Yoonie Han


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A teen star in her native Korea, pianist Yoonjung "Yoonie" Han capitalized on that background to obtain top-notch American training and has achieved a high-level career as a performer. Han was born on January 12, 1985, in South Korea. Her parents owned a piano but had little ability to play it. But Yoonie took to it immediately, and made her concert debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at age 13. It wasn't long before she had won the first in a long list of honors, the grand prize at the Korea National Music Competition in Seoul, in 2001. Wins at a Masterworks Young Artist Showcase in Pennsylvania and, most importantly, in the Juilliard School's Pre-College Concerto Competition, opened the doors to America's venerable music programs. Han attended the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, studying with Eleanor Sokoloff, and went on for a Master's at Juilliard after winning the scholarship-bearing Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition there; her primary teacher at Juilliard was Robert McDonald. In 2016, she completed a doctorate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. By that time Han had already established a strong concert career. She made her debut at New York's Alice Tully Hall in 2010 and took the stage with the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58, a year later. Her concertizing has been aided by an unusually glamorous image: among her sponsors is the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana (another is the French watchmaker Breguet). Yet Han has also given generously of her time to younger musicians, teaching master classes at a wide variety of American institutions and also at Turkey's Bilkent University. With violinist Jennifer Carsillo and cellist Kevin Bate, she formed the Gloriosa Trio, which made its debut in 2014 in Palm Beach, Florida. Han was signed to the new Steinway & Sons label in 2012 and two years later released her label debut, Love & Longing, an artful collection of piano arrangements of operatic love arias arranged for piano. Her second Steinway album, a recording of the Goyescas of her favorite composer, Enrique Granados, appeared in early 2017.