Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Major: Piano Performance
Current Teacher: Wha Kyung Byun
How did you become interested in NEC and why did you choose to study at NEC?
"When I was in Korea, it was my dream to study with my present teacher, Wha Kyung Byun. I came to the U.S. in 2007 and began studying with her at Walnut Hill School and NEC Preparatory School. Therefore, it was very natural for me to continue studying with her at the conservatory."
What do you like about your program/major, and what do you like about NEC?
"There are many great faculty whom I admire and many friends who have influenced me both personally and musically, and this atmosphere makes me feel like home. Also, I think the community is very supportive."
What do you like about Boston?
"Boston has a unique combination of traditional and lively aspects of life, and architecture here often reminds me of Europe. The city is so beautiful surrounded by the river and great universities, parks, and historical buildings."
Can you think of a particular moment or experience at NEC that was memorable?
"NEC offers many great performances including recitals, chamber music, jazz concerts, and orchestral music by great faculties and students. For instance, I attended such a memorable recital by Russell Sherman, and realized how lucky I am to study here and can never forget listening to such life-changing music. Also, beginning this February, I was a part of Lisztomania, celebrating the bicentennial of Liszt’s birth. I was happy to participate in the program and to perform in Jordan Hall."
Which of your Liberal Arts courses did you find most engaging and why?
"In Patrick Keppel’s "The Doppelganger" seminar, we examined representation of the psychological Double in psychology, anthropology, fiction, and film. We explored how we understand the duality of our public and private selves, and how we may have interesting contradictory motivations to express and repress key aspects of ourselves. I found this idea fascinating because musicians are always thinking about how their interior selves can relate to their practice as performers. Also, I enjoyed Jill Gatlin’s "Romantic Movement" class in which we studied how romantic artists expressed their emotions through poetry, music, and novels. The freedom and beauty of expression that I learned from two classes were helpful to me in applying these ideas to music and everyday performances."
How has NEC affected you?
"It has opened up my mind in many different ways. As I mentioned earlier, I have been able to attend many great concerts and to draw on experiences outside the school, like visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. These experiences have encouraged me to continue explore and have broadened my musical horizons."
What do you do outside of class?
"I love to read books; my favorites are the Alchemist, Pride and Prejudice, and other novels. I enjoy walking along the Charles River especially when the weather is nice. Also, I watch movies sometimes."
Are there any other things about you, NEC, or your experience here that you would like to mention?
“I have been away from home for four years. It has been one of the most wonderful experiences for me. I miss my family, but I think missing each other is a great feeling that helps us bond stronger. I appreciate my family more, and try to find myself through music. I want to be a pianist who can say something and contribute to the society.”