Kang, Sukhi

Year of Election: 2003

Sukhi Kang was born in Seoul, Korea, on October 22, 1934. He graduated from the Seoul National University College of Music, and continued his studies in Germany at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Hanover, as well as at the Technische Universität and Musik Hochschule in Berlin, from 1970 to 1975. Kang became professor of composition at Seoul National University in 1982, serving there for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2000.

He was awarded numerous international prizes and honors, such as being selected for the International Rostrum of Composers, Paris, UNESCO in 1976; the Korean NationalComposers’ Prize, Seoul, 1978; the Grand-Prix of the Korea National Composers’ Prize, 1979; Musician of the Year Award given by the Association of Korean Musicians, 1989; and the Cultural Art Prize of the President of Korea in 1990.

Kang was actively involved in international musical life as an organizer and director of music festivals such as the Seoul Contemporary Music festival from 1969 to 1992 and the Experimental Music Festival “Inventionen” in Berlin from 1982 to 1984. He was music director of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games closing ceremony, and served as the co-director of the Mosaico Festival with Krzysztof Penderecki in Kraków, Poland.

Many of Kang’s major works have been performed worldwide with renowned orchestras, such as:

  • Cantata, performed by the KBS Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Krzysztof Penderecki
  • Catena for Orchestra, performed by the Solingen State Symphony in Germany
  • Dalha, performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Georg Schmöhe
  • Fantasie, performed by Ensemble Ricercata de Paris and conducted by Yves Prin
  • Legend, performed by Ensemble AKI in Yokohama, Japan
  • Mosaicum visio, performed by the Korean Chamber Ensemble and conducted by Piotr Borkowski
  • Mutatio Perpetua, performed by Ensemble Kontrapunkt Wien
  • Penthesilea, performed with the Elektronische Studio at the Technische Universität, Berlin
  • Piano concerto performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France and conducted by Bruno Ferandis
  • Sonata Bach, recorded with the pianist Kayako Matsunaga and released commercially on the Vienna Modern Masters label in 1995

Many of Kang’s works have been published in Asian countries; Legend for Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, and Piano and Parody for Flute and Organ appeared also in Europe. 

Sukhi Kang died at the age of 85 on August 16, 2020.


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