Hwan Hee Kim

Hwan HeeHwan Hee is studying composer Kuk Jin Kim and Kuk Jin’s creation of a classical ‘sound of Korea’.

Hwan Hee’s PhD research focuses on investigating and recording significant piano works by Korean composer Kuk Jin Kim (1930-2020) – who devoted himself in the second half of the 20th century to realising a ‘sound of Korea’.

Excitingly, through excellent contact with Kuk Jin’s daughter, Hwan Hee has been able to bring original scores of Kuk Jin’s music, with the composer’s annotations, out of South Korea for the first time to perform and record, in many cases, as world premieres. These premieres will form part of the performance strand of Hwan Hee’s PhD study under the supervision of Dr Adam Swayne and Dr David Jones at the RNCM.

As a pianist, Hwan Hee has been lucky to experience strong practical and academic progression with his piano playing and studies over the last 10 years in a range of stimulating and high quality international environments. Working with noted piano tutors such as Nita Quinto, Jourdann Petalver, Laszlo Baranyay, Rustam Shaykutdinov and Dr. Adam Swayne, he has established himself as an accomplished pianist in international settings, having performed in public in the Philippines, Hungary, Russia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

Hwan Hee has performed in a number of International Piano Competitions and enjoyed winning both the XXVII International Festival ‘Musica Classica’ Competition in Moscow and the XV Art Duo International Music Festival Piano Competition in Prague. He has also been successful in receiving awards from the OPUS 2021 Krakow International Music Competition, the Franz Schubert Konservatorium in Vienna, the Luigi Cerritelli Competition in Milan and from piano competitions in Hong Kong, California, Finland and Tbilisi in Georgia and in being selected as one of the finalists in the Naples’ Nomea Competition.

Hwan Hee’s PhD current research is intended to reveal an entirely new body of classical piano music composed by Korean ethnomusicologist composer Kuk Jin Kim – music which is inspired by Korean traditional music and introduces folk elements to the Western classical canon to create an original Korean classical sound.