Hee Sung Joo

Jay Sun
December 15, 2023
Justin Bischof
February 26, 2024
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Hee Sung Joo

Hee Sung Joo

The Korean pianist, Hee Sung Joo, first came to international attention of the winning the first prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition in England in 1995. Chosen from more than 60 pianists, Ms. Joo subsequently gave her London debut in 1996 in the Royal Festival Hall. After the recital, critic Geoffrey Crankshaw wrote in the British Quarterly, Musical Opinion:

“ A fresh talent of high promise came into view at The Purcell Room when Hee Sung Joo, the winner of the 1995 Dudley International Piano Competition, gave her Prize Winner’s recital. From the first bars of Bach, one recognized an artist of genuine stature, someone with something to say, and the ability to say it! A sure sense of style, backed with a truly formidable technique enabled this young artist to take us to the heart of each composer. This was no routine obeisance, but rather a sense of affirmations. I eagerly look forward to hearing this vital talent again.”

Following her success in England where she concertized extensively, Ms Joo went on to become a prizewinner in the U.S. at the Wideman Piano Competition, as well as earning distinctions in both the Cleveland International Piano Competition and the William Kapell International Competition in Baltimore where she won Nancy W. Miller Memorial prize in 1996.

After Ms. Joo took the first place in the 2002 New Orleans International Piano Competition, she made several appearances in the New Orleans area including a performance with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Other U.S. appearances have included recitals in Jordan Hall (Boston), the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, French Library, Harvard Musical Association Hall, Wesleyan College Crowell Concert Hall, and Loyola University. She also had two feature recitals in Connecticut as the first prize winner of Simone Belsky Music Award Competition in 1999.

A native of Seoul, Hee Sung Joo, began piano studies at age of 5. She graduated Seoul High School of Arts and received her bachelor degree at Seoul National University before she started to study at New England Conservatory of Music in U. S. Winner of the first prizes in the two major piano competitions in Korea, the Hankuk Journals and the Dong-A Music Competition, Ms Joo made her debut with Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in 1990. Since she got the full-time teaching position at Seoul National University in 2003, she gave many recitals in Korea and U. S. including at the Berlin Philharmonie in Germany, as well as a number of appearances as soloists with major orchestras in Korea. She recorded several performances for the Korean Broadcasting System FM radio, including her recital as one of the concert series of 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s birth in 2010. She has been invited to many music festivals including Beijing, Berlin, Amalfi Coast, Cincinnati, Busan, Tong-Young, and Jirisan and gave numerous chamber music concerts. She was invited as a visiting scholar by Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and gave a recital at the Auer Hall in 2011. Recently, she again gave her recital at Berlin Philharmonie by Interclassic Management and was invited as a soloist with KBS Symphony orchestra to Seoul Arts Center Saturday Concert series and also performed with SNU Symphony Orchestra at the same venue.

She is now teaching as a professor of the Piano Department, College of Music at Seoul National University in Korea.