The Korean conductor Soo-Yeoul Choi was born in Seoul in 1979. He basically grew up listening to New Music because his father, Dong-Sun Choi, is a composer of contemporary music himself and studied with the likes of Mauricio Kagel and Boguslaw Schaeffer in Cologne and Salzburg. Soo-Yeoul began his own studies as a conductor with Prof. Chi-Yong Chung at the Korea National University of Arts. While he was studying orchestral conducting, he also worked as a conducting lecturer for the KNUA youth orchestra. This orchestra consists of musicians between 13 and 18 years of age, giving Soo-Yeoul the possibility to experiment on and perform various kinds of New Music, commissioned by likewise young Korean composers. After receiving his bachelor degree and artistic diploma of orchestral conducting, Soo-Yeoul Choi continues his studies at the College of Music "Carl Maria von Weber" in Dresden with Prof. Ekkehard Klemm and Christian Kluttig since 2009.
As an active participant he took part in mastercourses led by Jorma Panula, Toyama Yuzo, Myung-Whun Chung, Christian Ehwald, Stefan Asbury, Harold Faberman, Gilbert Varga and had lots of opportunities made possible to him by the Korean Conductors Association. Until now Choi has gained his conducting experience at concerts, competitions and master courses with orchestras like Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, Bucheon Philharmonic, Jeju Philharmonic, Prime Philharmonic (Korea), Sendai Philharmonic (Japan), Orchestre de Besançon (France), the MDR Sinfornieorchester Leipzig, Jenaer Philharmonie, Philharmonisches Orchester Zwickau, Orchester Landesbühnen Sachsen, Neue Elblandphilharmonie Riesa and Philharmonie Aue (Germany), among others. In 2007 he took part in the final selection of the 50th Besançon International Conductor's Competition in France and won the 2nd prize for orchestral conducting in the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra Music Competition in 2001.
Choi's particular interest lies within New Music, which lets him be especially active in this field. Since 1999 he performed many contemporary pieces by composers like Isang Yun, Giancinto Scelsi, Klaus Huber, Stefano Bellon, Man-Bang Yi, Qin Wenchen, Teruyuki Noda, among others. He conducted the world premiere of Klaus Huber's "AGNUS DEI QUI TOLLIS PECCATA MUNDI" with Ensemble CMEK in Seoul and the Korean premiere of Giacinto Scelsi's "Elohim for 10 strings (197?)" and "Natura Renovatur for 11 strings (1967)" with Ensemble TIMF. Working on contemporary pieces as a guest conductor with diverse types of ensembles, he has participated in plenty of modern music festivals including "Tongyeong (Isang Yun's hometown) International Music Festival" and "Asian-Pacific Contemporary Music Festival" where Ensemble BE (Beyond Infinity Seoul), conducted by him, was awarded the "Best Performance Prize" in 2009.
Soo-Yeoul Choi has been sponsored the scholarships since 2010 by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and IMEA (International Ensemble Modern Academy).
© Ensemble Modern