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Daniel Hyunwoo - Piano

Interview

1- You were accepted to a music school for exceptional talent in Wells, England at the age of 11. Who was influential in bringing you up to that level before stage?

My first piano teacher Kate Miller was a huge influence on me in all forms of music. She helped me to audition and be accepted at the school.

2- Is your family musical?

They love music dearly, but don’t play.

3- You are currently at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama studying for your Bmus Degree in Solo Piano Performance with professor Joan Havill. How is this progressing?

It is going really well. I am so happy to learn with such a great musician as Joan Havill.

4- You have won prizes in many competitions in many countries. Does any one of this accolades particularly stand out for you?

I suppose winning the 2nd prize in the Tel Hai Piano Concerto Competition was fantastic for me as it gave me the opportunity to play a piano concerto with a professional orchestra for the first time. The concert was Beethoven’s ‘Emperor.’

5- You are also an active composer, having won 1st prizes at the ABRSM and the BBC PROMS Young Composer’s Competitions, having your string quartet ‘Anonymous D’ performed live in the Proms and on BBC RADIO 3. How did it feel like to be honoured in such a way in such prestigious venues?

I felt really happy to hear my pieces played by such great professionals. Working with them was a great experience particularly

6- You are also an active improviser, and you have performed your own original improvisations or improvisations based on themes supplied from the audience in concert and worked with Robert Levin on improvising cadenzas for Mozart Concertos. Clearly you revel in this creativity; do you allow other musical style such as Jazz to fuse, and can you explain how themes supplied by the audience works in practice?

I usually just ask the audience for a theme, usually it’s a well-known one, and then improvise a long fantasy on it. This may include Jazzy moments and Baroque-inspired moments and even avant-garde moments! I love to experiment.

7- What are your fondest musical memories, privately or performing?

One of my fondest memories was performing in a Care Home in the USA. An extremely elderly Gentleman, after I had finished my performance, asked if I could play him Liszt’s Consolation no.3 in Db. I hadn’t played it before, so I sight-read it quite poorly for him. However, when I looked over to him upon finishing, I could see the joy I had given him.

8- How often do your practice?

I try to practice as much as I can, but it varies due to a vary varied schedule.

9- Would you consider teaching in the future?

I love teaching as it puts me into contact with all the great art music of the world, and I feel like I’m exploring it alongside the student. So yes!

10- Who would your dream accompanist be, from the present or past?

I only usually need to hire accompanists for Piano Concerto rehearsals. I guess in that case it would be Carlos Kleiber!

11- What advice would you give to young musicians at the start of their journey?

Never let anyone get in the way of your own ideas.

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submission February 2017