Sejong Cultural Society
Seoyun Baek, piano
Jean Ahn, composer | educator

Jean AhnBorn in Korea, Jean Ahn began to study piano and composition at a very early age.She finished her B.A. and M.M. at Seoul National University under professor Baek Byoung Dong.

In fall 2008, Jean finished her PhD at UC Berkeley where her teachers included Edmund Campion, Cindy Cox, David Wessel, Jorge Liederman and Richard Felciano.

Her creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance and electroacoustic music. Recent awards for her compositions include 1st prize from the Renée Fisher Award and Competition, the Korean National Music Composers Award, 1st prize from the Sejong Korean Music Competition, UC Berkeley’s the De Lorenzo Prize and the Pan Music Festival Award. Jean’s music was featured at Aspen Music Festival (Susan and Ford Schumann Composition Fellow), June in Buffalo, the Oregon Bach Festival, Music 07, SCI conferences, IAWM Beijing Congress, the Spark Festival, the Fresno New Music Festival, University of Central Missouri New Music Festival, New York City Electronic Music Festival, IAWM Festivals, among others. Her work has been performed by  Ensemble Sur Plus, pianist Lisa Moore (Bang on a can), pianist Shannon Wettstein (Zeitgeist), Berkeley Contemporary Players and others.

Recently she has focused on orchestral works. Her orchestra piece “Salt” was premiered by the UC Berkeley’s University Symphony, under the baton of David Milnes in May 2008 and also received Honorable Mention from the ACO New Music Reading judges and the Minnesota Composers Institute. This work was also selected for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra New Music Readings which is a part of  ACO’s Earshot program. Her further orchestral experience was with Berkeley Symphony (director, Joana Carneiro), where she wrote three new pieces as an Emerging Composer in Residence. Dr.Ahn has also studied electronic/computer music at CNMAT (Center for New Music and Audio Technologies) and is interested in integrating technology and Asian traditional instruments and elements.

Currently she is working on a choral piece commissioned by San Francisco based choir group Volti. She is also working on a dance project collaborating with Ongdance company and video artist Yewon Cho. This work is funded by the Seoul Arts School Alumni Association.

She is currently a Lecturer at University of Pacific at Stockton and lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young children.

Ongheya” is based on a traditional folk song of the same name from the Kyungsan Province. This piece, written for children, won first place at the Renée B. Fisher Composer Awards and Competition.