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Mia Chung (Piano)

Born: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

The American pianist, Mia Chung, was born of Korean descent in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in the Washington , D.C area. Selected by Mstislav Rostropovich for a televised collaboration at the age of 16, Ms. Chung has demonstrated a prodigious talent since her childhood. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received a master's degree from Yale University and a doctorate from the Juilliard School. Her teachers have included Peter Serkin, Boris Berman, Raymond and Anne Hanson and George Manos. Since winning First Prize in the Concert Artist's Guild Competition, the U.S. Trust Award, the Channel Classics Prize, and the ITT Corporation Prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 1993, Mia Chung has quickly ascended to the top ranks of America 's young pianists. In April 1997, she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the highest recognition for young concert artists in the USA.

Mia Chung has enjoyed great success as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. She possesses an exceptional understanding of and love for the works of J.S. Bach, L.v. Beethoven, Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Most recently, in a live performance of the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) by J.S. Bach, The Wall Street Journal compared her playing to that of Glenn Gould’s legendary recording of the same work in 1955. She has received the highest praise for her interpretations of L.v. Beethoven's sonatas. Her debut recording, as part of Channel Classics Winning Artists Series, features L.v. Beethoven Sonatas and Bagatelles. Of her performances of these sonatas at her New York debut, The New York Times wrote, "Uncommonly insightful, individualistic and lively. . .She found balances and rhythmic emphases that made the work's drama seem fresh. . . . Her playing was dazzling." Upon selecting this recording as a "Best of the Year" for 1995, Gramophone magazine noted: "Chung's performance is inspired . . . a totally absorbing musical experience." A Robert Schumann disc followed, winning the Critics Association of Korea Award for best keyboard recording of the year. Channel Classics released two more CD's, featuring J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) and a second volume of L.v. Beethoven's Sonatas & Bagatelles. In 2000, she premiered and recorded a work by composer Lee Hyla called Riff and Transfiguration on the Tzadik label, also to critical acclaim. Her first DVD recording entitled, "Notations: A Composer’s Response to Crisis" was released in early 2008 and included her performances and analyses of L.v. Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Op. 53 and Op. 110.

An active recitalist, known for her combinations of performance and engaging talk, Mia Chung has given recitals in major concert halls around the world, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington , D.C., Jordan Hall in Boston, Hoam Art Hall in Seoul, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Hall (Pittsburgh), Yokohama Festival in Japan, and at the Lincoln Center. She has performed extensively as concerto soloist with orchestras such as the Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Corpus Christi Symphony, Billings Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, and the Seoul Philharmonic, under the direction of such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, John Nelson, Andrew Litton, Murray Sidlin, David Atherton and Richard Westerfield. Chosen as an Artistic Ambassador by the United States Information Agency in 1993, she toured Thailand, Singapore, Tonga and the former Soviet Union, becoming the first American pianist to perform in Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan and Turkmenistan.

As a chamber musician, Mia Chung has collaborated with such celebrated artists as Bernard Greenhouse, William Preucil, Philip Setzer, Ani and Ida Kavafian, David Shifrin, Carol Wincenc, Paul Neubauer, Gary Hoffman, and Hillary Hahn. A former member of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society II, she has performed in numerous concerts and educational presentations at Lincoln Center. Her performances at summer festivals include the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the Cascade Festival in Oregon, the Masterworks Festival, the Rockport Festival and the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego.

Recent performance highlights include appearances at Lincoln Center 's Alice Tully Hall, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Seoul Arts Center, on the FleetBoston Celebrity Series, at the Y Music Society at Carnegie Hall, Cascade Festival Orchestra in Oregon , New Bedford Symphony in Massachusetts, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul . She recently performed the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. During the 2002-2004 seasons she performed all the L.v. Beethoven piano concertos and toured Korea and the USA with violinist Catherine Cho for performances of all the L.v. Beethoven violin and piano sonatas.

Emerging as a recognized radio personality, Mia Chung has been actively involved in radio nationally since 1995, when she served as the first "Young Artist in Residence" for National Public Radio's Performance Today. Ms. Chung's work at NPR earned her a nomination as "Debut Artist of the Year." She went on to positions as "Artist-in-Radio" at WCRB-FM in Boston and WGMS-FM in Washington, D.C. and has appeared on public radio throughout the USA. She is currently Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Gordon College.

“Uncommonly insightful, individualistic, lively” and “technically dazzling” - The New York Times

Source: Mia Chung Website (2008); New Philharmonia Orchestra Website (2006-2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2009)

Mia Chung: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Mia Chung - Notations (Official Website)

Mia Chung, pianist (New Philharmonia Orchestra)
Gordon College: Music Faculty Biographies

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