Jong Hwa Park
Jong Hwa Park is a concert pianist and a professor. Born in Korea, he began playing the piano at age four. Park established his international credentials at an early age. There followed a string of engagements across Europe, the United States and Asia where he performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
Park’s diverse career in music reflects his passion for both performance and education. Since becoming a faculty member at the prominent Seoul National University in 2007 at age 33, he has designed and organized innovative lectures and international festivals. Park is a passionate advocate of modern music and is a frequent guest at major festivals worldwide.
Recently, Mr. Park has joined Big Data Institue at Seoul National University as a convergence officer where he is working to bridge gap between art and technology. He is responsible for organizing art and technology showcase and participates in a research to develop an A.I. capable of performing automatic instruments with human like sensibilities.
In his youth, he studied at the Preparatory School of Tokyo Music College in Japan and the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory in the United States. In 1992, Park received a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he followed the great artistry of legendary pianist Russell Sherman. Park completed his Bachelor and Master degrees with Honors.
Upon completing his Master’s program, Park moved to Europe where he was invited to study at a number of prestigious institutions where he studied with Dmitri Bashikrov, Joaquin Soriano, and Elisso Wirssaladze. Concurrently, Park received musical guidance from Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Leon Fleisher and Martha Argerich.
In 1998, he was invited to study at the Il Fondazione per Il Pianoforte in Como, Italy. In 1999, Park followed Bashkirov to Spain, where he obtained the prestigious Artist Diploma – a highly selective degree reserved only to a handful of candidates each year—from Escuela de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. In 2003, Park moved to Germany, where he enrolled in the distinguished Meisterklasse program at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Munich.
Park has achieved many accolades throughout his career. Park received first prize in the Mainichi Shinbun Music Competition of Japan at age 12. Subsequently, he won several first-prizes at national competitions in the Japan, Korea and the US. Internationally, Park is laureate of numerous competition including the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition, the Santander International Piano Competition, the Rubinstein International Competition, and the Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition.
Park has appeared in renowned concert halls including the Koncertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Herculas saal in Munich, and the Palais de Beaux in Belgium. He has collaborated with the some of the world’s highly acclaimed orchestras including the Dresden Staatskapelle, the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also active in ensemble projects. His latest project was with Daniel Hope and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
As socially conscious and conscientious artist, he firmly believes that music can communicate beyond concert halls. He is committed to realizing this belief through projects such as ‘Run Piano’ in the capacity as an artistic director delivering live music to disadvantaged communities and individuals.
His debut recording of Rachmaninov and Mussorgsky with Sony Classical was praised by music magazines for its “powerful and masterful interpretation”.
His second album ‘NUNAYA’, Korean Children’s Songs arranged as piano pieces was released with Universal Music and was described in the press as “beautiful and sublime, moving hearts and invoking the memories past”, climbing to the top of the classical charts.
Mr. Park also participates in documentary productions. He has appeared in music documentaries as presenter on two prominent Korean broadcasting channels, KBS and EBS.