National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA
The director of the Sounds of Korea show, Sue-Yeon Park, is one of the foremost Korean artists in the United States today. A dancer, she was trained under Master Yi Mae Bang, one of South Korea’s Living National Treasures, and has obtained the prestigious title of yisuja which designates her mastery at the highest level of Master Yi’s performance lineage of Salpuri-chum. She also holds the title of distinction, yisuja, for the preservation of Seungmu. Sue Yeon Park performs extensively in the U.S. Europe and South Korea. In her long-time affiliation with the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association of New York (KTPAA), she has been an instrumental leader and teacher and has been serving as the President and Artistic Director for the last six years. She has produced and presented at such prestigious venues as the Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum of Natural History. She has given guest master classes and adjudicates for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) annual competition since 2004. She is a recipient of the New York Governor’s “Award of Excellence” in recognition of her outstanding achievements and community service to the Empire State, “Best Artist of the Year” Award from the Foundation for Korean Arts and Culture in Korea, and the “Award of Recognition and Appreciation” from Asian American Cultural Center at Rutgers University for her dedication to Korean art and music. In 2008 Sue Yeon Park was named as a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. She received this honor as a Korean musician and dancer in recognition of her work, for nearly three decades, bringing traditional Korean arts to American audiences. She is the first Korean American artist to receive this honor.
Songhee Lee is the principal dancer of Sounds of Korea and has been actively performing around the world. Ms Lee has performed at such venues as the Greek National Dance Theater, Dora Stratou for the CID UNESCO World Congress on Dance, NEA Montana Folk Festival, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, International Festival at Chihuahua, Mexico, etc. Currently, Ms. Lee is Artistic Director and Choreographer for the Songhee Lee Dance Company in New York.
Jung Hee Oh is the principal voclist of Sounds of Korea. A Korean traditional vocal artist specializing in gayageum byeongchang (a vocal genre with self-accompaniment of the gayageum) and pansori (a traditional story-telling genre performed by a solo vocalist accompanied by a drummer). She is a protégé of the Korean National Human Treasure of Pansori, Master Suk Sun An. Ms. Oh is an isuja for Intangible Cultural Property No. 23 (gayageum sanjo and gayageum byeongchang), a title granted under the Republic of Korea’s Cultural Properties Protection Act to an artist who has met all requirements for qualification as a potential successor to the National Living Treasure for a specific cultural property. She has appeared live throughout the United States and Korea. She also has taught in Korea at Sangmyung University and Seoul Arts University, where she had studied under the tutelage of the late Park Kui-Hee and Ahn Sook-Sun, two of Korea’s National Living Treasures. In 2004, she placed second in the Korean Music Association’s Jeonju National Competition.