Chairwoman of the jury 2023

Nation : South Korea

One of the most sought-after pianists of her generation, South Korean pianist HieYon Choi first appeared on the international piano music scene when she won prizes at high-profile competitions such as Kapell, Epinal, Busoni and Viotti. HieYon Choi has been since performing with prestigious orchestras of Europe, US and Korea such as das Rundfunkorchester Berlin, the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), the Northern Sinfonia, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Korean Broadcast Symphony Orchestra and appears as a soloist in festivals and concert series.

A milestone of HieYon’s performing career was the four-year long cycle of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at the Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. For this series she received the Arts Award of the year 2005 by the Korean Arts & Cultural Association. Ten years later she completed another Beethoven cycle with all piano trios, violin sonatas and works for cello and piano. Her second cycle of all Beethoven piano sonatas took place in 2012-2018 at various venues in Korea, Germany and the US. Other series of her performances include ones that explored Brahms and French music. She has been collaborating with renowned musicians such as Truls Mørk, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Peter Stumph, Romain Guyot, Stephan Dohr, Ulf Wallin, Mikyung Lee.

A strong advocate of the new music, HieYon was the inaugural Artist-in-Residence of Tong-Yeong International Music festival in 2009. She returned to Tong-Yeong twice more, most recently collaborating with Truls Mørk. HieYon Korea-premiered works of Messiaen, Kurtag, Gubaidulina with the Seoul Philharmonic and KCO.

Since 2015 HieYon has been recording Beethoven sonatas in cycle with the producer Martin Sauer at Teldex Berlin. Two of her Beethoven album were released by Decca Korea and UMG within last three years. Her other Discography includes Debussy Etudes (UMG), Chopin Etudes (Aulos) and Liszt Paganini Etudes (Parke Davis).

Graduate of Hochschule der Künste Berlin (Prof. Klaus Hellwig, Prof. Hans Leygraf) and Indiana University (Prof. György Sebök) HieYon joined the piano faculty at the Seoul National University in 1999. She has been giving master classes worldwide and also serves as a jury member at international competitions such as Epinal, Orléans, Pozzoli, Maj Lind.

Fall 2023, HieYon joins the piano faculty of Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in the US.