Eun Joo Kwak, piano
Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak is an internationally admired concert artist whose performances have led her to Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States, appearing at Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, American Landmark Festival in New York, Taipei National Recital Hall in Taiwan, and Seoul Arts Center in Korea. In addition to winning the Concerto Competition at Northwestern University, she has earned top prizes in prestigious competitions such as the Samick Piano Competition in Seoul, and the International Beethoven Sonata Competition in Memphis. She is also a recipient of the Scholarship of the Korean Embassy of the United States in Washington, D.C., the Performing and Creative Artists Award from the Liberace Foundation in Las Vegas, and the Yule Bogue Young Artists Award in San Francisco. A highly acclaimed concerto soloist, Kwak has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the KBS Symphony Orchestra of Korea. Her performances have been broadcast by KBS-FM in Korea, WFMT-Chicago, Christian Radio of Taiwan, and Wisconsin Public Radio. A chamber musician in high demand, she has been a member of the Cheng and Kwak Piano Duo, Bronze Medalists in the Tokyo International Piano Duo Competition, and founder and pianist of the Clarus Piano Trio. As a sought-after clinician and adjudicator, she has given master classes in Korea, Taiwan, and Serbia in addition to numerous cities in the US. Kwak has judged for piano competitions at a national to international level, including the PianoArtsNational Competition, the Music Teachers National Association competition finals, and the International Smetana Piano Competition in the Czech Republic. Her performance recordings are available on the Northwestern Press, Vienna Modern Masters, Marks Records, Naxos Music Library, and online music streaming services Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music.
In her 28-year career as a music educator, Dr. Kwak’s students have won top prizes at such competitions as the Steinway Young Artists Competition of Chicago, Chopin Competition of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Music Teachers Association High School and Collegiate Badger Competitions, Stillman Kelly Competition of the National Federation, and Music Teachers National Association Pennsylvania Competition, and have successfully completed studies in many esteemed music festivals such as Aspen, Brevard, and Manchester Music Festival. Her pupils have also attended distinguished music conservatories and universities in the US and abroad, including Oberlin College, St. Olaf College, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Chicago College of Performing Arts, University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, State University of New York, Yale University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.
After studies at Sunhwa Arts High School in Seoul, South Korea, Kwak earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Seoul National University, Master of Music from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University, and Doctor of Music from Northwestern University. She studied with Jeong-Joo Oh, Kui-Hyun Kim, Pawel Checinski, David Kaiserman, and Sylvia Wang, and took additional master classes with Hans Graf (pianist), John Wustman, Robert Levin, Ursula Oppens, and Garrick Ohlsson. Dr. Kwak has been on the faculty at Truman State University, Carthage College, and Cardinal Stritch University, and is currently Keyboard Area Chair /Associate Professor of Piano at Mansfield Campus of the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, USA, where she is also Director of the Annual Mansfield Piano Festival.