Sejong Cultural Society
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2008 Sejong Music Competition

2006 Sejong Music Competition

Winners |Judges | Winners' Concert

Piano:  Svetlana Belsky | Brenda Huang | Graham Scott
Violin: Stefan Hersh | Kyung Sun Lee | Robert Waters
Cello: Ken Olsen | Brant Taylor

Svetlana Belsky | piano

Svetlana Belsky
Svetlana Belsky, Coordinator of Piano Studies, began piano lessons at the age of seven and was soon performing in the major concert halls of her native Kiev. Her playing has been critically acclaimed as "passionate," "impressive," "hypnotic" and "...(possessing) a high degree of musical maturity and sensitivity." Belsky received a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, and Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ann Schein, a student of the legendary Arthur Rubinstein. She then earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at the Manhattan School of Music while working under Nina Svetlanova, an heir to the tradition of Heinrich Neuhaus.

An active recitalist and chamber performer, Belsky also writes and lectures on various musical topics. Her work includes numerous CD liner notes for Russian Disc; her doctoral dissertation is an annotated translation of Busoni as a Pianist by the renowned Russian musicologist Grigori Kogan. In addition to her position at the University of Chicago, Belsky is on the faculty of the North Shore School for the Arts. Her teaching schedule encompasses students of all ages and levels, many of whom are competition winners, professional musicians, and, most importantly, music lovers.

Her website can be found at:



Brenda Huang | piano

Brenda Huang
Brenda Huang, winner of the prestigious 1991 Gilmore Young Artist Award, immigrated from Taiwan to the Chicago area at the age of nine, and had principally studied with Emilio del Rosario, Russell Sherman, and Carolyn McCracken-Forough. Currently, she is a doctoral student studying with Alan Chow of the Northwestern University. She has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Taipei Symphony, Taiwan Symphony. Ms. Huang was the first prizewinner of the New York Kosziuszko Chopin Competition, the national winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), an American Pianist Association finalist, and was chosen to represent the United States at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw by the National Chopin Foundation in Miami. She has performed on the Sunday Piano Series at the Conservatory of Music at Kansas City, the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center broadcasted live on WFMT, the Young Artist Series broadcasted on New York City radio station WQXR, the Chicago Steinway Society Concert Series, and among many others, at the Polish Cultural Center in New York City, the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, the Rudolph Ganz Recital Hall and the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and solo recitals in Taiwan.

She received her B.A., M.A., and Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory and at the College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University. She is a member of the piano faculty at the Chicago Institute of Music in Winnetka.

Her website can be found at:



Graham Scott | piano

Graham Scott
Graham Scott has firmly established himself as one of Britain’s leading pianists. He has been the recipient of numerous first prizes in national and international competitions notably the 1991 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, the 1991 Jaén International Piano Competition in Spain, the 1989 Young Concert Artists Trust Auditions in London and the 1988 Dudley National Piano Competition. In 1999 he was awarded a career grant from the Yvonne Léfébure Foundation in Paris for the purchase of a Steinway grand piano.

He studied under the distinguished Polish pianist Ryszard Bakst (a student of Heinrich Neuhaus) at Chetham’s School of Music and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, being awarded the Dayas Gold Medal in 1991, an award made quadrennially to a graduating pianist. In 1990 he won the Stefania Niekrasz Prize, an inter-collegiate award made every five years to an outstanding exponent of Chopin.

In October 1989, Graham Scott made his formal début at the Wigmore Hall and has since become known to London audiences, having re-appeared at the hall on numerous occasions as both recitalist and chamber musician. He has established himself as a versatile pianist appearing regularly in major venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Centre in London, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Waterfront Hall in Belfast and Queen’s Hall and Festival Theatre in Edinburgh.

He made his débuts in New York at the 92nd St. Y and in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center under the auspices of Young Concert Artists in 1992 to critical acclaim. He has gone on to perform recitals and concertos and to lead artist-in-residence activities throughout the United States. Venues include the Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Princeton University, Washington State University, the Kravis Center, Western Michigan University, Madison Civic Center, Clemson University, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Potsdam College at SUNY, Xavier University Piano Series, South West Missouri State University, University of Athens, the Phillips Collection, UC Davis and the Riverside County Philharmonic among others. Graham Scott gave his first performances in Japan through YCA playing in Suntory Hall, Tokyo and in Nagoya and Osaka.

Graham Scott received critical acclaim when he replaced Martha Argerich at short notice with the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinlandpfalz in Germany playing Haydn’s D major concerto and Richard Strauss’ Burleske. He was invited back the following season to play Liszt’s second concerto in a tour of the Rhine region of Germany.




Stefan Hersh | violin

Stefan Hersh
Violinist Stefan Hersh enjoys a varied career, equally at home as a chamber musician, soloist, orchestral musician and teacher. A founding member of the Callisto Ensemble, Hersh is currently on the faculty of the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He is known nationally as a guest artist, teacher, lecturer, and performer. Hersh moved to Chicago in 1995 from Minneapolis where he was Principal Second Violin with the Minnesota Orchestra. He was the Second Violinist of the Chicago String Quartet, and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians until 2000. Hersh was Associate Professor with De Paul University from 1995-2003.

Mr. Hersh began his career in his native San Francisco Bay Area where he studied at the San Francisco Conservatory with Isidore Tinkleman, David Abel and Camilla Wicks. As a student Hersh attended the Aspen and Tanglewood festivals. Hersh was Concertmaster of the San Franciso Chamber Orchestra from 1985-1989, and founded several chamber music series' in the San Francisco area in the 1980s. In 1989 he joined the Vancouver Symphony as Assistant Concertmaster where he remained until joining the Minnesota Orchestra in 1991.

Stefan Hersh has been heard as a chamber musician nationwide in venues including the Bard, Ravinia, Olympic, Skaneatles, Moab, Taos, Colorado College, Roycroft and Chamber Music West festivals. In 1993 Hersh performed Mozart's Concertone for Two Violins with Violinist Joseph Silverstein and the Minnesota Orchestra. Hersh's 1995 solo performance of Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy with the Minnesota Orchestra drew critical praise from the press and was featured on national radio broadcasts through Public Radio International.

Stefan Hersh comes from a musical family. Hersh's paternal grandparents were both professional musicians. Recital collaborations between Hersh and his father, pianist Paul Hersh have included complete Beethoven and Brahms Sonata Cycles across the U.S. and lecture/performance residencies at a number of American Universities. Stefan and Paul Hersh have recently completed recordings of Beethoven Sonatas for Violin and Piano.



Kyung Sun Lee | violin

Kyung Sun Lee
Violinist Kyung Sun Lee is seen frequently on concert stages around the world. In former seasons she performed the concerti of Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, and Bartók (No. 2), the double concerti of both Bach and Mendelssohn and the Four Seasons of Vivaldi. Lee also champions the rarely-performed concertos of French Romantic Composers such as Theodore Dubois and Benjamin Godard, whose works she performed with the critically-acclaimed Jupiter Symphony under the direction of the late Jens Nygaard. In October 2004 she performed a violin concerto of Jean-Marie LeClair in France with the Orchestre de Chambre Français, with whom she toured the United States in March 2005.

A laureate in numerous international competitions, Lee captured first prizes in the Washington and D'Angelo International Competitions; bronze medals in the Tchaikovsky Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition and third prize in the Montreal International Competition, where she also won the Audience Favorite and the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work prizes.

Her career has taken her to many of the fifty states, as well as to Europe and the Far East. In North America, her concerto performances include those with the Montreal Symphony and the Jupiter Symphony; the Erie Philharmonic; the Missouri, Tuscaloosa, and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras; and the Baltimore and Gainesville Chamber Orchestras. Overseas she has performed with the Munich Radio Orchestra under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Moscow National Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony. In Asia, Lee has been guest artist with the Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Orchestra, Pu-Chun Philharmonic and the Taipei City Symphony. In April 2000, she traveled to North Korea to perform the Sibelius Concerto with the Pyong Yang National Orchestra and returned for an encore engagement in 2005. Her appearances in the United States include performances in such significant venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Bargemusic in New York City; and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection. As a chamber musician she has participated in the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Cape & Islands Festivals in the United States, and the Prussia Cove Festival in England. In the fall of 2001, Lee joined the distinguished string faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She will continue at Oberlin while also serving as an Associate Professor at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. She also teaches at both the Aspen Music Festival and Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Lee received her Bachelor's Degree from Seoul National University, and her Master's Degree and Artist's Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. She also attended the Juilliard School in the professional studies program. Her teachers have included Nam Yun Kim, Sylvia Rosenberg, Robert Mann, Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang.

Her discography includes a CD recorded with pianist/husband Brian Suits of sonatas by Prokofiev, Debussy and Bartók released on the Sung-Eum label, which received outstanding reviews from Fanfare and Strad magazines. Their second CD includes works of Saint-Saëns, Godard, Chausson, Gershwin, Achron, and Suits himself. Lee has also recorded with pianist HaeSun Paik on EMI, with German pianist Peter Schindler and guitarist Sung-Ho Chang on Good International, and with German cellist Tillman Wick on the Audite label.

Kyung Sun Lee plays a Joseph Guarnerius violin made in 1723.



Robert Waters | violin

Robert Waters
An active performer of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire and founding member of the Jupiter Trio and the Callisto Ensemble, violinist Robert Waters has concertized throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 2003, Mr. Waters was appointed Associate Professor of Violin at DePaul University in Chicago, where he now resides. Previously, Mr. Waters was a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1996, and Associate Concertmaster since 1998.

As a member of the Jupiter Trio (, he was awarded First Prize in the 2002 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan. Chosen from 54 ensembles representing 19 countries, the Jupiter Trio was the first American ensemble in the history of the competition to win the gold medal, and was invited to return to Japan in 2004 for an 11-city tour. The Jupiter Trio also released its first CD in 2004 on Bridge Records, featuring works of Beethoven and Shostakovich. The CD immediately received great critical acclaim, winning the Samuel Sanders Award for Collaborative Performance from the Classical Recording Foundation. Additional recordings by the Jupiter Trio include a CD released by the Japan Chamber Music Foundation with music of Mozart, Hummel, and Dvorak; a trio by Martin Bresnick, recorded for Canteloupe Music; and a trio by Kurt Westerberg, recorded for Southport Records. The Jupiter Trio is the official Ensemble-in-Residence at the DePaul University School of Music.

As a core member of the Callisto Ensemble (, Mr. Waters performs regularly in what John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune calls ‘one of the city's finest new chamber groups.’ Mr. Waters is also a featured artist on the Ensemble’s debut recording of chamber music by Augusta Read Thomas.

Mr. Waters has appeared at such festivals as El Paso Pro-Musica, Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor Music Festival, and Marlboro Music Festival. In addition to several summers at Marlboro, Mr. Waters toured the Eastern U.S. under the Musicians from Marlboro auspices and is a featured performer on its 50th Anniversary CD. He has collaborated in performance with such noted artists as Claude Frank, David Soyer, Midori, and Felix Galimir, and has been featured on numerous national radio broadcasts of NPR’s Performance Today, as well as local radio broadcasts in New York, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. A vigorous advocate of contemporary music, Waters has worked closely with such composers as Krysztof Penderecki, Gyorgy Kurtag, Luciano Berio, Leon Kirchner, Martin Bresnick, Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, and George Perle.


"I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed and was impressed by the Sejong Music Competition. It was an honor to judge an event that was so well organized, from beginning to end. I was particularly impressed with the high level of playing that I heard in both the Junior and Senior divisions. Indeed, there were several young musicians who I would not be surprised to see enjoying very successful musical careers 10-20 years from now."

- Robert Waters



Kenneth Olsen | cello

Kenneth Olsen
Kenneth Olsen joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Cello in 2005.

Mr. Olsen is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and a winner of the Institute’s prestigious Concerto Competition. Other awards received by the 24-year-old cellist include first prize in the Nakamichi Cello Competition at the Aspen Music Festival and second prize at the 2002 Holland-America Music Society competition. Mr. Olsen’s teachers have included Richard Aaron, Cleveland Institute of Music; Joel Krosnick, Juilliard School of Music; and Luis Garcia Renart, Bard College. He has also been a participant at The Steans Institute for Young Artists, the Ravinia Festival’s professional studies program for young musicians, and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute.

A native of New York, Mr. Olsen is a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), a group of talented young musicians from orchestras and ensembles all over the country.



Brant Taylor | cello

Brant Taylor
Born in New York and raised in San Antonio, Brant Taylor began cello studies at the age of 8. His varied career has included solo appearances and collaborations with leading chamber musicians throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as orchestral, pedagogical, and popular music activities.

After one year as a member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Taylor was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim in 1998. In Chicago, Mr. Taylor has performed recitals for the Dame Myra Hess Concerts (live radio broadcasts), the First Monday concerts, Rush Hour Concerts at St. James, and the Ravinia Festival‘s Rising Stars recital series. He has also performed regularly with the renowned Chicago Chamber Musicians and appeared on the CSO’s contemporary music series, MusicNOW. Mr. Taylor performs frequently as a member of the Lincoln Quartet, a group formed 7 years ago with colleagues from the CSO. The Chicago Tribune wrote of one recent performance: “the lush expanses of melody seemed to have been written for Taylor, who brought a throbbing lyricism, incisive attack and idiomatic characterization to the cello part.”

From 1992-97, Mr. Taylor was cellist of the award-winning Everest Quartet, prizewinners at the 1995 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The Quartet performed and taught extensively in North America and the Caribbean, and gave the world premiere performance of a work by Israeli-American composer Paul Schoenfield. Mr. Taylor has also been a member of the Whitney Trio since 1994, an ensemble dedicated to bringing chamber music to audiences of all ages in rural areas across the U.S.

In 1997, Mr. Taylor was a member of the New World Symphony. He has returned to appear as soloist with that orchestra under the batons of Michael Tilson-Thomas and Nicholas McGegan, as well as to teach and participate in audition training seminars. Other solo appearances with orchestra include the San Antonio Symphony, Raleigh Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony, and Racine Symphony.

At home in the world of pop music, Mr. Taylor performs with the band Pink Martini. With this eclectic 11-member ensemble, he has appeared with the orchestras of Seattle, Rochester (NY), San Antonio, Utah, Milwaukee, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Austin, Jacksonville, Portland (OR), and Eugene (OR), in addition to performing 2 concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in the summer of 2002.

Mr. Taylor is a frequent performer and teacher at music festivals, including the Festival der Zukunft in Ernen, Switzerland, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, the Shanghai International Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Music Festival Santo Domingo, Michigan's Village Bach Festival, and Music at Gretna in Pennsylvania, where he has made repeated appearances as a concerto soloist.

Active as a teacher of both cello and chamber music, Mr. Taylor serves on the faculties of DePaul University's School of Music and Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. In addition, he is a faculty member at Northwestern University's National High School Music Institute, and has led classes on orchestral repertoire at the University of Michigan. Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he won the school’s Concerto Competition and performed as soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia. His Master of Music degree is from Indiana University. Mr. Taylor’s primary teachers have been János Starker and Paul Katz.



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