Byungki Hwang


1936 –


Who is Byungki Hwang?

Hwang Byungki is the foremost South Korean player of the gayageum, a 12-string zither with silk strings. Hwang is also a composer and an authority on Korean sanjo, a form of traditional Korean instrumental music.

In 1951 he began playing gayageum at The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul, where he studied under the famous gayageum masters Kim Yeong-yun, Kim Yun-deok, and Shim Sang-geon. In 1959 he graduated from Seoul National University School of Law.

In 1962 he began composing concert and film music using traditional Korean instruments. He presented the premiere performance of Alan Hovhaness's Symphony no. 16 in South Korea in 1963. In 1964 he traveled around the world to Europe, the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries, giving gayageum performances in each place.

In 1985 he served as visiting professor of Korean Music at Harvard University.

Since producing his fifth gayageum album in 2007, Hwang continues to compose innovative Korean music. Ranging in style from the evocation of traditional genres to avant-garde experimentation, a selection of these pieces is available on a series of five albums. He is an emeritus professor of Korean music at Ewha Womans University. Hwang also teaches a course entitled "The Introduction to Korean Traditional Music" at Yonsei University in Seoul.

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Also known as
  • Byungki, Hwang
  • Hwang Byungki
  • South Korea
  • Seoul National University

on July 23, 2013


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