2019 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival

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[Click HERE for Online Registration Form.] 

Join us for Grand Valley State University’s 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival!

Saturday, October 26, 2019, Performing Arts Center, Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall

  • This Festival is a celebration of 20th/21st-century piano music with performances throughout the day (each recital: 50 minutes). 
  • Students play in a supportive venue where families, teachers, and friends are invited to be part of the audience.
  • This year’s commissioned piece will be premiered, and the composer, Dr. Sun-Young Park, will be in residence to celebrate the occasion!


  • Pre-college students are eligible to participate.
  • Each student performs one piece from the 20th or 21st century.

[Click HERE for Online Registration Form]

  • No paper registration will be accepted.  The registration fee is $13.00/student.  Registration forms and fees are due by Friday, October 11, 2019.
  • All registrations will be processed in the order received.  The Festival board reserves the right to limit the number of participants in each category in order to fill each recital time and also not go over.
  • Each participant will choose at least three options for the recital time at the time of registration. Each recital will be 50 minutes long.
  • Repertoire changes are prohibited after students send in their registration forms.
  • Students should bring the music with measures numbered (no photocopies, please).
  • All pieces must be memorized. An exception may be made in case of playing a work that uses experimental contemporary techniques.
  • All teachers of participants will receive an evaluation of the student’s performance by GVSU faculty.
  • Every participating student will receive a Certificate of Participation. Students who play in this festival for THREE or MORE years will be awarded a handsome trophy.
  • Questions? Please contact Dr. Sookkyung Cho at [email protected].


All performances will be in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall, on a Steinway B grand piano.

Recital #1                        9 a.m.-9:50 a.m.
Recital #2                        10 a.m.-10:50 a.m.
Recital #3                        11 a.m.-11:50 a.m.
Recital #4                        1 p.m.-1:50 p.m.
Recital #5                        2 p.m.-2:50 p.m.
Recital #6                        3 p.m.-3:50 p.m.                                       

The composer-in-residence, Dr. Sun-Young Park*, will be at each recital to introduce the commissioned piece.  GVSU piano students and faculty will also participate in the festival! 

All performances are open to the public. Video Taping is strictly prohibited. Food and drink are not permitted in any GVSU concert hall. Photos may be taken after each recital.

Park photo - resident composer

Resident Composer: Dr. Sun-Young Park
Born in South Korea, Sun-Young “Sunny” Park (b.1988) started violin at age six and began her composition studies at seventeen. Since then, her works have been performed internationally and in some of the world’s top concert halls. Most recently, she won the 44th Pan Music Festival International Competition with Pierrot for Violin and Piano. It was the piece she was commissioned to write for violin and piano by a Munich violinist Mariella Haubs, which was originally premiered in Gasteig, Munich Germany. As the winner of the prestigious New Juilliard Ensemble (NJE) competition, Sun-Young was commissioned to write Legend, a chamber ensemble work that premiered at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. The New York edition of The Korea Times applauded her experiment of combining Western music with Eastern sound, with a particularly Korean sound. One of her most recent performance of the piano trio, HEEM, performed by Allant Trio in New York gained a big success: the trio and the piece, HEEM, was invited to have a performance in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall. Sun-Young’s music has been performed in concert halls including Gasteig Hall of Germany, Alice Tully Hall, the Juilliard School of NY, Suntory Hall Izumi Hall of Japan, Korean Cultural Center of NY, Central Conservatory of China, Opera House of Vietnam and the Keum-Ho Art Center, An-Yang City Hall, Seoul Art Center, of Korea.

The daughter of celebrated Korean choral composer Jung-sun Park, Sun-Young’s choral and vocal music career began early. Most recently, her choral work Arirang Jazz version and Jat Sound (잣 떨어져요) were published by Jubilate Music Alliance in March 2018. Her most popularly performed work is Alpha and Omega, which was published in Joong-Ang Church Choral Series book by JoongAng Art; and I will dwell in his house (Psalm 23), forever written for the SATB a-capella choir was also published by Ki-Um publishing company.

Sun-Young joined Asia-America New Music Institute (AANMI) in 2013 as a composer, which she is also now serving as the AANMI director of South Korea. AANMI’s recent album, Trendcendent (Delos), as well as her music is gaining great reviews from many prestigious magazines such as Gramophone, UK and Stereophile: "Transcendent' speaks volumes for the high level of creativity flourishing in the 21st century." With group of composers all over the world affiliated with AANMI, Sun-Young has travelled Thailand (Thailand International Composers Festival), USA, Vietnam (Asia-Europe New Music), Japan, Korea, China (Beijing Modern Music Festival) and Singapore in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season. In 2017-2018 season, she travelled to Japan to give concerts in 6 different cities, funded by US Embassy in Japan.

Sun-Young obtained her Bachelor of Music (BM) and Master of Music (MM) degree at The Juilliard School under Professor Samuel Adler and Christopher Rouse, where she worked as a music theory teaching assistant. She recently finished up her Doctor of Musical Arts degree (DMA) under Kevin Puts at Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University as a full scholarship recipient for the music theory teaching assistant position. She is currently working as a film music composer/ arranger in LA while working for Toro Music Records as an artistic administrator.

Registration deadline is October 11, 2019
[Click HERE for Online Registration Form.]

When you register online, you will need the following information:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. Your teacher’s name and contact information
  3. Preferred recital times (at least three; please choose as many options as possible)
  4. Eligibility for a trophy
  5. Repertoire information: composer, title, length [The accurate length is extremely important for scheduling purposes. Please do not exceed 5 minutes in duration. If you are performing a piece that is longer than 5 minutes, please perform an excerpt from the piece. The Festival board may interrupt your performance after 5 minutes.]
  6. Payment method [If you choose to pay online, you will be directed to the online payment system.]

Page last modified July 16, 2019