Sara Hong Graduate Student: Musicology

I am a PhD candidate in musicology specializing in Russian and Eastern European opera, folk music, and film. My most recent research examines Oedipe (1931), a seriously underrated opera (in my opinion) by the Romanian composer George Enescu. As a bilingual and bicultural musician, I am particularly interested in the role of folk music and the influence of language and linguistics within the opera. I am also interested in Enescu’s musical approach to the Romanian folk spirit known as “dor,” a unique word that refers to a national characteristic of profound nostalgia and melancholic longing. 

Another large subject-area that I am fascinated by is film and television music. I am aware that film remains one of our most powerful and communicative media, and exploring the way in which music contributes to that power is a great passion of mine—especially the relationship between plot and scoring. In “Ready to comply”: The Musical Depiction of the Winter Soldier’s Trauma, Brainwashing, and the Aftermath, I discuss the relationship between the diegesis and the score in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).  It specifically explores issues of trauma, abuse, and their aftermath as explored in a fictional character’s life and history, with particular emphasis on the transformation of that character’s personal musical motives.

As a pianist, I have performed in masterclasses, festivals, solo recitals, and chamber concerts in the United States, Spain, South Korea, Italy, France, and Mexico. I hold a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and a Professional Studies degrees in Classical Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music where I studied with Jeffrey Cohen, and a Master of Arts from Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College.

2019 Steinway Hall, NYC

2007 Coex Hall, Seoul, Korea

2005, 2006 Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall, NYC

2020 Albert Burnett Memorial Award, Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College

2020 Edward R. Lerner Fellowship, Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College

2018, 2019 Beatrice Schacher-Myers Award, Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College

2005, 2006 First Prize, Piano Teacher’s Society of America Competition

2005 First Prize, Ruth Slenczynska Piano Competition

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