Soo Yeon Lyuh Graduate Student: Composition

Soo Yeon Lyuh is a composer, improviser, and master of the haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument. Hailing from Daegu, South Korea by way of Princeton, New Jersey, Lyuh draws inspiration from traditional Korean music to perform a meld of improvisatory and experimental sounds. She is currently pursuing the second PhD in composition at Princeton University, after receiving the first doctorate in Korean music at Seoul National University. As a performer, Lyuh possesses flawless technique and a full command of the haegeum’s traditional repertoire. For twelve years, she was a member of South Korea’s National Gugak Center, which traces its roots to the 7th Century Shilla Dynasty and is Korea’s foremost institution for the preservation of traditional music. To weave authentic styles into new musical domains, Lyuh relocated in 2015 to the San Francisco Bay Area and drew inspiration from its dynamic improvised music scene. In 2017, she was invited to collaborate in a series of concerts with the Kronos Quartet, and this work set her on the path of becoming a composer. As a composer, Lyuh asks classically trained performers to think outside the box, drawing out fresh sounds that, once understood, sound organic. Although these sounds are difficult to specify with notation, Lyuh notates a lot of them and often demonstrates the parts by joining and performing with the ensemble. Ultimately, Lyuh is all about making a bridge between cultures across difficult times, and breaking down any walls.

All People