HieYon Choi

Choi is more than just at home with the linguistic ductus of this music. She understands this music, reconstruct it and by doing so she can form lots of details to a big entirety. – the biggest challenge for Sonatas. She can subtly untangle Beethoven’s linear work, the deliberate confusion in elaboration of theme for the listener, fill them with life, let them become comprehensible. -Piano News, Germany (CD review)

With exuberancy, full of feelings, spoken upto every detail, formulated consicely, souvereign and hesitant at the same time and without any attitude of a perfectionist… reminding us of the young Clara Haskil -Frankfurter Rundschau

Lovely rich tone with some beautiful shading -The Washington Post

Possessed a temper of fire – La Liberte de L’Est

One of the most sought-after pianists of her generation, South Korean pianist HieYon Choi first appeared on the international piano music scene when she won prizes at high-profile competitions such as Kapell, Epinal, Busoni and Viotti. Hie-Yon Choi has been since performing with prestigious orchestras of Europe, US and Korea such as das Rundfunkorchester Berlin, the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), the Northern Sinfonia, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Korean Broadcast Symphony Orchestra and appears as a soloist in festivals and concert series.

A milestone of HieYon’s performing career was the four-year long cycle of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. For this series she received the Arts Award of the year 2005 by the Korean Arts & Cultural Association. Ten years later she completed another Beethoven cycle with all piano trios, violin sonatas and works for cello and piano. Her second cycle of all Beethoven piano sonatas has been taking place in various venues in Korea, Germany and the US and was completed in 2018. Hie-Yon‘s Other series of performances include ones that explored Brahms and his associates and that of French school. She has been collaborating with renowned musicians such as Truls Mørk, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Peter Stumph, Mark Kosower, Romain Guyot, Ulf Wallin, Mikyung Lee, Soovin Kim.

Alongside the canon of the classical piano literature such as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Debussy, Music of 20th & 21st century forms another important part of HieYon Choi’s career. A strong advocate of the new music, she was the inaugural Artist-in-Residence of Tong-Yeong International Music festival. She performed works of Olivier Messiaen, György Kurtag, Sofia Gubaidulina, York Höller, Unsuk Chin, Suhki Kang a. o. with the Seoul Philharmonic and Korea Chamber.

In 1999 HieYon joined the piano faculty at the Seoul National University. Since then she has been giving numerous master classes abroad; the Guildhall School in London, Ecole normale in Paris, the Hochschule Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf in Germany, Music School of Manhattan, Cincinnati, Michigan in the US, Performing Arts Hong-Kong, China. She regularly gives piano courses in Vienna, St. Petersburg, Italy and in France and also serves as a jury member at international competitions such as Epinal and Orléans (President du Jury).

Last year HieYon’s first Beethoven album was released by Decca Korea. The release of Schubert & Debussy will follow soon. Her other recordings include F. Liszt, Six Grand Etudes on Paganini, Isang Yun, 5 Stücke, Chopin, Etudes Op. 10 & Op. 25. TV & radio channels in Korea, US, Italy, Switzerland, Germany broadcasted Hie-Yon’s performances & lectures.

Born in Inchon, South Korea, HieYon Choi gave her debut concert at the age of 6 with the Inchon Philharmonic Orchestra. She won all four most coveted competitions in Korea (Dong-A, Choong-Ang, Korea Times, Ehwa-KyungHyang) and moved to Germany at the age of 18 to study with Prof. Klaus Hellwig. The late Prof. Hans Leygraf at Hochschule der Künste Berlin and the late Prof. György Sebök at Indiana University were further source of inspiration to her.