performing as violin soloist with the Nagoya Philharmonic on national television; as soloist in concert with regional symphony orchestras; solo and chamber recordings on NHK national television; and touring the country in a piano trio with renowned composer-pianist Joe Hisaishi. She is Artist in Residence at St. John’s Cathedral in LA with her N2K Duo (with Norm Freeman, Juilliard B.M., M.M.), the first professional violin-vibraphone duo in the world.

She is a member of the Mozart Classical Orchestra, conductor for the Irvine Young Concert Artists string orchestras, is the Director of Music at St. George’s Episcopal Academy and Artist in Residence at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Her growing catalogue of arrangements includes pieces for N2K, youth orchestras (recently recorded at Capitol Studios, LA for movie film scores), church services, children’s educational material and for solo violin performances (two of which were recently recorded at Capitol). Katherine’s joint composition with Rich Cook, Missa Resurrexit, was premiered on November 10, 2013, has been performed since and the score was recently sold in Switzerland for upcoming performances, in addition to a number of other recently completed joint compositions and those currently in the pipeline.

Katherine is grateful for the opportunities to create and perform a new blended form of music with N2K Duo, building and strengthening communities through music. She continues to utilize her USC Executive MBA as President of Neurobotics neurobotics.co.jp. She is honored to be on the roster of Price Rubin and Partners artist management both as a soloist and as N2K Duo, and is delighted to be the first “Shanti Performing Artist”.

AWARDS. Juilliard Scholarship Student / Concertmaster for Tony award winning Broadway musicals / Performed on Grammy Award winning recording / Min-on Concert Society “Award for Artistic Excellence” (民音芸術賞), the only violinist to receive this award since Yehudi Menuhin. “Scholars and Explorers Award”. One of the original 125 “The 125 Women of Trafalgar, Scholars and Explorers” Joint winner of “Best Foreign Language Documentary – Script Writer”

Zhou Long

IYJA & IYCA Strings

Since her solo debut at age 17, award-winning cellist Zhou Long is originally from Wuhan, China.  She has performed internationally as a soloist and collaborative musician. Ms. Long has appeared in prestigious venues such as the Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Hall in New York, Severance Hall in Cleveland, and the House of Genoa in Italy.  She’s also been heard on radio broadcast presented by WCLV in Cleveland, OH.

Ms. Long has performed with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Fargo/Moorhead Orchestra, Concordia Symphony Orchestra, and Vivaldi Conservatory Orchestra and Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. She has also participated in numerous international festivals, among them the National Orchestra Institute, the National Repertoire Orchestra, Bravo International String Seminar and Madeline Island String Quartet. Ms. Long was a prized winner in the Minnesota Orchestra Yong Artist Competition and was the winner of American String Teachers Association string competition. She was runner-up in the Minneapolis, Schubert Club Competition. She was also a featured soloist with the Concordia College choir in PBS’s Emmy winning production of Concordia College’s Christmas Concert. Ms. Long has also received the SGA Summer Undergraduate Research Award as cello performance major, giving her the chance to explore more about classical music at the Vivaldi Conservatory in Alessandria, Italy.

Not only has Ms. Long achieved her reputation as a cellist, she also has significant passion in education and music instruction. Ms. Long is a certified Suzuki Cello Instructor by Suzuki Association of the Americas.  She believes that education is an important part of being a great musician. She has an adaptable and innovative teaching style that individualizes instruction based on the learning needs of the students, and a belief that music must always remains fresh and exciting and should never becomes boring or rote.

Ms. Long started playing cello when she was 7 years old. In 2001, She had the privilege of being a cello student at the high school of Wuhan Conservatory, studying with her mentor and her aunt Man Long, who is a cello professor at the Wuhan Conservatory.  In 2007, she moved to the United States to attend Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault, Minnesota and continued her cello study with Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota. In 2009, Ms. Long earned her bachelor’s degree at Concordia College as a cello performance major, studying with Dr. Greg Hamilton. Long has also taught in master classes by many of today’s leading cellists, including Richard Aaron, Peter Howard and Liwei Qin. As a collaborative artist, she has been coached by a renowned group of artists, such as the Julliard, the Shanghai, Jupiter, Enso, and Arianna String Quartets.

Ms. Long just received her Master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2015, where she was a full-scholarship student of Steven Geber.

(612)876-6131 cell​ 


IYCA founder and executive director Albert Wu is passionate about creating young artists. To him, this journey involves creating a recording artist, touring artist, and performing artist in young people. 

Albert Wu began studying the violin at the age of ten. Born in Taipei (Taiwan), Albert is a graduate of UC Irvine and Indiana University where he studied with Franco Gulli, Haroutune Bedelian, the Cleveland, Juilliard String Quartets, and the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra concertmasters. Albert has served as first violinist in the Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific, the LA Opera; Concertmaster for the LA Classical Ballet Orchestra, the Four Seasons Symphony, The Greater LA Metropolitan Orchestra, Costa Mesa Symphony, OCC Symphony, UCI Symphony Orchestra, La Primavera Orchestra, and the Chicago Pops Orchestra; and Associate Concertmaster for the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, the Camerata Orchestra, and the American Youth Symphony. He has performed under Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Myung-Whun Chung, and Mehli Mehta. Albert has performed as soloist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Each summer, he is on faculty at the Grumo Music Festival in Italy.

In addition to winning top prizes in the finals of the Bach Young Artists National Competition (1998), the National ASTA Violin Competition (1992), and the Pacific Symphony Chinese-American Violin Competition (1992), Albert was the first prize winner in the Musical Clubs Competition, and the Exchange Clubs Talent Search. In 2005, Albert Wu was invited to judge the Korean Youth Music Festival Competition alongside Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang.

Albert is a passionate educator. As a teacher, Albert has served on the faculty at Vanguard University, Santa Ana College, Orange Coast College, and coached the orchestras at University High and Corona Del Mar High Schools.

In 2004, Albert founded the Irvine Young Concert Artists (IYCA), a youth orchestra dedicated to the artistic development of instrumentalists. Each year, Albert performs with IYCA in political fundraisers for Governor Jerry Brown, Senator John Edwards, Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Judy Chu, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Senator Lou Correa, Senator Art Torres, Senator Joe Dunn, former Irvine Mayors Beth Krom, Sukhee Kang, and Larry Agran. Albert is passionate about political causes. IYCA has performed on Fox, MBC, NHK, CCTV television, on live radio for KUCI88.9FM, and on recordings for Soul Surfer Records and Capitol Records. Recording film music at Capitol Records is Albert's primarily vision for IYCA. 

In 2008, Albert secured an invite for IYCA to perform in China, for the Beijing Olympic Games, and in Korea, celebrating the newly formed Irvine/Seoul Friendship City relationship sprearheaded by former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang. As cultural ambassadors, IYCA continues receiving invites to perform each year at Disney Hall, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. In 2017, Albert and IYCA will perform at the Vatican and Stanford University. Dreaming big and creating young artists are Albert's goal for IYJA and IYCA winds. 

(949)413-7484 cell


James Hilsabeck

IYCA Wind Ensemble

Junko Nojima received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University and her Bacherlor’s of Music from UC Irvine. Her principle teachers include Edmund Battersby, Willem Van Overeem, Erika Chary and masterclasses for Menahem Pressler, John Perry, and Gerald Robbins. Ms. Nojima is the recipient of various competitions and awards, including first prize in the Young Artists Concerto Competition, the Piano Festival Competition, and an honorable prize in the International Piano Recording Competition. She has made solo appearances in the International Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival and has performed with numerous orchestras in the United States and internationally. In 2008, Ms. Nojima was soloist at the Beijing Conservatory in a celebration concert for the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. She has also been recognized with such awards as the JACL Aiko Susanna Hiratsuka Memorial Performing Arts Scholarship and the Marion and Eubie Blake Music Scholarship during her studies at Indiana University.

Also an experienced accompanist, Ms. Nojima served as an assistant to Mimi Zweig and Susan Moses, directors of the Young Violinist and Cellist Programs at Indiana University. She is currently a staff accompanist at UC Irvine.

Aside from performing, she spends most of her time teaching privately and to her duties as director of Marketing for the Irvine Young Concert Artists. She has taught at Santa Ana College and is currently teaching at the OrchePia School of Music (Irvine) and staff accompanist at UC Irvine’s School of Music.


Kathy Oh, oboe

Flutist James Hilsabeck currently holds the position of Principal Flute with the Dana Point Symphony, as well as flutist and piccolo player with Symphony Irvine. James began playing the flute at the age of eight, and made his solo debut performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major with the Irvine Young Concert Artists at the age of 17. 

James’s upcoming schedule for the summer of 2016 includes a five week concert tour of Asia, performing concertos, recitals, and orchestral works throughout Hong Kong, China, and Thailand. 

As an orchestral flutist, James has played concerts with the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg under the direction of Ivor Bolton at the Segerstrom Concert Hall. He has also performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with La Sierra University’s production of Oh My Son. In the spring of 2015, he was featured as a soloist with Symphony Irvine performing Mercadante’s flute concerto in E Minor.

James has studied under the mentorship of Florence Estrin, former flutist and piccoloist of Indianapolis Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. Additionally, he has received instruction from Bernard Krabatsch, Principal Flutist of the Mozarteum, and Diane Weber, a former student of Jean-Pierre Rampal at the Paris Conservatory. Moreover, he has attended master classes by world-renown flutists such as James Galway, international soloist, Robert Langevin, principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic, and Jim Walker, esteemed pedagogue at USC and the Colburn Conservatory. He has also studied orchestral conducting with  Zun Hin Woo, music director of the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, and Dean Anderson, music director of the Dana Point Symphony.

His performance experience includes recording sessions for various internationally acclaimed artists and films, recording in iconic studios such as Capitol Records, the Bridge Recording Studio, and most recently, the Eastwest Studio for Season Two of the Netflix hit series, Chef’s Table. Furthermore, he has performed as part of the Saddleback Church Orchestra with Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee James Ingram.

Additionally, James has performed with the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of Maxim Eshkenazy. In the summer of 2011, James toured Bulgaria as Principal Flute of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra where the orchestra gave three critically acclaimed performances to standing room only audiences in the major concert halls of Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna.

As an educator, James currently is director of Flute Choir & Studies at the Diamond Bar Youth Symphony Orchestra, and has served as director of the Irvine Young Concert Artists Wind Ensemble and woodwind coach for the Irvine Young Concert Artists.  Many of his students have gone on to become great flute players, and have been accepted into excellent music schools—including the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at Cal State Long Beach, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and Biola University Conservatory of Music.

(949)573-1743 cell


dream. create. record.

Irvine Young Concert Artists


Junko Nojima 

IYCA Director of Operations 


Albert Wu

IYCA Executive Director

Alex Lombardi, photographer

Katherine Cash

IYCA Music Director