To celebrate AWCANYC One year Anniversary, we are thrilled to introduce one of the most active female composers from Seoul, Korea. Throughout her career, she has not only been excellent teacher, but also a talented composer.
Sunhee Cho (b.1961) is an educator, and a prominent member of groups of Korean composers. Her works have been programmed by major chamber groups in Korea, and at various festivals and countries in Japan, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Brazil, France, and the United States.
Han: Please tell us about you.
Cho: my name is Sunhee Cho, and I’ve been both composer and an educator for long time in South Korea. I studied composition in Seoul National University, and the University of Rochester Eastman School of music. I grew up playing of classical piano. In my late teens, I started studied composition as one of my music teachers recommended me to do so. Since then, I’ve been more engaged in writing music. I’ve also been teaching music composition and several theory classes at various Korean Universities, including Dankuk, Kukmin, Kyounghee, Hanyang, Seokang and Seoul National in my career.
Han: What is your philosophy on your works and could you describe if there’s in a common among your works?
Cho: Basically, my whole musical sensibility is based on the idea of ‘water’. So, the musical idiom has borne several series of Rain, Ocean Spray and etc.
Han: Have you had any role models of composers before and now? If you have, who was/is and why?
Cho: I would say Paik, Byung Dong, theorist, composer, and one of my formal teachers. I admire him as an artist, an educator, but most importantly as himself.
He inspired me a lot in so many ways through his works and compositional theory. I think that is why I got more into vertical and horizontal elements of conjunctions, which I often apply to my music too.
Han: What was the hardest part (or time) as a composer? How did you overcome? What’s the strongest motivation makes you to live as a composer?
Cho: Throwback in my school days, I felt very small and kept on comparing to my classmates who had near perfect level of dictation, and also were quick on their feet.
However, I found my own way to overcome my weakness and to build my strength. Therefore, I realized that achievements come from the one who doesn’t give up vocation and acts continuously.
Han: Tell us about your work routine. Is there any special place or specific time period for composing?
Cho: Well, I don’t really have specific work routine. However, at first, I am more inspired by performers I find and I love to work with, and I also get very motivated from my husband whenever he asks me about my piece.
After interview, she introduced a recent piece, ‘Beyond, Mi in do; a portrait of a beauty for Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Double Bass ’, which was commissioned by Hwaum chamber orchestra and based on ‘ Mi in do’ , one of best-known late Chosun Dyansty folk arts by Shin Yun-bok. It was premiered for Hwaum project festival, 2013, South Korea, and recently, different version -for Clarinet, Violin and Cello- of the same piece was performed for Normandy project in last April. 2016,
Rain V piano & percussion
Indiana UNI. Korean composers CD3. V.3. collection 5.
Rain VIII violin & piano
Rain IX violin, clarinet, & piano
In the morning flute, oboe, violin & cello
If you like to get more information about her, please contact us.
- Alchemy Concert Collaboration with The Half Moon Project & Lila94
- Musica Per Archi 2017, Ukraine
- Concrete Timbre Presents | Salon 3 – #8 BELIEF | Clarinet – Eric Umble | French Horn – Patrick Jamkowski | Composer – Jinhee Han
- Hyssop from Israel performed by Hadas Fabrikant / Composed by JinHee Han
- Half Moon Project | Bucolic | Harp – Kathryn Sloat | Flute – Michelle Stockman | Composer – Jinhee Han
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