Guest Artist Series continues with renowned pianist

Courtesy Photo /
Pianist Hyunjung Rachel Chung, born in South Korea, will be performing at GVSU

Courtesy Photo / Pianist Hyunjung “Rachel” Chung, born in South Korea, will be performing at GVSU

Coty Levandoski

Keeping up with the tradition of showcasing world-renowned talent, Dr. Hyunjung Chung will perform at Grand Valley State University as part of the ongoing Guest Artist series.

Born in South Korea, Chung has performed in Thailand, France, Canada, Italy, Korea and throughout the U.S. She received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance during her time at Seoul National university, going on to earn a master’s of music degree and professional study from Mannes College of Music as well as her doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from Rutgers.

“Dr. Chung is a close friend and colleague who has studied the craft extensively,” said Professor Giuseppe Lupis, a piano teacher at GVSU. “I’m very happy to be able to bring her to Grand Valley and showcase what a great talent she is.”

Chung is set to perform Sonata in C major XVI: 48 by Franz Joseph Haydn, the Paraphrase on Gounod’s Faust by Franz Liszt, the Variations op. 41 by Nikolai Kapustin, and the 8 Variations, One Crazy, on Ah! Vous Dirai-je, Maman, which was written by Lupis.

“My approach to the program is basically a little bit of everything,” said Chung. “I try to present various time periods and styles from the classical period to the 21st century, and from serious sonata to jazz influenced work. It is educational yes, but at the same time, very enjoyable.”

Currently an assistant professor at Spelman College in Georgia, Chung’s accolades list her as winning the 27th Artist International New York Debut Audition, the South Orange Orchestra Concerto Competition as well as the Mannes Piano Concerto Competition, among others. Though even with the recognition she’s received, Chung contends that teaching and travel are her greatest passions.

“Instructing takes enormous amounts of energy, but resolving obstacles with students is a miraculous experience,” says Chung. “And thankfully, my work allows me to travel. I’m very interested in the beauty of nature, and I am hoping to visit the Galapagos Island and Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia once I get the chance.”

In addition to her performance Monday evening, Chung will also present a master class at 10 a.m. in the Cook-DeWitt Center. The performance will feature piano students who have studied under Lupis, who was instrumental in bringing Chung to GVSU.

“I first met Giuseppe during the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in 2008 when I overheard him improvising some beautiful tunes on the faculty lounge piano, and I instantly fell in love with his style,” said Chung. “His passion and sense of humor have made working with him a wonderful experience, and I’m sure we will put our efforts together for more exciting collaborations in the future.”

Chung’s chapter in the Guest Artist Series will unfold at 5:15 p.m. on Monday in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall located in the Performing Arts Center. For more information, visit online.

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