Three Generations of Pianists
Sonata for Piano Four Hands in D Major, K. 381
Changyong Shin/HaeSun Paik
Petite Suite for Piano Four Hands
Hannah Byun/Minsoo Sohn
El Salon Mexico for Two Pianos
Jung-Ja Kim/HaeSun Paik
~~~~ Intermission ~~~~~
Divertimento in Hungarian Style in G minor, Op. 54, D. 818
Minsoo Sohn/Wha Kyung Byun
La Valse for two pianos
HaeSun Paik/Minsoo Sohn
A. Copland/L. Bernstein
About the Performers
Jung Ja Kim
Korean-born pianist Jung-Ja Kim has won critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and the Far East for her pianistic brilliance and insight. The New York Times described her debut as “brilliant playing, a vibrant, compelling performance,” and others have more recently described her playing as “arresting,” “beautifully poetic,” “a virtuosity of imagination,” and “musical advocacy of a high order” (The Boston Globe). A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Kim made her New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall as a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and was winner of the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition. As a recipient of a Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant, she toured in France, Switzerland, England, Holland, Norway and Germany. In the United States, Ms. Kim has appeared at American venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Phillips Gallery, Jordan Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Merkin Hall. Orchestral engagements have included the New York Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, St. Louis Chamber Orchestra, Boston Civic Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, and the Czech National Symphony. She has released four compact discs, featuring solo piano works by Ravel (SEM Gramophone, 1993), the Chopin piano concerti (Carlton Classic, 1998), the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes (Kleos Classics, 2001) and Mozart Album (Kleos, 2007). Jung-Ja Kim is on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
Wha Kyung Byun
Wha Kyung Byun was born and educated in Korea, where she won several major competitions and was chosen as one of the most talented young artists in the country. After she made her debut recital at the age of 15, she appeared as a soloist with major orchestras and performed throughout her homeland. She graduated from Seoul National University summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded with the Korean Presidential Gold Medal, the highest honor for the University's entire graduating class. After coming to the United States, Byun studied piano at the New England Conservatory with Russell Sherman and chamber music with Rudolf Kolisch. Her playing has been described by the Boston Globe as "rapturous" and "poetic."
Since 1979, she has taught at the New England Conservatory and dedicated herself to helping numerous students in their development as both musicians and human beings. She is the first recipient from the piano faculty to have received the prestigious Lesser Award, which is given to the most distinguished faculty at NEC. Also, she was the first recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts. In 2013 she received the NEC Preparatory School's Jean Stackhouse Award for excellence in teaching, and in 2022 she received NEC's Louis and Adrienne Krasner Teaching Excellence Award.
She is widely renowned as one of the most successful teachers in America. Over the years, her students have been prized winners in major national and international competitions.
Pianist HaeSun Paik has been hailed as a “sensitive and thinking musician with stunning virtuosity” (Los Angeles Times), and a “big and individual personality” (New York Times). Having won top prizes at international piano competitions including the Queen Elisabeth, Leeds, William Kapell, and the Tchaikovsky, Ms. Paik has performed around the world in solo recitals, concerti with orchestra, and as a chamber musician. She has performed with the Boston, National, London, KBS, NHK, and City of Birmingham Symphonies; the Munich, Radio France, Tokyo, Warsaw, and Moscow Philharmonics; and the Russian National Orchestra among others.
Ms. Paik has recently performed all five Beethoven Concerti and the Triple Concerto with the New York Classical Players, and she has recorded the complete works by Beethoven for cello and piano with Laurence Lesser, which has been released by Bridge Records. Her debut and subsequent solo recordings can be heard on the EMI label.
One of the most sought-after pedagogical influences in Korea, Ms. Paik was the youngest pianist of her generation to be appointed as a music professor at Seoul National University. Currently, she is a co-chair of the piano department at the New England Conservatory after teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Music for several years. She is also an artist-in-residence at the Daegu Catholic University and served as the Artistic Director of the Busan Music Festival in Korea. She also teaches at many prestigious summer festivals including Morningside Music Bridge and PianoSummer at New Paltz, Chautauqua Institue and also has served as a juror in
many international competitions including the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU, the Cleveland, the Gina Bachauer, the Hilton Head, the Honens, and the Seoul International piano competitions.
Ms. Paik is a recipient of the Korean National Academy of the Arts’ 2019 Music Award, the nation’s highest honor for Korean musicians.
Ms. Paik graduated from the New England Conservatory and Walnut Hill School under the guidance of Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun. Her artistic development was further influenced by her studies at the International Piano Foundation in Lake Como, Italy.
Minsoo Sohn is a Korean American pianist known for his musical intelligence and masterful virtuosity. Described by the New York Times as “a genuine artist, with a thoughtful and poetic interpretation” and the Boston Globe as “born to play the piano,” Sohn continues to expand his reputation as one of the foremost pianists of his day. Sohn has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Israel and Korea and has appeared in important venues and festivals.
Sohn is particularly noted for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and the New York Times praised his Honens-label recording of the work as a “beautifully articulated, radiant interpretation,” placing it one of the top classical recordings of 2011. His recordings also received critical acclaim by New Yorker Magazine, Plain Dealer, Gramophone, Calgary Herald and Toronto Star among others.
In 2020, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Mr. Sohn concluded his four-year immersion in the composer’s music, which has included concert series, recordings and writings. Over the course of his Beethoven project, Mr. Sohn performed and recorded the composer’s thirty-two sonatas in series of recitals at Seoul Arts Center and recording sessions at Tongyeong Concert Hall. The recital series also included Beethoven’s monumental Diabelli Variations and Bagatelles. The Sony Classical released the highly anticipated nine-album set of “Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas” in the fall of 2020.
He held positions at Michigan State University and Korean National University of Arts before joining his alma mater, New England Conservatory, in Fall 2023.
He is indebted to Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun for guiding him to follow his bliss.
Eun Sun Byun
Born to a Korean family, Hannah Byun spent her childhood in Canada, starting her piano studies with Dianne Werner at the Young Arts Performance Academy of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto, Canada). She attended the Yewon School for the Arts (South Korea), where she studied with Na Young Kim, continuing her studies at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts (Natick, Massachusetts), where she met her teachers, Wha Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman. She has been under their guidance since 2010.
As an active soloist, Hannah has performed at Symphony Hall in Boston, Weill Recital Hall, Jordan Hall, Williams Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Mazzoleni Hall, Remenyi Hall, and the Youngsan Art Hall.
She was reviewed by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as “... an astonishing performance. Technical mastery matched musicality,” after her concerto performance with conductor James Somervile in Jordan Hall.
Hannah is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The New England Conservatory with Wha Kyung Byun.
Chang Yong Shin
Pianist Changyong Shin has garnered international attention with first-prize wins at the Gina Bachauer, Seoul, and Hilton Head International Piano Competitions. In 2022, he won the Raymond E. Buck Jury Discretionary Award at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
In 2021, Changyong made a sold-out recital at Lotte Concert Hall, followed by a sold-out recital tour as well and multiple performances as part of Lotte Concert Hall’s highly selective “In-House Artist Series.” He also completed a recital at Seoul Arts Center in 2023.
He has performed throughout Asia, North America, and Europe, including recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Recital Halls, WQXR’s The Greene Space, and Salle Cortotand the Louvre in Paris, as well as festival appearances for the Barletta Piano Festival (Italy), Klavier-Festival Ruhr (Germany), Newport and Green Lake Festivals (United States) and Music in PyeongChang in Korea. Concerto appearances include those with the Utah Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Sendai Philharmonic, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Symphony and among others.
Changyong has released three professional recordings; his debut CD was named one of the “Best New Recordings of 2018” by WQXR, and subsequent albums received rave reviews from ClassicsToday and Pizzicato.
A native of South Korea, Changyong was selected as the first prize winner of the Young Artist Award of The National Academy of Arts, Republic of Korea Academy in 2022.
He has studied in the United States since 2016, earning a bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and master’s degree and artist diploma from The Juilliard School under the guidance of Robert McDonald. He is currently studying with Wha Kyung Byun at New England Conservatory as an artist diploma student.