2008 Sejong Music Composition Competition


Hi Kyung Kim | Geon-Yong Lee | Chan-Hae Lee
Pierre Jalbert | Desirée Ruhstrat | David Cunliffe | Matthew Hagle

Judging criteria included originality and artistic merit, basic skills, inclusion of Korean themes, and suitability for use in the Sejong Music Competition.

Hi Kyung Kim, Geon-Yong Lee, and Chan-Hae Lee judged for originality, basic skills, and inclusion of Korean themes. Pierre Jalbert scored for originality and basic skills. Desirée Ruhstrat (violin), David Cunliffe (cello), and Matthew Hagle (piano) scored for originality and performability for their respective instruments.


Hi Kyung Kim


Hi Kyung Kim received her B.A. in composition from Seoul National University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. As a recipient of the U.C. Berkeley's George C. Ladd Prix de Paris, she worked at IRCAM and École Normale Supérieure in Paris between 1988-1990. Her teachers included Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson, Gérard Grisey, and Sung-Jae Lee. Currently she is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and artistic director of Pacific Rim Music Festival.

Her honors/awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, commissioning USA grant from Meet the Composer, Tanglewood Music Center, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Cleveland Dodge Foundation, Korea Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, American Music Center, grants from the University of California InterCampus Arts Program for the Pacific Rim Music Festival, and others.

Her recent commissions include pieces by Meet the Composer and Yo-Yo Ma and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Alexander String Quartet, Aki Takahashi & Rae Imamura, Ensemble Parallèle, and UC Santa Cruz Chamber Singers, among many others. Her recent project trilogy "Rituels" for Korean Dancer/percussionist, Korean Ensemble and Western Ensemble was featured at the Other Minds Festival, Herbst Theatre, UC Arts & Lectures, Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, Symposium for International Musicological Society in Melbourne, and the Festival/Conference of Inter-cultural creativity in Sydney, Australia. The piece, "Rituel III," the last in the Rituel series was presented at the Pacific Rim Music Festival, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and at the San Francisco International Arts Festival in May 2005, which is due to receive its concert tour to New York, Washington DC, Korea and Europe.

Her music is published by C.F. Peters Edition, American Composers Edition, and Sumundang Edition and her CDs are released by Capstone, Centaur and Albany Records.

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Geon-Yong Lee


Geon-Yong Lee started to compose since age twelve. He played oboe in school band in Seoul Middle School. He studied composition with Dal-Sung Kim at Seoul High School of Music and Arts and with Sung-Jae Lee at Seoul National University. In 1976 he went to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and studied composition with Heinz Werner Zimmermann at Frankfurter Musik-hochschule. After returning to Korean he taught composition in Hyo-sung Woman's University and Seoul National University. He moved to the Korean National University of Arts in 1993 and was named the president of the university in 2002.

Lee is one of the most serious composers of our time in Korea. It is his dream to share the story of lives through music. He doesn't want to be alienated from his own music by burying himself in contemporary trends, and he does not want to be distanced by others. After returning from Germany he challenged the modernism which dominated Korean musical environment in early 1980s. He founded composer's group called The Third Generation. Since then he has devoted his effort in creating music that represents the unique identity of the third worlds and Korea. In early 1980s he produced mostly chamber works which include his experiments with Korean traditional styles and forms, such as Phrygian Sanjo, Cello Sanjo, Syrum-norum, and He-yoo-Gok. During late 1980s, while the political and social conditions of the country changed for the worst, he composed many vocal pieces with strong messages including Song of Yellow Jesus and Psalms of Wrath. Since early 1990s he has been focusing on the words like 'touching' and 'moving', and beauty of lyricism. His interest narrowed down to the localized beauty rather than the universal. All of his works performed today fall under the category of this inception.

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Chan-Hae Lee


Chan-Hae Lee was born in 1945 Seoul, Korea. She received Bachelor's degree from Yonsei University. Also, she got master's degree and Ph.D.(course work) from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C., USA. She had studied composition with prof. Jae-Yul Park, prof. Un-Young La and Dr. George T. Jones and counterpoint with Dr. Conrard Bernier. For many times, she took music seminars and festivals in Europe, also her works have been performed by major symphonies and chamber groups in Korea and abroad.

Since 1977, she has been appointed as a professor of composition at college of music in Yonsei University Seoul, Korea. And she was a visiting scholar at Okland University(1984) and National Conservatory at Paris(1994). She had music seminar course of "Kodaly Method" in Hungary, 1989.

Recently, She is General secretary of ACL/Korea and president of the Korean society of 21st Century music, a board member of Korean Music Association and vice president of The Korean Women Composer. Also she received The National Composition Prize of Korea. Recently She is Secretary General of ACL.

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Pierre Jalbert


The music of Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) has been performed throughout the United States as well as internationally, including four Carnegie Hall performances of his orchestral music. Earning widespread notice for his richly colored and superbly crafted scores, Jalbert has developed a musical language that is engaging, expressive, and deeply personal. Among his many honors are the Rome Prize, the BBC Masterprize, and most recently, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 2007 Stoeger Award, given biennially "in recognition of significant contributions to the chamber music repertory."

He has served as Composer-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (2002-2005), California Symphony (1999-2002), and Music in the Loft in Chicago (2003). Select commissions and performances include those of the Ying, Borromeo, Maia, Enso and Chiara Quartets; violinist Midori; the Houston and Seattle Symphony and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He was selected to participate in Meet the Composer's MAGNUM OPUS project in which three California orchestras each performed his new work in 2007-2008.

Jalbert is Associate Professor at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, and he serves as one of the artistic directors of Musiqa, a Houston-based contemporary chamber ensemble. Upcoming projects include works for the Escher Quartet (commissioned by the Caramoor Festival), the Vermont Symphony, and the Emerson String Quartet.

His website can be found at http://www.pierrejalbert.com.

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Desirée Ruhstrat


The violin artistry of Desirée Ruhstrat has captivated audiences throughout Europe and the Americas. As the Berlin Taggespiegel wrote, "…she played with such an intensive fire and sleepwalking assuredness that she was stormily celebrated by the audience." A seasoned performer, Ms. Ruhstrat made her professional debut at the age of twelve with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. At 16, Ms. Ruhstrat was invited by Sir George Solti to perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in Chicago's Orchestra Hall.

She has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including a live radio broadcast with the Berlin Radio Symphony, Gottingen Symphony, Philharmonia Da Camera, Orchestra Symphonica Auguescalientes, Mexico, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Concerto Soloists Of Philadelphia, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, Concord Chamber Orchestra, Concertante Di Chicago and National Repertory Orchestra. As an active recitalist, she has appeared throughout Europe as well as the United States, including concerts in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and the White House by invitation of President and Nancy Reagan.

Ms. Ruhstrat has won numerous awards including first prize at the National Young Musicians Debut Competition in Los Angeles, where she was also lauded a special award for a young performer with extraordinary talent. She became the youngest prizewinner at Switzerland's Tibor Varga International Competition and also won the award for best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary composition. She went on to earn top prizes at the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, Julius Stulberg International String Competition, and the Mozart Festival Violin Competition.

Ms. Ruhstrat's distinguished career as a chamber musician includes performances throughout the US as a member of the Lincoln Trio, including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Oakmont Chamber Series, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Series, and Music in the Loft. She has also appeared as guest artist of the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Apollo Chamber Ensemble, the Colorado Chambers Players, Pacifica Quartet, the University of Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Northwestern University Midwinter Series with Jorge Federico Osorio and Ani Kavafian. Festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Laurel Festival of the Arts, the Breckenridge Music Festival and the Green Lake, University Of Wisconsin, and Utah Music Festivals where she has also served as faculty.

Ms. Ruhstrat is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers include Joseph Gingold, Harold Wippler and Aaron Rosand. This season Ms. Ruhstrat recorded the Stamitz Duo for Violin and Viola for Centaur Records and Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello for Albany Records.

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David Cunliffe


Cellist David Cunliffe began studying at the age of nine in his native England. Three years later he was chosen to receive a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. In 1984 Mr. Cunliffe went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music where he founded the Argyll String Quartet and was the recipient of the Terrance Weill and Leonard Hirsch Quartet prizes and the Lady Barbirolli Chamber Music Award. His teachers included Margaret Moncreiff, Moray Welsh, William Pleeth, Christopher Bunting and Ralph Kirshbaum. He completed his studies at the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland where he studied with Radu Aldulescu and toured throughout Europe with Yehudi Menuhin and the Camerata Lysy. In 1995 he was asked to join the Balanescu Quartet touring extensively to Australia, Europe and the United States appearing frequently on radio and TV, including featured performances on NPR and the BBC. He has served as Principal cello with the RNCM Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and performances with BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Cunliffe can be heard on various recording labels including Enja and DMD.

He is currently on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and a founding member of the Lincoln Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. He is also a founding member of the Virtuosi Chicago Chamber Orchestra.

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Matthew Hagle


Pianist Matthew Hagle lives and works in the Chicago area, having performed at the Ravinia Festival's Martin Theater, Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and live from radio station WFMT, among other venues. He has performed in England, Australia, and Japan, as well as throughout the United States. His recent solo performances have explored the often neglected masterpieces of the 20th-century piano repertoire and connections between newer and older music, including pieces of Copland, Carter, Ives, Schönberg, Messaien, Ligeti, and Takemitsu. Since 1999, he has been principal collaborator to violinist Rachel Barton Pine, joining her for performances around the United States including a recent recital at the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as appearances on National Public Radio's Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday, at the National Gallery of Art and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 2005, he joined Ms. Pine for a series of performances of the complete works for violin and piano by Beethoven, live on WFMT. He also performs with members of the Chicago Symphony and as a piano duo with his wife Mio.

A dedicated teacher of piano, chamber music, music theory, and composition, Mr. Hagle currently is on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago. His students in piano and composition have won prizes in local and national competitions. He also has taught at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, at Elmhurst College, and at the International Institute for Young Musicians at the Universities of Kansas and California at Santa Barbara. In addition to teaching composition, Mr. Hagle has composed pieces for solo flute and piano that have been performed in Germany and Japan.

Matthew Hagle is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory (B.M.) and of Yale University (M.M., M.M.A., D.M.A), receiving faculty prizes in piano, accompanying, and music theory. He has also received a Fulbright Grant to study piano privately in London. His teachers were Claude Frank, Robert Weirich, Donald Currier and Maria Curcio Diamond.

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