Celebrating Korean Women Composers
"On Sunday, October 28th, the USF School of Music will present a concert honoring the achievements of some of the most accomplished Korean women composers in the world. One distinctive aspect of the concert is that the emphasis will be placed primarily on the presentation of music that will be Western hemisphere premieres, works composed by some of the most talented Korean women currently living and working within South Korea. Included on the program will be the Western hemisphere premieres of compositions by Lee Gui-Sook, Park Eun-Ha, Paik Young-Eun, and Kim Eunhye. Lee Gui-Sook (b. 1964), who received her doctoral degree in composition from Ohio State University, will be represented by her Spring for two pianos/eight hands, as well as by some of her songs for soprano and piano. Paik Young-Eun (b. 1957), a well-known professor at Dankook University in Seoul, will be featured through her percussion quartet Story of Woods, while Park Eun-Ha (b. 1970), who did her graduate composition degrees in Japan, will be represented through her solo piano work St. Peter. The concert event will conclude with the North American premiere of La Marche des Animaux for wind ensemble by Kim Eunhye (b. 1956), a professor at Suwon Univeristy and one of the few Korean women composers to do her advanced compositional training in France. Songs by the oldest living Korean woman composer, Lee Young-Ja, will also be featured on the program.
A variety of USF faculty and students will collaborate to present the compositions selected for inclusion in the program. Professor Miroslava Panayatova and graduate student Kisun Lee will participate in the performance of Lee Gui-Sook’s Spring. Internationally-renowned soprano Kyoung Cho, an assistant professor of voice at USF whose research includes the songs of selected Korean composers, will be featured in performances of songs by two of the finest Korean women composers, Lee Young-Ja and Lee Gui-Sook. Considered one of the most impressive percussion ensembles in the United States, the USF percussion ensemble will perform the music of Paik Young-Eun under the direction of professor Robert McCormick. The USF wind ensemble, under the direction of professor John Carmichael, will be featured in the North American premiere of the wind ensemble composition by Kim Eunhye, a piece that is inspired by the Korean animals related to the signs of the zodiac.
In South Korea, approximately 70% of the composers are women, while 90% of the full-time composition professors are men. Living within their patriarchal society, Korean women composers continue to consistently create some of the finest compositions written by any East Asian composers, in spite of the fact that most of them will never be able to find a full-time teaching position within their country. Organized by USF professor John O. Robison, who is considered the world’s leading specialist on Korean women composers, this concert will honor the achievements of some of the most accomplished women composers in South Korea. With its focus on the Western hemisphere premieres of some of the finest compositions by some of the most talented women in Korea, Celebrating Korean Women Composers promises to be one of the most distinctive events of the semester. "