|Edward Auer, Director
Jacobs School of Music
Junghwa Moon Auer
Special Guest Conductor
Jacobs School of Music
Special Guest Artist
Hie Yeon Choi
A native of Korea, Junghwa Moon Auer began her piano study at the age of six. She attended the prestigious Yewon Middle School and Seoul Music and Art High School where she was recognized as one of their most gifted students. She studied with Hyung Bae Kim and Min Suk Kim, then went on to do her undergraduate work at Yeonsei University with Kyung Sook Lee.
Ms. Moon came to the United States in 1993 to study under Gabriel Chodos at the New England Conservatory, where she obtained her MM degree. She attended the Aspen Music Festival four years, as well as summer programs in Chautauqua, Luzern, and Prague, where she performed and received several prizes in the festival competitions. At the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati she pursued her DMA with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff, and won CCM’s concerto competition, performing the Schumann Concerto with the CCM Philharmonia under Mark Gibson. While there she won the WGUC Radio audition, which led to a live radio broadcast, and was a prizewinner in the Ibla International Competition in Italy. During this time she was also invited back to Korea to play in the Kumho Recital Series.
In 2001 Ms. Moon returned home, where she performed frequently in Seoul, Busan and Gwangju and taught in several universities, including Seoul National. During this time she performed Beethoven’s Emperor concerto with the Janácek Orchestra in the Czech Republic, Chopin E minor with the Zilina Orchestra in Slovakia and Mozart K. 467 with the Cairo Symphony, the first Korean pianist ever to play in Egypt.
Last year she played the Mozart double concerto with her husband, Edward Auer, in Busan and Hong Kong as well as at Indiana University.
Junghwa Moon has been living in Bloomington, Indiana since 2006, where she and her husband host a house concert series, “Music in the Woods,” in their home.
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Jerome Lowenthal, born in 1932, continues to fascinate audiences, who find in his playing a youthful intensity and an eloquence born of life-experience. He is a virtuoso of the fingers and the emotions.
Mr. Lowenthal studied in his native Philadelphia with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski, in New York with William Kapell and Edward Steuermann, and in Paris with Alfred Cortot, while traveling annually to Los Angeles for coachings with Artur Rubinstein. After winning prizes in three international competitions (Bolzano, Darmstadt, and Brussels), he moved to Jerusalem where he played, taught and lectured for three years.
Returning to America, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic playing Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1963. Since then, he has performed everywhere, from the Aleutians to Zagreb. Conductors with whom he has appeared as soloist include Barenboim, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas, Temirkanov, and Slatkin, as well as giants of the past such as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux and Leopold Stokowski. He has played sonatas with Itzhak Perlman, piano duos with Ronit Amir (his late wife), Carmel Lowenthal (his daughter), and Ursula Oppens, as well as quintets with the Lark, Avalon and Shanghai Quartets. He has recently recorded the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with cadenzas by eleven different composers. His other recordings include concerti by Tchaikovsky and Liszt, solo works by Sinding and Bartók, and chamber music by Arensky and Taneyev.
Teaching is also an important part of Mr. Lowenthal's musical life. For twenty years at the Juilliard School and for forty-one summers at the Music Academy of the West, he has worked with an extraordinary number of gifted pianists, whom he encourages to understand the music they play in a wide aesthetic and cultural perspective and to project it with the freedom which that perspective allows.
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He won many prizes and awards at International Piano Competitions, notably Busoni (Bolzano), Reina Sofia (Madrid), Paloma O’Shea (Santander), Dudley, Marguerite Long (Paris) and the Rachmaninoff Prize in Italy.
Bithell has played extensively in Europe and South America. He gives regular master classes, notably in Spain, and has served on the juries of several International Piano Competitions. He has been a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 1987.
Hie Yeon Choi is established as one of the most sought after pianists in Korea, and is a rising presence in many of the world’s music festivals and concert houses. Her emotionally profound and powerful performances have garnered prolonged ovation for “interpretation of the highest order” (Ina Wagner, Emder Zeitung, 2010) and supreme pianistic mastery:
“One is to deal with superlatives very carefully and reservedly, but in this case one may
certify a world class achievement.” (Roland Moll, Ostfriesen-Zeitung, 2009)
Since her first public appearance at the age of six with the Incheon Symphony, Ms. Choi’s solo and concerto performances have encompassed all the major halls and orchestras in Korea, as well as appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., halls in Greece (Athens), China, Michigan, Indiana, Colorado, California, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ohio, North Carolina, Hawaii, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, and Austria. She completed the Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle in 2002-2005 at sold-out Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. A devoted chamber musician, she also performed in recent years the complete piano trios, violin sonatas (with MiKyung Lee) and cello works (with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi) of Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as several projects exploring the chamber music of Brahms. She has been a regular guest at the Seoul Spring Chamber Music Festival since 2010, as well as the Musik Sommer in Ost Friesland (Germany) since 2007. She was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Tong-Yeong International Music Festival in 2009. She also participated as faculty in 2011 and 2012 at the CCM Prague International Piano Institute.
Ms. Choi has recorded the complete Chopin etudes for Aulos, as well as music of Liszt and Isang Yun on the Parke & Davis and Neue Musik Institut Hdk Berlin labels, respectively. An advocate and stunning performer of new music, she premiered works in Korea of Gyorgy Kurtag and Olivier Messiaen with the Seoul Philharmonic, as well as a new concerto by Shinuh Lee with the Pucheon Philharmonic. With the Pucheon she also delivered Korea’s first performance of the Clara Schumann Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. To celebrate the opening of the new IBK Hall in the Seoul Arts Center in 2011, Ms. Choi presented a recital consisting of the complete Debussy etudes and premiered new works by Unsuk Chin. For her excellence as an artist of the highest caliber, she was awarded the Nanpa Music Prize in 2002 and the Arts Award in 2005, both in Korea.
In addition to her performance career, Hie-Yon Choi serves as a Professor of Piano at the Seoul National University College of Music, one of the premier institutions for musical study in the world.