Wonny Song, pianist (b at South Korea 6 Apr 1978). Shortly after his arrival in Montréal after his parents had chosen to leave Korea, Wonny Song, then eight years old, began his piano studies.
Wonny Song, pianist (b at South Korea 6 Apr 1978). Shortly after his arrival in Montréal after his parents had chosen to leave Korea, Wonny Song, then eight years old, began his piano studies. His talent was quickly recognized when the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia awarded him a scholarship to continue his training there. When he returned to Montréal, he earned his bachelor's degree at the Université de Montréal in 1998, and then went to the University of Toronto to continue his studies with Anton Kuerti, and the Glenn Gould Professional School to study with Marc Durand.
Song then headed to the University of Minnesota where he received the first Elinor Bell Fellowship, which enabled him to complete a doctorate under the guidance of Lydia Artymiw (2004). Meanwhile, during the summer of 2002 he attended the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute, and won the Galaxie Rising Star Award that promised an international career. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall in 2005.
In May 2006, Wonny Song gave a series of concerts at Nexus Hall in Tokyo and made his Washington debut at the Kennedy Center, where rave reviews led to a return engagement for the 2008-2009 season. He then made his first recording (on the XXI-21 label), which included Mussorgsky's Pictures at Exhibition and Rachmaninov's Variations on a Theme of Corelli. He will record all the Mozart piano sonatas for the same label. Song also collaborated with passionate music lover Edgar Fruitier on the classical music recordings Les grands classiques d'Edgar.
In 1993, Wonny Song gave a solo recital as Canada's musical ambassador for the World Expo in Korea, and garnered praise for his performance at the closing ceremonies of the Asian Summer Games in Bangkok attended by Thailand's royal family (1998).
Wonny Song has been the featured soloist with several orchestras of international calibre including Cincinnati, Montréal, Toronto, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), and the Euro Asian Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea and Thailand). He appears regularly on the great stages of Europe, with a major tour of Japan undertaken in 2011. Besides his performances, training Montréal's upcoming talented young pianists means a lot to Wonny Song. He is the associate director and director of the Artists-in-Residence program at the Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts in Montréal, and is working with the school's director, musician Angela Chan, on writing a piano method.
Wonny Song is an outstanding virtuoso who has won many prestigious awards: first prize and prize for best artistic interpretation at the Montréal Symphony Piano Competition (1995); gold medal at the Cincinnati International Piano Competition (1994); Canada's Prix d'Europe (2003); and first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2005).