Seo Yoon Kim

William Bolcom and Joan Morris Fellow


“Since I lived in Russia for a long period of time, I have always been interested in the difference between cultures and languages. I liked to compare myths and tales between cultures, subtle differences in nuance depending on which word you choose to translate. Thus, I double-majored in Russian Language and Literature, translated two Russian books to Korean and published them, and studied a few years to be a Korean diplomat in Russia. However, I realized that I feel uncomfortable when I do anything else but compose, so I decided to delve into composition again after a long gap.” 

 — Seo Yoon Kim


Seo Yoon Kim is a composer and violinist, born in South Korea. Her music takes inspirations from Russian literature, nature, and Korean culture. In June, Seo Yoon will take part in Longy’s Divergent Studio where she will be working with amazing musicians on her new chamber piece, Jogakbo.

Seo Yoon’s music has been performed across Korea, Russia, and the United States. Her first orchestral piece Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer Night (1998) won the Special Prize in the 30th Seoul Music Festival. Her opera Masha and Three Bears (1997) and ballet Wolf and Seven Little Goats (2000) were performed numerous times by the Novosibirsk Philharmonie, in Russia. She has collaborated with musicians from Austin, TX, including Density512 and Orpheus Academy, and gave her debut in Baltimore, MD, with the opera Dear Father which was directed by Tony Arnold and Joann Kulesza as a part of Opera Etudes Project.  

Seo Yoon is a William Bolcom and Joan Morris Fellow composer at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, where she will be working with the studio of soprano Tony Arnold and guitarist Manuel Barrueco in 2020. She is a proud recipient of the 49th Korean American Scholarship Foundation.

Seo Yoon is currently pursuing graduate studies in composition and music theory pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where she is studying with composer Michael Hersch. She completed her undergraduate studies at Seoul National University with cum laude, earning degrees in musicology, Russian language and literature, and music education. Seo Yoon’s previous composition mentors include Yevgeniy Sharlat, Byung-dong Paik, Bong-ho Kim, and Mikhail Bogdanov.