One of the most sought-after pianists of her generation, South Korean pianist HieYon Choi first appeared on the international piano music scene when she won prizes at high-profile competitions such as Kapell, Epinal, Busoni and Viotti. HieYon Choi has been since performing with prestigious orchestras of Europe, US and Korea such as das Rundfunkorchester Berlin, the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington DC), the Northern Sinfonia, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Korean Broadcast Symphony Orchestra and appears as a soloist in festivals and concert series.
Alongside the canon of the classical piano literature such as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Debussy, music of 20th & 21st forms another important part of Choi’s career. A strong advocate of the new music, she was the inaugural Artist-in-Residence of Tong-Yeong International Music festival. She performed works of Olivier Messiaen, György Kurtag, Sofia Gubaidulina, York Höller, Unsuk Chin, Suhki Kang a. o. with the Seoul Philharmonic. HieYon is the founder of Ensemble Academy at Seoul National University where she led series of contemporary music projects such as <Sound of Universe>, <Liberation>, and <TripleX>, the latest a triple international exchange to overcome Covid pandemic.
In 1999 Choi joined the piano faculty at the Seoul National University. Since then, she has been giving numerous master classes in Korea as well as abroad; the Guildhall School in London, Ecole normale in Paris, the Hochschule Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf in Germany, in Helsinki, in Hong-Kong, China, in New York, Cincinnati, Michigan, Illinois, Chicago and summer festivals in Italy. Choi also serves as a jury member or the jury president at international competitions such as Ishikawa, Epinal, Orléans, Pozzoli and Maj Lind.
Since 2015 Choi has been recording with producer Martin Sauer all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at Teldex Studio Berlin. Her first Beethoven album was released in 2018 by Decca Korea and highly noted by the German piano magazine <Piano News>. Her second album “The Great Sonatas” saw its release in 2021 and a year before did her Debussy Douze Etudes. Her other recordings include F. Liszt Six Grand Etudes on Paganini, Isang Yun 5 Stücke, Chopin Etudes Op. 10 & Op. 25. Choi has been appearing and performing in TV and radio channels in Korea, US, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany.
Born in Inchon, South Korea, Choi gave her debut concert at the age of 6 with the Inchon Philharmonic Orchestra. She won all four most coveted competitions in Korea (Dong-A, Choong-Ang, Korea Times, Ehwa-KyungHyang) and moved to Germany at the age of 18. HieYon studied with Klaus Hellwig, the late Hans Leygraf at Hochschule der Künste Berlin, and with the late György Sebök at Indiana University.