Jong Hwa Park, South Korea

Jong Hwa Park is a concert pianist and a professor. Born in Korea, Park showed talent in both the piano and in academics at an early age.

Park began playing the piano at age four and quickly established his international credentials, making his professional debut when he was nine years old at the Yamaha Hall in Tokyo. Academically, Park was recognized as a gifted student when he was in primary school. Uncertain about which course of study to pursue, Park’s parents enrolled him to the Preparatory School of Tokyo Music College, a pre-college division of Tokyo Music College dedicated to training the most talented young students at the highest musical standards. Soon after, Park was recognized as a musical child prodigy and there followed a string of engagements across Asia, Europe and the United States where he performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras.

Park’s outstanding musical and academic achievements earned him a full scholarship at the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory in the United States. In 1992, Park was offered a four-year scholarship at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he followed the great artistry of legendary pianist Russell Sherman. Park completed his Bachelor and Master degrees with Honors.

Upon completing his Master’s program, Park moved to Europe where he was invited to study at a number of prestigious institutions. In 1998, he was invited to the Il Fondazione per Il Pianoforte in Como, Italy where he studied with iconic figures such as Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Leon Fleisher, and Martha Argerich. Concurrently, Park received musical guidance from Dmitri Bashikrov, Joaquin Soriano, and Elisso Wirssaladze.

In 1999, Park followed Bashkirov to Spain, where he obtained the prestigious Artist Diploma,
a highly selective degree reserved only to a handful of candidates each year, from Escuela de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. In 2003, Park moved to Germany, where he enrolled in the distinguished Meister Podium program at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Munich.

During his studies in Europe, Park appeared in renowned concert halls including the Koncertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Herculas saal in Munich, and the Palais de Beaux in Belgium. His prolific international career as a pianist allowed him to debut with the some of the world’s highly acclaimed orchestras including the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Park is a passionate advocate of modern music and is a frequent guest at major festivals worldwide.

In 2007, he was offered a professorship at Seoul National University, the most prestigious university in South Korea. Park’s diverse interest in music and international affairs is reflected in both his performance and teaching. Since becoming a faculty member at Seoul National University, he has spearheaded innovative lectures and international festivals. Most recently, Park spearheaded “Chopin- Cometh” international festival, in which he was responsible for organizing a series of festivals, lectures, workshops and performances to celebrate the composer’s bicentennial in 2010. The two-week long festival was joined by a dozen of distinguished guests including Chopin specialist John Rink from Cambridge University in London; Piotr Paleczny from Poland; and acclaimed pianist, Sa Chen from Germany.

Park achieved many accolades throughout his career. Park received first prizes at national competitions in Japan, Korea and the US. Internationally, Park is a recipient of a number of awards including the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in 1995, where he received a Critic’s Prize; the Santander International Piano Competition in 1998, where he was awarded Second Prize and the Public Prize; and the Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv, where he was awarded a special prize. Park is also a laureate of the Ferrucio Busoni International Piano Competition.

A language enthusiast, Park is a polyglot who is fluent in English, Korean, Japanese and French. He is conversant in German and Italian. He is also an avid scuba diver and enjoys adventures in the sea including sailing and underwater photography.