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Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Woon Joo Park wins Jacobs School viola competition

March 31, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington student Woon Joo Park is the winner of the Jacobs School of Music's annual Viola Concerto Competition.

A student of Jacobs Professor Atar Arad, Park will perform Ernest Bloch's Suite for Viola and Orchestra with the Concert Orchestra under the baton of guest Kevin Noe on Sunday, April 11, at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center (101 N. Jordan Ave.). The alternate winner was Aglaya Gonzalez, also a student of Arad.

Woon Joo Park

"Writing his 1919 Suite, Bloch was inspired by a series of a friend's letters describing a visit to Bali," said Arad. "Woon Joo's wonderful viola sound -- a true gift -- combined with an ability to communicate her musical thoughts clearly but unostentatiously, permits her to touch the spirit of Bloch's music, bringing his friend's letters into musical life."

Born in South Korea, Park began studying the violin when 9 years old and performed her debut with the Korean Symphony at the age of 13. At the age of 19, following a switch to the viola, she won a series of competitions sponsored by the Music Association of Korea and the Eumag Chunchu competition.

Park's studies at Yonsei University with Kim Sang Jin, Cho Myung Hee and Huwangwei Hwang introduced her to the world of orchestral and string chamber music repertoire, which led her to the Aspen Music Festival and, eventually, her decision to study in the U.S. at the Jacobs School of Music.

She currently performs as principal viola in the Indiana University Concert Orchestra.

"I am stunned at having won the competition, considering how I consider myself as a novice student of music," said Park. "This reward is very humbling. On top of the honor, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to once again perform for the school. With the help of my professor and colleagues, we look forward to presenting a wonderful concert."