Back To Top

Young musicians honored by The Korea Herald

Singers, violinists, cellists and more take top prizes in nine categories

 total of 25 young artists have won first place at the 3rd Korea Herald Music Competition.

The competition to discover young musicians with great potential was held at Seoul Arts High School in Pyeongchang-dong on Sept. 17-18 for preliminaries and on Sept. 25 for the final competition.

The competition had invited all aspiring musicians from elementary to university students to compete for cash prizes and a letter of recommendation from the CEO of Herald Media for college admission or an overseas study application.

The competition drew 270 entrants. Of them, 134 got through to the final rounds and 94 won awards in vocal and instrument disciplines, with the instrument competition divided into piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and oboe sections. The vocal competition was divided into male and female sections.

The following are the first-prize winners’ acceptance comments.

By Kim Yoon-mi (

Violin, Kim Ye-ji, Seoul Arts High School

I want to thank my teacher and parents. My mother encouraged me to start playing violin but I think it was a good decision to do music. My favorite musician is Itzhak Perlman. I will try my best to become a musician who inspires people.


Violin, Hwang Jae-yeon, Yewon School

I am really pleased to see a better-than-expected result because I could not prepare enough for the competition, which was just before an exam for high school admission. I thank my teacher Yu Si-yeon who taught me how to listen to violin sounds and my parents who have been praying for me. Although I am still immature, I will try hard to find my own sound and performing style.

Violin, Lee Min-ji, Suwon Sinseong Elementary School

After being on stage, I thought I did not fully express what I could. But I am very pleased to win the first place. I want to study music in various fields and become a conductor, a concert player and a teacher. I want to thank my teacher and parents who have taught me. Thank you.

Violin, Jo Eun-bi, Seongnam Jeongja Elemetary School

Participating in the music competition was a big burden for me but my teacher and parents advised me to enjoy the experience, rather than trying to win. I realized, through the competition, that enjoying playing was much better than trying to win, and that is probably why I won. I have much more to improve to reach perfection. I will practice hard to move people’s hearts and help them fall into music.

Viola, Hwang Taek-seon, Sunhwa Arts High School

I want to thank the Lord first. I started playing the violin when I was in elementary school because I liked the flamboyant sounds of the instrument. But viola is a mysterious instrument that captivates people’s hearts. I want to make my own viola sounds, move people’s hearts and make them think, “Oh, this is real music.” I feel grateful for having a passionate teacher and encouraging parents.

Viola, Jo So-young, Yewon School

I am pleased to earn a good result. Various lectures including theory, chamber music and orchestral music at the Korean National Research Institute for the Gifted in Arts helped me study extensively. I want to thank my professor who passionately taught me to make a confident and strong musical expression. I want to thank my family who supports me always.

Viola, Park Ju-hyeon, Korea National University of Arts

I am pleased to have a fruitful result before I graduate from school. I will endeavor to become a violist who can fully deliver the music the way I feel. I want to share this honor with my professor, who guides me in the right direction, and my parents who trust me no matter what.

Vocal, Park Yeon-gyeong, Seoul Arts High School

I started singing in a choir when I was in elementary school because I just liked singing. At the competition, I sang a new song that I had not practiced before and it was quite burdensome. But I tried to focus on every moment of the song and it seemed to have led to a good result. I want to thank my teacher and parents who trust me.

Vocal, Gwon Seong-yun, Yudeok Middle School

I participated in the music competition to experience in advance what it feels like to perform at Seoul Arts High School because I have to travel from a provincial area to take the entrance exam of the school later. Winning the first prize is a big encouragement for me. I don’t expect to be called “a voice from heaven” but some one who can touch one’s soul and give comfort to people.

Vocal, Kim Jeong-rae, Seoul Arts High School

The music competition was a great opportunity for me to look back on my life and the people around me. I want to thank my family and friends who have been supporting me and teacher Yang Jae-mu who has been training me hard. It is the first prize I have won since starting high school. It will be a good chance for me to try harder in the future. I want become a singer who can give hope to people in difficult situations.

Oboe, Lee Gwang-il, Seoul National University

Oboe, Kim So-jeong, Sunhwa Arts High School

Oboe, Song Hyeong-jeong, Yewon School

I had a Kumho Young Artist recital in May and four competitions including The Korea Herald Music Competition this year. I haven’t been satisfied with my performances before but the one at the Korea Herald competition was a satisfying one. I am also pleased to see my friend cellist Hong Ye-jin who goes to the same school as me winning the top prize as well. I will study in depth to be a singing oboist.

Cello, Hong Ye-jin, Yewon School

I am pleased to receive the first prize. The piece I performed was not the one I practiced a lot but I could see a good result. I feel so happy for my friend Hyeon-jeong who won the top prize in oboe. I respect my teacher Choi Jeong-ju and I will become an excellent cellist.

Cello, Kim Ye-bon, Geumseong Elementary School

When I first started cello, I did not like playing the cello much because I got tired of cello lessons. But I fell in love with cello sounds later on and I love cello now. When I play the cello, I feel like I’m having a live creature in my heart. I got to like cello since I met my teacher Shin Ji-suk. I am grateful for being able to play the cello and I will try harder to become a good cellist.

Clarinet, Lee Jin-ah, Seoul National University

Clarinet, Jeong Yu-jin, Seoul Arts High School

I am touched by the wide range of clarinet’s sounds. I want to study more to be a musician who is loved by the people.

Flute, Oh Seul-gi, Uchon Elementary School

I decided to learn flute because it beautifully shines. When I joined the competition, I was surprised by other students who were so good at performing. But I performed with confidence and I am very pleased to win the first place. I think the competition is a good chance to check each other’s skills. The competition helped me take one step further as a musician and I thank The Korea Herald for giving me a good experience.

Flute, Han Seong-eun, Seoul Arts High School

Experiencing as many competitions as possible helps me practice faithfully and focus clearly. Finding my own sounds, color and confidence was the purpose of participation in The Korea Herald Music Competition. The competition made me realize that I should listen to more various kinds of music and study more in-depth to become a musician with a clear color. I thank my teacher Mun Myeong-ja.

Flute, Kim Chae-yeon, Kaywon School of Arts

I began to play the flute when I was in third grade and the instrument is the most precious thing in my life. I am very happy to win the first place at this competition. I thank my professor who has been putting so much effort to guide me. I know there are many challenging things ahead. But I will think of it as a marathon. By continuously trying hard, I will become a magician-like flutist who can cure the hearts of people who suffer.

Flute, Lee Na-hyeon, Buldang Elementary School

I saw a flutist on TV one day and belatedly began to learn how to play the instrument. Because my starting point was late, I needed twice the practice. My mother has been telling me that if I become lazy for one day, I will notice it; for two days, my teacher will notice it and for three days, the audience notices it. I remembered my mother’s teaching and focused on practicing.

Piano, Lee Hye-rim, Seoul Arts High School

I am really happy to win the first prize at The Korea Herald Music Competition. I performed Brahms Paganini Variations at that time. The more I play it, the more I find something I want to express. I don’t think I was born with a shining talent but I know that working hard can lead to a good result. I believe one’s efforts are honestly revealed on stage and I should faithfully practice.

Piano, Kim Ji-min, Yonsei University

I thank my family which has been always supporting me and professor Kim Young-ho who has helped me enjoy the music. On stage during the competition, I felt really happy and I am pleased to see a good result as well. I will become a pianist who can give people joy and inspiration.

Piano, Kim Ji-young, Yewon School

I was told that I had to play one of the Liszt Etudes, which was very challenging for me. But I am so happy to win the competition. I thank my teacher Oh Yun-ju who has taught me how to interpret the music and enrich musical expressions. I was mesmerized by female pianist Son Yeol-eum’s performance, which was graceful and sophisticated. I want to express beauty and mysterious character through my performance in the future.

Piano, Kim Ji-hun, Sangji Elementary School

I am so happy to win the first place and I thank professor Eoh Su-hee who helped me advance this much. One day, I saw the movie “Secret” in which a piano battle scene was breathtakingly impressive. I started to play Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 5 “Black Key,” which was featured in the movie, and it was the start of my life as a pianist. My dream is to become like Russian pianist Emil Gilels.
catch table
Korea Herald daum