Hwang Byungki

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Hwang Byungki
Hangul 황병기
Revised Romanization Hwang Byeonggi
McCune–Reischauer Hwang Pyŏngki

Hwang Byungki (b. Seoul, 1936) is the foremost South Korean player of the gayageum, a 12-string zither with silk strings. Hwang is also a composer and an authority on Korean sanjo, a form of traditional Korean instrumental music.[1]

In 1951 he began playing gayageum at The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul, where he studied under the famous gayageum masters Kim Yeong-yun (김영윤), Kim Yun-deok (김윤덕), and Shim Sang-geon (심상건). In 1959 he graduated from Seoul National University School of Law.[2]

In 1962 he began composing concert and film music using traditional Korean instruments. He presented the premiere performance of Alan Hovhaness's Symphony no. 16 in South Korea in 1963. In 1964 he traveled around the world to Europe, the United States, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries, giving gayageum performances in each place.

In 1985 he served as visiting professor of Korean Music at Harvard University.

In 1990 he led a group of musicians from the South Korea at the Pan-Korean Unification Concert in Pyongyang, North Korea.[3]

Since producing his fifth gayageum album in 2007, Hwang continues to compose innovative Korean music. Ranging in style from the evocation of traditional genres to avant-garde experimentation, a selection of these pieces is available on a series of five albums. He is an emeritus professor of Korean music at Ewha Womans University. Hwang also teaches a course entitled "The Introduction to Korean Traditional Music" at Yonsei University in Seoul.

Hwang serves on the government's Cultural Properties Preservation Committee, and in 2000 was appointed to the National Academy of Arts.


Hwang has published a number of albums, among which is a set of five volume albums that are representative of his work:

  • Vol. 1: Chimhyang-moo (침향무; 沈香舞), literally "Dancing Among Agarwood Incense"
  • Vol. 2: The Silk Road (비단길; 絲綢之路)
  • Vol. 3: The Labyrinth (미궁; 迷宮)
  • Vol. 4: Spring Snow (춘설; 春雪)
  • Vol. 5: Darha Nopigom (달하 노피곰), based on the Baekje gayo (a type of Korean poetry) named, Jeongeupsa (정읍사 井邑詞)


External links[edit]