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Kunho - Carnegie Hall

Kunho's Story

At only 9 years of age, Year 4 student Kunho made his debut performance at one of the most prestigious classical music venues in the world; Carnegie Hall in New York.

Kunho started playing the piano when he was only 3 year olds. With his passion for music, an incredible talent and the support of the BIS community, he has recently made his debut performance at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York after competing in the ‘Golden Classical Music Awards’. This distinguished international music competition discovers artists of outstanding personality and provides awards which can help launch international careers within music. Let’s find out more from his mother Jean…

How long has Kunho been interested in music?

Kunho has loved music from a very early age. When he was just 42 months old I took him to a piano studio near our house, where he started learning to play. Since then, his piano has been his favourite toy.

How did Kunho become part of the ‘Golden Classical Music Awards’ competition?

Kunho's piano teacher in Korea recommended him to participate in this competition. She is a prominent professor who has been teaching many talented young students (piano "prodigies") at the Special Education Program for Gifted Children at Seoul Art Center for 10 years. This is where she met Kunho. 

Kunho entered into the competition in December 2017, just before we relocated to Ho Chi Minh City. The competition was open to strings, piano, wind, chamber music and vocal disciplines of all nationalities and ages. In January, we were informed that Kunho had won first prize in the Junior piano soloist category (9-12 years old) and he was therefore being invited to perform at the Winner’s Concert at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall!

“I really appreciate the heartfelt support from the BIS community, both teachers and friends. It is this continued support that has allowed Kunho to make his successful debut at Carnegie Hall at the age of nine.” Kunho's mother

How did Kunho find relocating to HCMC during his preparation for his performance?

My family only relocated to Ho Chi Minh City in December 2017 so I was quite worried that Kunho would find it difficult to practice for the few months leading up to his performance. I couldn’t find a new piano teacher for Kunho in HCMC when we first arrived.

This was when the BIS community really helped us. Mr Simon, Head Teacher at the Junior Campus introduced me to a really good piano teacher, Mr Moh and he is exactly the type of piano teacher I was looking for. During his teaching he emphasises the emotional dynamics of music rather than just the techniques as well as the importance of listening when playing. Kunho has enjoyed every lesson with Mr Moh so far and we see improvements every day.

Kunho’s class teacher, Ms Melanie and music teacher Ms Beth have also given Kunho the opportunity to perform at school, in assemblies, live lunch concerts and coffee mornings. His classmates are always great supporters of Kunho and encourage him to perform so that they can enjoy music together.

 

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I really appreciate the heartfelt support from the BIS community, both teachers and friends. It is this continued support that has allowed Kunho to make his successful debut at Carnegie Hall at the age of nine.

“Kunho is an excellent musician whose love for performing really shows. The Music Department are very proud of him.” Ms Beth, Music Teacher, BIS HCMC

How did the performance go?

Very well. Prior to the performance, he spent a few hours preparing every day at the practice studio near Carnegie Hall where he couldn’t be distracted by all the New York City attractions! On the day of the performance Kunho confidently got up on the big stage and played his assigned piece of Haydn Sonata. It was an unforgettable moment for him! Here’s a few pictures from his trip:

  • Kunho - Carnegie Hall
  • Kunho - Carnegie Hall
  • Kunho - Carnegie Hall
  • Kunho - Carnegie Hall

Do you think Kunho will become a professional musician in the future?

I’m unsure if Kunho will be a concert pianist or a professional musician in the future as he is also interested in many other areas such as coding, mathematics, arts, etc. However, music has always been an enjoyable activity for Kunho and I am very grateful for that. He loves to perform on stage in front of an audience. 

A summary of Kunho’s musical achievements so far:

  • He won the first prize in the junior piano soloist category of Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition and performed at the Winners' Concert at Carnegie Hall on March 13, 2018.
  • Participated in the HCMC International Piano Competition 2017 (organized by Ho Chi Minh Conservatory of Music) as the youngest contestant in the professional category and won the honorary mention award along with the performance opportunity in the award winners' concert (in June 2017 at the age of eight)
  • Participated in the 101 pianists concert at Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul with the world famous pianist, Lang Lang, organized by Lang Lang International Music Foundation (in December 2016 at the age of eight)
  • Won third prize in the national piano competition organized by the Music Education News in October 2016 and performed in the award winners' concert in January 2017
  • Passed an audition for the special education program for musically gifted children at Seoul Art Center in May 2016 (at the age of seven) ​​
  • Won the first prize in the national piano competition organized by Joongang Music News in February 2016 

Huge congratulations go out to Kunho on this outstanding achievement at such a young age! This story demonstrates that with passion, determination and the support from your community there is no limit to what your child can achieve.

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