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Seung-Un Ha (Piano)

Born: Korea

The Korean-American pianist, Seung-Un Ha, began her piano studies at age 3 in her native Korea, giving her first public recital two years later. At 7 she placed First in Seoul’s National Youth Piano Competition; at 10 she and her family came to the USA, settling in Southern California. Her USA orchestral debut was at age 13 with the Santa Barbara Symphony; her auspicious New York orchestral debut was in Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Leonard Slatkin conducting the Juilliard Orchestra. Following studies with Reginald Stewart at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, she graduated from the Peabody Conservatory and The Juilliard School. Her teachers include Leon Fleisher, Martin Canin and John Perry.

Aptly described as a rare combination of silk and sinew, Seung-Un Ha is equally praised for the uncommon grace, crystalline tone and singing legato she brings to Mozart, and the power and passion she brings to Sergei Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. Her international career includes engagements with the Milwaukee, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Quebec, San Diego, Baltimore, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix, Pasadena and Pacific Symphonies and Tulsa Philharmonic; Florida Orchestra; Germany's Bremen Philharmonic, France's Orchestre Symphonique Français, Scotland's Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Mexico's Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria and Mexico City Philharmonic; Buenos Aires' Orquesta de Camara Mayo and the National Symphony of Taiwan. Festival invitations include New York's Chautauqua (S. Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 under Paul Nadler), "Mostly Mozart," San Francisco's "Midsummer Mozart," Ravinia and Aspen. She made her Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra debuts, performing L.v. Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, Lawrence Foster conducting., and her Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra debut, Music Director Jeffrey Kahane conducting. Other conductors with whom she has collaborated include Zdenek Macal, Leonard Slatkin, Joseph Silverstein, Maximiano Valdes and George Cleve. She has also offered acclaimed recitals in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia and Detroit.

“I had missed the Hollywood Bowl debut of the young Korean pianist Seung-Un Ha in 1998; her performance of K. 503 with Jeffrey Kahane and his Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Royce Hall last Friday bore eloquence and promise. Tall in stature and long of arm, with hair nearly as long as Kahane is tall, she writhed her way prettily through the work’s majestic measures, reacting beautifully to the expressive high points, seconded by Kahane’s properly large-scale shaping of this extraordinary - if still too little-known—masterwork from Mozart’s maturity.” - LA Weekly
“Ha brought authority as well as maturity to her hair-trigger interaction with the composer, conductor and orchestra. One sensed that she arrived onstage with the whole of the long concerto coiled inside her and simply, elegantly released it. This was play at the highest level. Her strong technique afforded fiery address without a trace of harshness in the tone.” - The San Francisco Examiner
“Ha provided something to feast on in every measure. This musician is ready for the greatest challenges and the toughest scrutiny. Her exceptional technique, capable of immense power in strings of octaves or of the sheerest delicacy in pianissimo passages, transformed these concert hall staples into fresh gems. For the subtleties of expression, sumptuous sound produced and spotless finger work, this was truly captivating playing.” - The Washington Post

Source: Matthew Sprizzo Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2009)

Seung-Un Ha: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Seung-Un Ha (Matthew Sprizzo)


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