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B i o g r a p h y

Sylvia Kang Cello

Cellist, Sylvia Seunghee Kang, who was born in Seoul, Republic of Korea, began her career at the age of six.  She attended Lila Elementary School, Yewon Middle School for Arts, and Seoul Arts High School, where she studied with Min Ja Hyun, the former faculty of Yonsei University, Woonsun Choi, a cello section member of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and In Kyung No, the faculty of Sangmyung University.  Ms. Kang made her first solo appearance at the age of 15 with New Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra performing Edouard Lalo Cello Concerto at Sejong Art Center in Seoul.  

Ms. Kang moved to California in 1996 and graduated from Crossroads School for Arts and Science in Santa Monica, California, where she studied with Bong Shin Irene Ko, the faculty of California State University of Fullerton.

In 1998, Ms. Kang moved to New York where she studied with David Soyer, original cellist of the Guarneri String Quartet and the pupil of Pablo Casals and Emanuel Feuermann, as a President's Award scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music.  She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in December 2001 and Master of Music degree in May 2004.

Ms. Kang moved back to California in 2004 where her family resides.  She was invited to perform for the Eighteenth Biannual Gregor Piatigotsky International Cello Seminar 2005 and had masterclasses with Phillip Muller, the faculty of Paris Conservatory, Joel Krosnick, the faculty of the Julliard School, and Evan Drachman, a grandson of Gregor Piatigotsky.

Ms. Kang is one of the last pupils of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California Flora L. Thornton School of Music.  She received John H. Laub and Lilli J. Laub Endowed Music Scholarship, Harvey Erickson Endowed Music Scholarship and Dean's Scholarship for the Principal Cellist.  She also studied with Peter Stumpf, the faculty of Indiana University and the former principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the cellist of the Johannes String Quartet, and received Graduate Certificate from USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music in 2007.

Ms. Kang moved to Auburn, Alabama from Los Angeles in 2013.  She founded Duo Amico with Dr. Kyungha Kay Lee, the violinist.  Duo Amico performed two recitals for "A Little Lunch Music Series" in 2014 at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn, Alabama.  Ms. Kang served as principal cellist of the Auburn University Community Orchestra from Fall 2015 to Winter 2017.  She performed Saint Saens Cello Concerto with the Auburn University Community Orchestra at Telfair Peet Theatre, Auburn University, Alabama as a Guest Artist on March 8, 2016.  She also served as an adjunct cello faculty of the Department of Music at Auburn University, and the Montgomery Music Project.  She managed the Auburn Quartet as a managing director & cellist from Summer 2015 to Winter 2017.

In April 2018, Ms. Kang moved to Westford, Massachusetts from Auburn, Alabama with her husband James Young Lee, CPA, and her son Richard Youngjae Lee.  

In October 2019, Ms. Kang and her family relocated to Sugar Hill, Georgia from Westford, Massachusetts.

Ms. Kang won numerous competitions in her native country and the United States, including Second Prize at the Chosun Competition 1995, Grand Prize at the American String Teachers Association Competition in Los Angeles 1997, First Prize at the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition in Los Angeles 1997, Top prize at the Springfield Symphony Sixth Hellam Young Artists' Competition in Missouri in 2002, First Prize at the Five Towns Music and Art Foundation Inc. Competition in Hewlett, New York in 2002, and Grand Prize at the New York American Strings Teachers Association and National School Orchestra Association's First State Solo Competition in Albany, New York in 2002, and more.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Kang is a current and founding member of the Sorte Piano Trio with pianist Dr. Kookhee Hong and violinist Sunyoung Lee.  The Sorte Piano Trio was founded in Manhattan, New York in 1998, and won Lillian Fuchs Memorial Chamber Music Competitions in 1999 and 2000.  The Sorte Piano Trio was invited by the Department of Music at Auburn University and performed a Guest Artist Recital at Goodwin Hall, Auburn University, Alabama on October 25, 2017.

Ms. Kang studied chamber music with violinist Isidore Cohen, violinist Lucie Robert, violinist Sylvia Rosenberg, pianist Heasook Rhee, pianist Daniel Epstein, cellist Marion Feldman, and cellist Nathan Stutch. She has collaborated in chamber music with pianist Andrew Von Oeyen, pianist Dr. Kook Hee Hong, pianist Dr. Soyeon Park, pianist Eduard Laurel, pianist Cullen Bryant, pianist Valeria Morgovsky, violinist Judy Kang, violinist Peter Marsh, violinist Thi Nguyen, violinist SunYoung Lee, violinist JeoungAh Kim, and her younger sister violinist Dr. Chloe Yeon Hee Kang, and more.  Her live concerts have been broadcasted on TV Radio stations.  

As an active orchestra musician, Ms. Kang has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors such as Kurt Masur, Pierre Boulez, David Robertson, Jahja Ling, Zdenek Macal, and Carl St Clair, Myung-Whun Chung, among others.  She served as the principal cellist of the Manhattan School of Music Opera Orchestra, USC Symphony Orchestra, and USC Chamber Orchestra.  She has played in Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kang has appeared as a soloist, a chamber musician, and an orchestra musician at the most prestigious concert halls in the Republic of Korea and the United States such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Disney Hall, Fox Theatre, and Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts Center, etc.

Ms. Kang has been on a jury for music festivals and competitions.  

Since 2001, Ms. Kang has taught numerous cello students who have won Grand Prize, First Prize, Gold Prize and Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize in many competitions such as the Amsterdam “Grand Prize Virtuoso” 42nd International Music Competition, the Vienna “Grand Prize Virtuoso” 43rd International Music Competition, the World’s Best Musicians Competition 2024, the Classical Music Stars International Competition 2024, America Protégé International Piano & String Competition 2023, London Classical Music Competition 2022, Charleston International Music Competition 2024 & 2022, Royal Sound Music Competition 2024 & 2021 in Canada, Rocky Mountain International Music Competition 2021 in Toronto, Canada, 2021 Rome Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Italy, Global Genius Music Competition 2021, Gwinnett Symphony Youth Orchestra GCYS Concerto Competition 2021 in Georgia, Golden  Classical Music Awards International Competition 2024, 2023 & 2021, the 5th Edition of the Great Composers International Music Competition The Art of Strings 2020 in United Kingdom, 2020 Bonn Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Germany, Glory International Romantic Music Competition 2019, Glory International Modern & Contemporary Music Competition 2019, 2019 Vienna Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Austria, Golden Classical Music Awards New York International Music Competition 2023 & 2019, American Protégé International Concerto Competition in New York, Crescendo International Music Competition, Westside Music Association Competition in California, Music Teachers Association of California VOCE Solo Competition, American String Teachers Association Solo Competition, Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition in California, Orange County Korean Cultural Center Annual Young Musician's Competition in California, Alabama Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition, Massachusetts Music Teachers Association/Music Teachers National Association State Performance Competition, and Second Prize in Star Cluster Music Competition 2023, the North International Music Competition 2021, the Alpharetta Symphony Concerto Competition 2021-22, the 4th Edition of Great Composers International Competition The Music of America 2020, the 4th Edition of the Great Composers International Music Competition Masters of Concerto Series 2019, ENKOR International Music Competition 2019, Golden Classical Music Awards New York International Music Competition 2024, 2018, 2017 Rome Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Italy, etc. 

Her students were chosen as the winners of International Mozart Competition Vienna 2022 by world-renowned international concert artists and pedagogues from major institutions such as New York Philharmonic, Conservatoire de Paris, Conservatoire de Geneve, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, and Royal Conservatorium of Brussels.

Her students have been invited to perform at Kleine Zaal, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Glaserner Saal, Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, Tribute Communities Recital Hall in Toronto, Canada, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Ms. Kang received a Diploma of Recognition from the American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and the Golden Classical Music Awards New York International Music Competition for her extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music and presenting students to perform at Carnegie Hall, a Certificate of Excellence certified by the Crescendo International Music Competition committee in recognition of outstanding commitment to music education and students' achievement displayed on Crescendo International Competition 2019 Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and Certificate of Achievement for the extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of teaching music from Royal Sound Music Competition 2024, 2021 in Canada, Rocky Mountain International Music Competition 2021 in Toronto, Canada.

Ms. Kang's students have been selected as members of the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia, the Emory Youth Chamber Program in Emory University, Georgia, Young Musicians Foundation chamber music series in California, YMF Debut Orchestra in California, American Youth Symphony Orchestra in California, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts, Alabama Youth Symphony Orchestra in Alabama, Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Massachusetts, the Summit Music Festival in New York, Philadelphia International Music Festival in Philadelphia, etc.  Her students have been chosen to perform and have masterclasses with Amit Peled, the faculty of Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and Lluis Claret, the faculty of New England Conservatory presented by the Carriage House Violins of Johnson String Instrument in Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.

Her students have been also selected as principal cellists from the Boston Youth Symphony Chamber Orchestra for Opera Performances under the direction of BYSO Music Director Federico Cortese, The Phillips Academy Andover Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in Massachusetts, St. Paul's School Orchestra in New Hampshire, California All-State Orchestras, California State University Northridge Youth Orchestras, Irvine honors Orchestra, Harvard-Westlake School Orchestras in California, Gwinnett County Youth Symphony/Kendall Youth Orchestra in Georgia, Alabama Youth Symphony Orchestra, Alabama All-State Orchestras, Auburn University Youth Orchestras in Alabama, Washington University Orchestra in Missouri, etc. 

Her students got into the top universities such as Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Brown University, U.C. Berkeley, University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, Williams College, Amherst College, Cornell University, and Washington University. Her students also have been awarded scholarships at prestigious colleges such as Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Boston University, etc.

Sylvia Seunghee Kang currently lives in Sugar Hill, Georgia, and maintains her cello studio.

Ms. Kang is an active member of the American String Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, Georgia Music Teachers Association, Georgia Music Educators Association, and National Association for Music Education.  

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