Internationally acclaimed organist Hyokyoung “Hannah” Byun, will present a varied program of original organ works and orchestral transcriptions which highlight the symphonic capabilities of the pipe organ at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church. The pieces which she will play include “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, the eerie “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saen’s, the Sinfonia to J. S. Bach’s Cantata 29, and the raucous “Variations on America” by Charles Ives.
Dr. Byun earned her Bachelor of Musical Arts with a major in church music (emphasis on organ performance) from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. She then earned a Konzert Examen (Doctor of Musical Arts) in organ performance and a Diplom für Dirigent (master’s degree in conducting) from the Universität für Künste in Berlin, Germany. She is currently working on a second doctorate at the University of Washington in choral conducting.
Dr. Byun has served as adjunct professor of organ and choral conducting at Yonsei, Joongang, and Jangsin Presbyterian Universities (South Korea). In Korea, she was the founding director for the Goyang City Children’s Choir, an elite ensemble of 50 select students. Since 2015, she has served as Principal Organist at University Presbyterian Church where she plays the largest single pipe organ in the Pacific Northwest.
In addition to her organist duties, Dr. Byun is conductor of the UPC String Ensemble, music director at Seattle Dream Church (Korean), serves on the board of the American Guild of Organists Seattle chapter, and is active as recitalist and regional chamber musician with recent appearances at Plymouth Congregational Church, Benaroya Hall, and the Northwest Chorale.
The title of Dr. Byun’s concert is “Flying Fingers: Symphonic works for Organ.” The organ at Mercer Island Presbyterian was assembled by the Pipe Organ Foundation on Mercer Island. T
The concert is free to the public. A reception will follow the concert and a free tour of the organ will be offered.