Korea has more Peabody alumni, about 200, than any country other than the United States. In fact, it has more than all but five or six U.S. states. Not only is there a Korean Chapter of the Society of Peabody Alumni with some 150 members, but an all-Korean Peabody Alumni Orchestra.
The orchestra most recently performed on Dec. 13 in Seoul’s Youngsan Art Hall under the baton of Dai Uk Lee (DMA ’84, Conducting), the husband of faculty artist Yong Hi Moon, who was the piano soloist. Also performing were soprano Hye Jung Lee (GPD ’97, Voice) and baritone Ki Hoon Sung (AD ’91, Voice). Dai Uk Lee is president of the chapter, which has nine other officers who earned degrees in various majors between 1991 and 2007. The chapter holds its annual meeting in January in conjunction with the Korean Chapter of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association.
Appearing as a soloist at a 2009 concert by the Peabody Alumni Orchestra was pianist Choong Mo Kang, long one of the most sought-after piano teachers in Korea, who joined the faculty of the Juilliard School in 2011. Having earned his Artist Diploma as a student of Ellen Mack, Kang served as a part-time faculty artist at Peabody while working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He left, however, to teach at the then new National Conservatory in Seoul.
Another of the most accomplished Korean alumni is pianist Eun Jung Shon, who earned her Bachelor of Music degree, Master of Music degree, Graduate Performance Diploma, and Artist Diploma at Peabody between 1994 and 2004, studying with Mack. Winner of first place in the New Orleans International Piano Competition in 1998 and the grand prize in the Seoul Arts Center Festival Soloist Competition in 2005, she is profiled in the Spring 2009 issue of Peabody Magazine.