Hye-Jin Chang & Maria Seo
Chang Hye-Jin, a kayagum (12 string zither) performer, was born in Korea where she attended the National High School for Korean Traditional Music, and received her B.A. in kayagum from Hanyang University in Seoul.
Hye-Jin has performed for radio broadcasts in Seoul and has played contemporary compositions, shinawi (instrumental improvisational performance), and court music and has also performed as a dancer. Her performances have taken her to five major cities around Korea in addition to Seoul. In 1993, Hye-Jin moved to Seattle with her husband, and now teaches kayagum privately.
Maria Seo, a native of Korea, is a musician and a scholar. While living in the Northwest, she has been instrumental in introducing the greater Seattle area to Korean traditional music and musicians.
Seo, an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, has lectured on Korean music and culture. She has also volunteered countless hours as an advisor on Korean arts and traditions to many community organizations such as the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Burke Museum, and the Wing Luke Asian Museum. She has encouraged local Korean artists to perform and teach in the community, creating adult classes for traditional music and dance so that Korean-Americans can learn and enjoy the arts of their homeland.
She received an M.A. in piano from Seoul National University where she also studied Korean traditional music. Seo is the recipient of the 1997 Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award.
Chang and Seo were a part of Jack Straw’s Traditional Artist Support Program.