Korean-American Music Composition Competition Due June 30, 2005

Korean-American Music Composition Competition
Posted August 20, 2005

Piece for: (Instrument)
1st Place
Jean Ahn San Francisco , USA Nil-Lili Piano
Jeong Kyu Park In Cheon, Korea Toad Violin & piano
2nd Place


none none none
3rd Place
Sung Joo Hong San Diego , USA Bell Flower Piano


David Evan Jones Santa Cruz, USA Eemulnori Violin & piano
Soonmee Kahng Seoul , Korea Petit Suite for Cello Solo Cello
Dae-Sung Kim Seoul , Korea Chang-gu Nori Piano

The judging criteria included
basic skills,
inclusion of Korean themes,
and performability by pre-college students.

The following judges scored
originality, basic skills, and inclusion of Korean Themes:
-Hi Kyung Kim
-Geon-Yong Lee
-Chan-Hae Lee

The following judge scored originality and basic skills:
-Cliff Colnot

THe following judges scored
originality and performability by pre-college students:
-Desiree Ruhstrat (violin and viola music only)
-David Cunliff (cello music only)
-Abe Stokman (piano music only)

Click here to view the judges' profiles.

Special Recognition

In addition to the above winning pieces, the following pieces are selected to be offered
as "Required piece" choices for the 2nd Annual Sejong Music Competition
by the Sejong Music Competition Planning Committee.

Click here to view the full list of the required piece choices.

Special Recognition Eugene Cha Baltimore, USA Chaos based on Sae-Ta-Ryung piano - senior division
Special Recognition Hyun Kyung Kim Baltimore, USA Blue Bird piano - junior division
Special Recognition David Schober New York City, USA Fugue after the Korean National Anthem piano - junior division
Special Recognition Keumok Huh Chicago, USA Sopum for Violin and Piano, based on the theme of SangYoungSan
(2004 SCS Commissioned music)
violin - senior division
Special Recognition Hyo Jong Kim Seoul, Korea Sopoong violin - senior division
Special Recognition Keumok Huh Chicago, USA Fantasy for Violin and Piano based on the theme of Sarang by Nanpa Hong
(2004 SCS Commissioned music)
violin - junior division
Special Recognition Rhee Haun Wichita, USA Dorajie violin - junior division
Special Recognition Dong-Ji Moon Temple University Hae-Ga San Ma-loo-eh Ju-mool-uh-do violin - junior division



Winners' Bio and Brief Descriptions of the Submitted Pieces
1st Place

Jean Ahn

Jean Ahn is a 4th year Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley. She was born in Korea and received her B.A. and M.A. at the Seoul National University.

Recent awards include the De Lorenzo Prize and a fellowship to Aspen Music Festival. As a two time recipient of Korean Traditional Music Festival Award, she has also written many pieces for Korean and other eastern asian traditional instruments. Her music for Koto and electronics has been played in CNMAT (Berkeley) and CCRMA (Stanford) concerts.


Nil-Lili for solo piano. Using the theme of Korean tune “Nil-Ni-Ria”, this music extends the piece by juxtaposing chromatic scales or pentatonic clusters. The piece has the joyful lightness of the original tune which is one of the most popular folk songs from Kyung-gi Province.

News Paper Article


1st Place

Jeong Kyu Park

Jeong Kyu Park was born in Seoul in 1981. He was graduated The Korean national University of Arts (KNUA). He is currently studying with prof. Sung ho Hwang, Dr. F. Dliciano, Byung eun Yoo at graduate school of KNUA.

He won the 1st Prize at the Dong-a music competition in 2003.
His music has been performed in 2004 Tongyeong International Music Festival, 2004 Korea Creative Choral Festival by Seoul Chamber Orchestra, Seoul Metropolitan Chorus, Incheon City Chorale, Daejeon Municipal Chorus, U.C. Irvine Choir, World Vision Korea Children's Choir, Quarter-X, Ensemble Geomun, Muse Ensemble, KNUA Ensemble.


Toad for violin solo. A piece of eight variations, it is based on a theme derived from a Korean traditional children’s song “Du-Gup-Ah, Du-Gup-Ah” (Toad, Toad). It starts with a slow tempo, gradually accelerating to finish with a strong and stormy ending.

News Paper Article


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3rd place

Sung Joo Hong

" .. Sung Hong has written a wonderful string quartet that mixes the sad warmth of barber with darker shades of Shostakovich. It culminates in a bitterly brilliant, propulsive finale ...(from The New Yorker, Alex Ross)"

Sung J. Hong born in Seoul, Korea, studied music in Paris and Los Angeles. He is now a bachelor's degree candidate at Manhattan School of Music. He has studied composition with Hojun Lee, Giampaolo Bracali, and he is now studying with Richard Danelpour.

His music has been performed in both Los Angeles and New York with various players and ensembles such as the Claremont Ensemble, the Manhattan Composers' Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Ensemble, and Virtuoso Artists.

His recent awards have included the Pasadena Arts council Composition Award, the 2001/2002 OMC scholarships, and the Claremont Prize at Manhattan School of Music.


Bell Flower for piano solo. This piano piece is based on a theme from a Korean folk tune “Bell Flower” or “Doraji”. The piece also includes rhythms from Korean “PungMul Nori”. This piece attempts a musical recollection to make Korean folk tune and rhythm materials into a piano music.


Honorable mention

David Evan Jones

David Evan Jones is a composer of instrumental, vocal, and electronic music and a theorist writing about relationships between phonetics and music. In 1980-81, he was Composer-in-Residence at the University of York, England. He has subsequently taught at Dartmouth College and now at the University of California Santa Cruz. He has composed in residence at the Elektronmusikstudion, Stockholm and at L'Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), Paris.

Jones' works have been recognized by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the New Hampshire Arts Council, and by an invitation to present two full concerts of his works at the Festival d'Automne in Paris. He has been awarded first prize in the Premio Ancona International Composition Competition ( Italy, 1983) and first prize in the competition sponsored by the American New Music Consortium (New York, 1985).

His articles have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, Computer Music Journal, Electro-Acoustic Music, and Ex Tempore. Jones' competitions appear on compact disks from Wergo Records, Contemporary Recording Studios (Broomall, PA), Musical Heritage, Centaur Records, Capstone Records, and Composers' Recordings Inc. (New York). His latest CD, New-Balkan Jazz and Concert Music, was recently released by Centaur Records.

Jones' first chamber opera, Bardos, was staged in Seoul by the Seoul Contemporary Opera Company in march 2004. He is currently at work on his third chamber opera.


Eemulnori: Memory and Reflection for violin and piano was inspired by the Samulnori (사물놀이 ) tradition and composed as a gesture of respect for the spirit and musical sophistication of traditional Samulnori performers.

As the title suggests, Eemulnori is in two sections. Each half remembers and develops a specific rhythmic cycle from the Samulnori performance on the compact disk set from the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts.

The first rhythmic cycle is from the familiar opening of the Samulnori performance. The entire first half of Eemulnori can be thought of as a series of variations on this theme. The rhythmic theme is stated clearly by the piano in bars 1-21. The violin takes the rhythmic theme in bars 22-42. The rhythmic theme is presented in a series of canons (with an added “free” voice) in the third variation that begins in bar 43. As can be seen from the score, the variations progress gradually in complexity. The fourth and last variation (bar 65) maintains a modified version of the phrase structure of the rhythmic cycle but obscures the original rhythm.

The second half of Eemulnori is based upon a faster rhythmic cycle (a condensed variation of the original cycle from the same Samulnori performance). The theme of the second-half of Eemulnori (bars 84-87) is based upon the subdivisions of this four-bar rhythmic cycle. The original Samulnori rhythm is stated clearly only near the end of Eemulnori at a tempo and in a manner intended to recall the excitement at the end of a Samulnori performance.

In Eemulnori, the two “objects’ played are not only instruments but rhythmic themes and emotional concepts (“memory and reflection”). The form of “play” concerns memory and change: the first half begins with a clear Samulnori rhythm and gradually diverges from it. The second half begins rather far away from the fast Samulnori rhythm but returns to it more literally at the end of the piece.

The difficulty of the piece is primarily in the Samulnori rhythms themselves. Some accommodations of parts can be made if necessary to make the piece more easily playable by students.


Honorable mention

Soonmee Kahng

Professor, College of Music, the Sungshin Women’s University at Seoul, Korea.

Soonmee Kahng received her BM at the Ewha Women’s University, MM at the Manhattan School of Music, and PhD at the Michigan State University.

She composed “Arirang Fantasy for Violin solo”, one of the required pieces for the 2004 Sejong Music Competition.


Petit Suite for Cello Solo:
(1) The Ring around the moon (Dalmuri),
(2) Ut-mori game,
(3) The Yearning (Dong Gyung),
(4) Dal ah, dal ah

Korean folk tune "Dal ah, dal ah" is used in this music.
("Dal ah" means a calling the moon: Dal: the moon)

A beautiful ring around the moon is described by employing slow tempo and double stops with the tune in the first movement.

In the second movement, the Ut-mori jang-dan is used with the fragments of the tune.

(Ut-mori jang-dan which is one of typical Korean rhythmic patterns. The formation of the rhythmic figure is a consistent 10 beats. The player strikes the rim of a drum or changgu at the accented eighth beat regularly in this rhythmic pattern.)

Eastern modes and rhythmic patterns are used to represent the yearning for the moonlight voyage somewhat abstractly in the third movement.

In the fourth movement the tune, "Dal ah, dal ah" is repeated with its melodic rhythmic variations.


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Honorable mention

Dae-Sung Kim

Composer. Lecturer, Joong-Ang University, Seoul, Korea. Grand prize winner of the KBS Music Composition Competition, Grand prize winner of the Best Musical.


Chang-gu nori for piano solo.

This music is based on Korean traditional “PungMul Nori” rhythm “Gil-gun-ak Chil-chae” and “Ma-dang Il-chae”.

This piece is an interpretation of Korean traditional rhythm into a piano music. The melodies in the middle of this piece with slow tempo derived from a Korean folk tune (Ihm-sil-gun, Bang-ah ta-ryung) from IkSan region of the Chun Buk Province and consist of “pyung-jo melody”.

The dynamic rhythm and beautiful melodies of Korean folk music were incorporated into this piano music.


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& Whitney-Chyu Family Fund

News Paper Articles

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