Hyung-ki Joo was born. He is British, but looks Korean, or the other way around, or both. On the Internet, related searches for #Hyung-ki_Joo include: #Composer, #Pianist, #Conductor, #InspiringStudents, #YouTubeSensation, #KaratePiano, #FastestToothbrusherInTheWorld, #WatchedMissionImpossibleEightTimesInARow, #TaylorSwift’sSecretAsianFantasy, #Pomegranate, and #Aadvark. Hyung-ki, pronounced forever, YOUNG-KEY with an “H” in front, is also the only Korean Jew, (spelt J-O-O), in the world.
Hyung-ki Joo’s initial wish to become a musician was born out of a desire to compose. Today, musicians and orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony and Chicago Symphony perform his compositions and arrangements worldwide, often with Joo as soloist or conductor.
His teachers have included Simon Parkin and Malcolm Singer for composition and improvisation, harmony with Peter Norris, counterpoint with Joel Feigin, and theory with Nils Vigeland.
He started piano lessons at the age of eight and a quarter, and two years later won a place at the Yehudi Menuhin School. There, he discovered that he was among geniuses and child prodigies and was convinced he would be kicked out of the school. In the end, he was never kicked out but teachers and fellow students, such as Aleksey Igudesman, did kick him around in various parts of his anatomy, making the future of any offspring rather bleak. No matter how difficult those seven years at the school may have been, it only strengthened his love of music, and a while after graduation, he was chosen by Yehudi Menuhin himself to perform as soloist for his eightieth birthday concert at the Barbican Hall, London. You can see a tiny clip of them rehearsing on Hyung-ki Joo’s YouTube Channel: Joo rehearses Beethoven with Menuhin
Hyung-ki’s teachers have included Nina Svetlanova, Beryl Kington, Peter Norris, Seta Tanyel, Irina Zaritskaya, Vlado Perlemuter, Oleg Maisenberg, Richard Goode, and Ferenc Rados. He is eternally thankful to them for all their time, generousity, and sharing the gift of their knowledge.
Hyung-ki has small hands, (but only hands small), and therefore finds some piano repertoire quite difficult to play, such as the music of Rachmaninov, who had Big Hands.
Anyway, even with this small hindrance, he performs chamber music, recitals, concertos, his own compositions, and anything else that includes a good piano part.
Hyung-ki Joo has collaborated with Academy®Award-winning composer, Vangelis, and was chosen by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Billy Joel, to arrange and record Joel’s solo piano works on his last album to date, Fantasies and Delusions. He also regularly co-writes with his Igudesman & Joo duo partner, Aleksey Igudesman, and together they have been commissioned to write works for orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony, Dusseldorf Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Zurich Tonhalle.
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