Born into a musical family, I was always surrounded by various different musical sounds at home. My mother, who is a soprano, used to be a director at a private music academy in Seoul so I naturally spent a lot of my time there as a child; watching her teach and perform, getting instrumental and theory lessons of my own, generally using the musical space there as my playground. I had started singing very early on, and took piano lessons from the age of three; a few years later I was introduced to the cello and… the rest is history.
As I started taking music more seriously, I flew over to the UK and auditioned for the Purcell School in 2003. I stayed there for nine years studying with Natalia Pavlutskaya. During that time, I played in concerts across the UK as well as solo recitals in Belgium, New Zealand and South Korea. I performed in masterclasses with Mischa Maisky and Natalia Gutman, participated in the Kronberg Cello Festival, won first prize at the Liezen International Cello Competition in Austria, as well as being awarded the Geoffery Shaw Scholarship by the Guilhermina Suggia Gift.
From the very beginning, it had been clear to me that performing music was what I wanted to do in life. Upon graduating from the Purcell School, I started my studies at the Royal Academy of Music where I completed both my bachelor's degree and master's degree in performance, under the tutelage of David Strange, graduating with a distinction and a DipRAM.
In my first year at the Academy, the Halcyon Quartet was formed; this has been and still remains one of the biggest blessings I've had in my musical life so far. The quartet - now in its seventh year together - was selected to be on the Academy’s prestigious Davey Poznanski Quartet Scheme for five consecutive years. We have performed on BBC Radio 3 as part of BBC Proms as well as Wigmore Hall, toured Bermuda and were recently selected to be the Ensemble-in-Residence at Holy Sepulchre Church in London.
Beyond playing the cello, I enjoy drawing in my spare time, noodling around on my guitar, and going to watch shows and gigs. I can also often be spotted looking at dog memes on Instagram.
Royal Academy of Music
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
Anything by Bach. Out of the six cello suites I particularly love the fourth, as I think the harmonies are more emotionally intricate
What’s on your playlist right now?
Haydn Op.20 Quartets (Doric String Quartet), Britten Four Sea Interludes, Stevie Wonder Sweetest Somebody I Know, Amy Winehouse Wake up Alone, Bobby McFerrin Smile (live in Barcelona), Erykah Badu But You Caint Use My Phone, and... Ariana Grande!