2005 Sejong Music Composition Competition


Hi Kyung Kim | Geon-Yong Lee | Chan-Hae Lee
Cliff Colnot | Desirée Ruhstrat | David Cunliffe | Abraham Stokman

Judging criteria included originality and artistic merit, basic skills, inclusion of Korean themes, and suitability for use in the Sejong Music Competition.

Hi Kyung Kim, Geon-Yong Lee, and Chan-Hae Lee judged for originality, basic skills, and inclusion of Korean themes. Cliff Colnot scored for originality and basic skills. Desirée Ruhstrat (violin), David Cunliffe (cello), and Abraham Stokman (piano) scored for originality and performability for their respective instruments.


Hi Kyung Kim


Hi Kyung Kim received her B.A. in composition from Seoul National University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. As a recipient of the U.C. Berkeley's George C. Ladd Prix de Paris, she worked at IRCAM and École Normale Supérieure in Paris between 1988-1990. Her teachers included Andrew Imbrie, Olly Wilson, Gérard Grisey, and Sung-Jae Lee. Currently she is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and artistic director of Pacific Rim Music Festival.

Her honors/awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Koussevitzky Commission from the Library of Congress, Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, commissioning USA grant from Meet the Composer, Tanglewood Music Center, MacDowell Colony, Djerassi Foundation, Cleveland Dodge Foundation, Korea Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, American Music Center, grants from the University of California InterCampus Arts Program for the Pacific Rim Music Festival, and others.

Her recent commissions include pieces by Meet the Composer and Yo-Yo Ma and the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Alexander String Quartet, Aki Takahashi & Rae Imamura, Ensemble Parallèle, and UC Santa Cruz Chamber Singers, among many others. Her recent project trilogy "Rituels" for Korean Dancer/percussionist, Korean Ensemble and Western Ensemble was featured at the Other Minds Festival, Herbst Theatre, UC Arts & Lectures, Chamber Music Society of Sacramento, National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, Symposium for International Musicological Society in Melbourne, and the Festival/Conference of Inter-cultural creativity in Sydney, Australia. The piece, "Rituel III," the last in the Rituel series was presented at the Pacific Rim Music Festival, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and at the San Francisco International Arts Festival in May 2005, which is due to receive its concert tour to New York, Washington DC, Korea and Europe.

Her music is published by C.F. Peters Edition, American Composers Edition, and Sumundang Edition and her CDs are released by Capstone, Centaur and Albany Records.

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Geon-Yong Lee


Geon-Yong Lee started to compose since age twelve. He played oboe in school band in Seoul Middle School. He studied composition with Dal-Sung Kim at Seoul High School of Music and Arts and with Sung-Jae Lee at Seoul National University. In 1976 he went to Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and studied composition with Heinz Werner Zimmermann at Frankfurter Musik-hochschule. After returning to Korean he taught composition in Hyo-sung Woman's University and Seoul National University. He moved to the Korean National University of Arts in 1993 and was named the president of the university in 2002.

Lee is one of the most serious composers of our time in Korea. It is his dream to share the story of lives through music. He doesn't want to be alienated from his own music by burying himself in contemporary trends, and he does not want to be distanced by others. After returning from Germany he challenged the modernism which dominated Korean musical environment in early 1980s. He founded composer's group called The Third Generation. Since then he has devoted his effort in creating music that represents the unique identity of the third worlds and Korea. In early 1980s he produced mostly chamber works which include his experiments with Korean traditional styles and forms, such as Phrygian Sanjo, Cello Sanjo, Syrum-norum, and He-yoo-Gok. During late 1980s, while the political and social conditions of the country changed for the worst, he composed many vocal pieces with strong messages including Song of Yellow Jesus and Psalms of Wrath. Since early 1990s he has been focusing on the words like 'touching' and 'moving', and beauty of lyricism. His interest narrowed down to the localized beauty rather than the universal. All of his works performed today fall under the category of this inception.

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Chan-Hae Lee


Chan-Hae Lee was born in 1945 Seoul, Korea. She received Bachelor's degree from Yonsei University. Also, she got master's degree and Ph.D.(course work) from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C., USA. She had studied composition with prof. Jae-Yul Park, prof. Un-Young La and Dr. George T. Jones and counterpoint with Dr. Conrard Bernier. For many times, she took music seminars and festivals in Europe, also her works have been performed by major symphonies and chamber groups in Korea and abroad.

Since 1977, she has been appointed as a professor of composition at college of music in Yonsei University Seoul, Korea. And she was a visiting scholar at Okland University(1984) and National Conservatory at Paris(1994). She had music seminar course of "Kodaly Method" in Hungary, 1989.

Recently, She is General secretary of ACL/Korea and president of the Korean society of 21st Century music, a board member of Korean Music Association and vice president of The Korean Women Composer. Also she received The National Composition Prize of Korea. Recently She is Secretary General of ACL.

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Cliff Colnot


In recent years Cliff Colnot has emerged as a distinguished conductor and a musician of uncommon range. He is principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's contemporary MusicNOW series, resident conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and principal conductor of the Contemporary Chamber Players. Colnot also conducts the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), various orchestras at Indiana University, the Callisto Ensemble and the DePaul University Symphony Orchestra.

One of the few musicians studying orchestral repertory with Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Barenboim, Colnot is the assistant conductor for Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Workshops for young musicians from Israel, Egypt, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries.

He is also assistant conductor at Pierre Boulez's Lucerne Academy. Colnot received acclaim for his performances of Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire at Carnegie Hall and Pierre Boulez's Le marteau sans maître with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His orchestration of Duke Ellington's New World Coming for piano and orchestra had its world premiere with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 2000 with soloist Daniel Barenboim, and he recently arranged, conducted and co-produced the compact disc Tribute to Ellington, which features Daniel Barenboim as piano soloist.

Colnot graduated with honors from Florida State University and received the 1995 Ernst von Dohnanyi Distinguished Alumni Award. He earned his doctorate from Northwestern University and has taught jazz arranging and advanced orchestration at DePaul University and the University of Chicago, respectively. As a bassoonist, he was a member of the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, Music of the Baroque and the University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players.

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Desirée Ruhstrat


The violin artistry of Desirée Ruhstrat has captivated audiences throughout Europe and the Americas. As the Berlin Taggespiegel wrote, "…she played with such an intensive fire and sleepwalking assuredness that she was stormily celebrated by the audience." A seasoned performer, Ms. Ruhstrat made her professional debut at the age of twelve with Lukas Foss and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. At 16, Ms. Ruhstrat was invited by Sir George Solti to perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in Chicago's Orchestra Hall.

She has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout the world, including a live radio broadcast with the Berlin Radio Symphony, Gottingen Symphony, Philharmonia Da Camera, Orchestra Symphonica Auguescalientes, Mexico, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Concerto Soloists Of Philadelphia, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Debut Orchestra of Los Angeles, Concord Chamber Orchestra, Concertante Di Chicago and National Repertory Orchestra. As an active recitalist, she has appeared throughout Europe as well as the United States, including concerts in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, and the White House by invitation of President and Nancy Reagan.

Ms. Ruhstrat has won numerous awards including first prize at the National Young Musicians Debut Competition in Los Angeles, where she was also lauded a special award for a young performer with extraordinary talent. She became the youngest prizewinner at Switzerland's Tibor Varga International Competition and also won the award for best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary composition. She went on to earn top prizes at the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, Julius Stulberg International String Competition, and the Mozart Festival Violin Competition.

Ms. Ruhstrat's distinguished career as a chamber musician includes performances throughout the US as a member of the Lincoln Trio, including the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Oakmont Chamber Series, Indianapolis Symphony Beethoven Series, and Music in the Loft. She has also appeared as guest artist of the Chamber Music Series of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Apollo Chamber Ensemble, the Colorado Chambers Players, Pacifica Quartet, the University of Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Northwestern University Midwinter Series with Jorge Federico Osorio and Ani Kavafian. Festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Laurel Festival of the Arts, the Breckenridge Music Festival and the Green Lake, University Of Wisconsin, and Utah Music Festivals where she has also served as faculty.

Ms. Ruhstrat is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers include Joseph Gingold, Harold Wippler and Aaron Rosand. This season Ms. Ruhstrat recorded the Stamitz Duo for Violin and Viola for Centaur Records and Ravel Duo for Violin and Cello for Albany Records.

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David Cunliffe


Cellist David Cunliffe began studying at the age of nine in his native England. Three years later he was chosen to receive a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. In 1984 Mr. Cunliffe went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music where he founded the Argyll String Quartet and was the recipient of the Terrance Weill and Leonard Hirsch Quartet prizes and the Lady Barbirolli Chamber Music Award. His teachers included Margaret Moncreiff, Moray Welsh, William Pleeth, Christopher Bunting and Ralph Kirshbaum. He completed his studies at the International Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland where he studied with Radu Aldulescu and toured throughout Europe with Yehudi Menuhin and the Camerata Lysy. In 1995 he was asked to join the Balanescu Quartet touring extensively to Australia, Europe and the United States appearing frequently on radio and TV, including featured performances on NPR and the BBC. He has served as Principal cello with the RNCM Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and performances with BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish and Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Cunliffe can be heard on various recording labels including Enja and DMD.

He is currently on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and a founding member of the Lincoln Trio, ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. He is also a founding member of the Virtuosi Chicago Chamber Orchestra.

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Abraham Stokman


Abraham Stokman was born in Tel Aviv, Israel , where he began his piano studies at the age of six. He came to the United States at the age of 12, when he was offered a scholarship from the Julliard School in New York City, where he obtained his bachelor's and master's degree with his teacher, Edward Steuermann. For five years, he served as a vocal coach at the Juilliard's opera department. Then in the ensuing years, he proceeded to give solo and chamber concerts at the United States and Canada . In 1969, he moved to Chicago and became the artist-in-residence and assistant professor at the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University for six years, and subsequently served as chairman of the piano department at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago .

Mr. Stokman has scored brilliant successes in solo recitals at the Alice Tully Hall, the Town Hall in New York City , the Gardner Museum in Boston , the Phillips Gallery in Washington , and Mandel Hall in Chicago, as well as universities across the country. He was featured as soloist with many orchestras around the country, but most notably with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For many years, he collaborated with the Steinway Company in bringing classical piano music played on a good instrument to the Chicago Public Schools. He gave piano recitals in different schools in Chicago and the Steinway Company provided a Steinway grand for the concerts. This was a huge success with school children, especially in the south side, many of whom may not have ever heard classical music. He also participated in a series of chamber music concerts with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra given throughout the Chicago area. He helped start the Mostly Music series by playing the first opening concerts for them. In the spring of 1991, he was a guest artist in the first Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he premiered "Fluxus IX" a work written for him by Ramon Zupko. On the same program, he performed "Verticals" by Shulamit Ran, who won the Pulitzer Prize that same year.

Mr. Stokman has always been a champion of contemporary music. He was a member of the Contemporary Chamber Players with Ralph Shapey for many years, and has played for CUBE through the years. He has premiered a lot of music and composers, Robert Lombardo, John Austin, Ramon Zupko, and Ernst Krenek have written works especially for him. He premiered Ramon Zupko's piano concerto, "Windsongs" with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in Michigan . He performed this same concerto at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. , and with the American Composers Orchestra in New York 's Lincoln Center .

Mr. Stokman has recorded Ramon Zupko's music for CRI, as well as a CD of twentieth century American piano music for Centaur records, featuring music of William Karlins and Howard Sandroff. He also recorded "Hyperbolea" on a CD of Music by Shulamit Ran. Other recordings include "A Kurt Weil Cabaret" with singer Martha Schalamme for MGM, and "Songs from the Magic Door" with Charles Gerber.

Mr. Stokman is currently teaching piano and improvisation at the Music Institute of Chicago, where he has founded the contemporary music series, "Music for a While" For the past ten years, this series has featured contemporary composers and their music, presented in a format that made their music more accessible to the audience. Most performers that play in this series are from the faculty of the Music Institute. Some advanced students are coached and asked to participate in these concerts. After all, they will be the future performers of modern music.

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