BO KYUNG BYEON (M.M. ’11, A.D. P. ’13, clarinet)
Hometown: Deagu, South Korea
OLEKSANDR POLIYKOV (B.M. ’08, G.P.D. ’13) Mark Cooley Scholar
Hometown: Kiev, Ukraine www.oleksandrpoliykov.com
A top prizewinner of numerous national competitions in her native South Korea, clarinetist Bo Kyung Byeon has already made a name for herself as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. At the young age of 28, she is known for combining different elements into an invigorating musical language that blends both Eastern and Western influences.
Byeon describes the AD program at the Conservatory as an opportunity to “bridge the gap between school and professional life and my future as a soloist.”
Before attending the Conservatory, Byeon attended Yonsie University in Korea on a full scholarship, during which time she won first prize at a number of competitions, including the Seoul National Orchestra Competition. She has since performed in prestigious venues throughout Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the United States, most recently at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
As an AD student, Byeon doesn’t have many classes, but spends her time practicing four to five hours a day, rehearsing for chamber and large ensemble concerts and preparing for competitions under the mentorship of Michael Norsworthy.
“I’m always performing and learning music,” she says. “I want to make a living sharing my music with others for the rest of my life.”
Towards that goal Byeon is developing a repertoire list and building her resume and social network with the help of Norsworthy.
“Bo is a delight to work with. She takes on a leadership role in the studio and is actively performing and networking out- side The Boston Conservatory and bridging the gap between the student world and the professional world,” Norsworthy says, adding, “The Artist Diploma program is exactly the right fit for her as she begins her professional career.”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Norsworthy
“He’s had tremendous preparation, exceptional training and comes from a wonderful pianistic and musical tradition in the Ukraine,” says faculty member Michael Lewin of his student Oleksandr “Alex” Poliykov. “This foundation is what has led Poliykov to where he is now in his career.”
Indeed, the 23-year-old Poliykov is enjoying tremendous early success, winning second prize at the 2010 Franz Liszt Piano Competition (Germany) and third prize in the 2011 Liszt Competition (Netherlands)—the same competition that launched Lewin’s career 25 years ago. He also has awards from more than 20 other competitions, including recent prizes at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano competition (third prize) and the Steinway Society Competition in Boston (first prize).
Faculty Mentor: Michael Lewin
“Alex is quite remarkable,” Lewin says. “He’s had spectacular competition success and he’s also extremely intelligent and serious and has an all-encompassing technique.”
Poliykov originally came to the Conservatory as an under- graduate student, but had to leave the program following his second year due to his busy concert schedule. On the advice and invitation of Lewin, he auditioned and was accepted into the AD program.
Now, Poliykov is able to balance his international travels with countless hours at the piano, private practice time with Lewin and studying to achieve a better understanding of the music he is playing.
“He’s a pianist who tries to encompass more than just a pretty sound into his playing,” Lewin explains.
With a flourishing career in Europe, Poliykov hopes that his international success is followed by an equally successful U.S. career.
“Music is a very special way of expressing one’s feelings, and communicating with the audience, and it requires a lot of work, to keep it pure and really unconditional.”
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