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Chung Kyung-wha, one of the world's foremost violinists, Chung
Myung-wha, a cellist, and their youngest brother, the world-renown conductor
Chung Myung-whun, formerly of the French National Bastille Opera, established
the Chung Trio during the 1970s. They have performed with world class orchestras
throughout the world and produced numerous recordings. Not only have they
received praise from foreign critics, they have also enjoyed a popular following
among Korean music-lovers as well. They have also presented concerts as part of
the United Nations' crusade against drug abuse.
Other world-class violinists include Kang
and Kim Yong-uk. Recently, two young prodigies, the
violinist Chang Sarah and the cellist Chang Han-na, have made headlines. Also,
Ko Pong-in from the Korean National University of the Arts' youth program, won
top honors at the Young Tchaikovsky Competition in 1997.
Pianists Lee Kyong-suk and Paek
Hye-son are also active as both performers and
teachers. Other pianists, like Han Tong-il of Boston and Paek Kon-u
of Paris, perform frequently on the international stage. Paek is particularly
well known for his interpretation of Ravel.
is a Korean violinist.
Born in Seoul, Korea in 1992,
Ga-Yeon Lee began her music studies at age four. Ms. Lee
has performed as a soloist with the Daejeon Philharmonic
Orchestra, the University of Cincinnati Orchestra, the
American Academy of Conducting Orchestra of Aspen Music
Festival, and the Summit Symphony, among others. She has
performed internationally as a soloist with the Starling
Chamber Orchestra and on the Kumho Prodigy Recital in
Korea. She was winner of the Stravinsky Violin Concerto
Competition at the Aspen Music Festival in 2003, first
prize winner at the Dayton Philharmonic Violin Solo
Competition, the special-prize winner of the Henri Marteau
International Violin Competition, and the scholarship
winner of the Cincinnati Symphony Women's Club Annual
Scholarship Competition. She has performed in
masterclasses given by Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank,
and Gil Shaham.
Recently, she was featured on
National Public Radio (NPR)ís From the Top where she
collaborated with Christopher O'Riley. Ms. Lee has
participated in Aspen Music Festival and Great Mountains
Music Festival. She has served as the concertmaster for
Juilliard Pre-College Symphony and principal second
violinist of the Aspen Concert Orchestra. Ms. Lee studies
with Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka and chamber music with
Masao Kawasaki at the Juilliard School Pre-College
Division as a scholarship student.
Kim Chee Yun
(born 1970) is a South Korean female violinist from Seoul.
Her professional name is "Chee-Yun".
Chee-Yun performed in Korea at the
age of 13. She studied at the Juilliard School with
Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang, and Felix Galimir. She won the
Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1989
which led to her New York City recital debut at Carnegie
Hall. She records for the Denon label.
Chee-yun was appointed
Artist-in-Residence at the Southern Methodist University,
Dallas Texas in 2008. Besides teaching, she still actively
tours around and gives recitals and concert performances.
Chee-yun Kim owns a Francesco Ruggerie violin made in the
year 1669 which she purchased during the early years of
her career. Chee-Yun plays the Stradivarius
"Ex-Strauss" (Cremona, 1708), loaned by Samsung
She appeared in the October 18th,
2009 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, "Denise
Kyung-wha Chung's musical career
began at the age of three. Her fame in the seventies and
eighties was at the top level, and ranked alongside the
great violinists Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman.
Chung later extended her repertoire in her interpretations
of Romantic, Modern music, Baroque and Mozart.
Kyung-wha Chung was born to a very
musical family. Her mother recognised her musical talent
from a young age (she began to sing at the age of two).
With her perfect pitch, Chung was a good singer, winning
several small competitions. Following this success she was
introduced to the piano, but the instrument bored her so
much that she often fell asleep while practicing. However,
the moment she first heard the sound of a violin, she was
instantly mesmerized by its tone. With an amazing amount
of focus, and surprising speed of learning for one so
young, Kyung-wha Chung began to play the violin from the
age of seven. She was known as a child prodigy, and by the
age of nine she was already playing the Mendelssohn Violin
Concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. As time
progressed she steadily won most of the famous music
competitions in Korea. Chung, with her siblings, toured
around the country, performing music both as soloist and
as a part of an ensemble. As the children became more and
more famous in Korea, Chung's mother felt that it was too
small a country for her children to further their musical
careers, and she decided to move to America. All of
Chung's siblings played classical instruments and three of
them became professional musicians. Her younger brother,
Myung-whun Chung is a conductor and a pianist who won the
second prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition against Andrei
Gavrilov. Her older sister, Myung-wha Chung, who plays
cello and studied under great Gregor Piatigorsky, has won
many competitions (among them, the Geneva Competition) and
currently teaches at the Korean National University of
Arts in Seoul.
At age thirteen she arrived in the
United States. However, Chung's family found that moving
to America was not an easy undertaking. With the help of
Myung-Soh, her older flautist sister who was studying at
Juilliard School, Chung received an invitation to audition
for Pre-College division of Juilliard. The audition was
successful, and Chung was awarded a full scholarship to
Juilliard with the possibility of studying under the
renowned pedagogue Ivan Galamian.
Studying in Juilliard was not easy.
The language barrier was huge and being a part of a racial
minority group meant that Chung often felt like an
outsider. She was one of the best child violinists in
Korea, but at Juilliard, competing against some of the
best young prodigies in the world, Chung found that her
talent was less developed than others.
Faced with these challenges she was
determined to distinguish herself, working so hard that
her family began to fear for her health. Galamian's
training was very strict, renowned for causing students to
leave the school. However, for Chung's work-ethic, it
seemed that his technique was exactly what she needed. Her
playing matured considerably during this time with the
help of her teacher. Galamian, however, was known to be
prejudiced against female violinists. Although he knew of
her talent, he thought she could go only so far as a
professional violinist. He always told her not to get
married, as he had seen promising female violinists before
her choose marriage over violin performance. Subsequently,
she proved the possibility of having children and a
successful concert career.
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