Joo Park

Joo Park is a composer and pianist. She seeks to write music that explores the dual nature of existence: simple and complex, obsessive and impulsive, serious and humorous, and tonal and atonal. She wants to create music that combines fascinating musical traditions, such as tonality and counterpoint, with her approach to timbre, chords, fast-changing meters, and texture. She intends to create music that is positive and easy to listen to, and yet intellectual.

Park is the author of the book Musical Creativity in Composition and Improvisation, published by Springer. Her CD, Passionate Message, published by Silkheart, contains six of her compositions and piano performances. Park's recent piano performances include Alban Berg’s Four Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, and Francis Poulenc’s sextet, directed by John Heiss. Her compositions have been performed in the U.S., Korea, and Europe, and have won competitions including the Joseph Dorfman Memorial Composer's Competition and the Beethoven Club contest.

  • Career Highlights
    • Publications include Keyboard Skills and Creative Projects, an online textbook; and Musical Creativity: Strategies and Tools in Composition and Improvisation
    • Recording Passionate Message (Silkheart Record, 2012) composed, improvised, and performed with Guerino Mazzola on grand pianos
    • Resident composer, Grace Lutheran University Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Current faculty, Roxbury Community College's Humanities Department 
    • Former faculty, Youth and Family Enrichment Services (YoFES) in Boston and McNally Smith College of Music, Composition and Theory Department; former graduate instructor, University of Minnesota, Composition and Theory Department; and former graduate accompanist, Boston University, College of Fine Arts
    • Invited composer at Alea III: 30th Anniversary Young Composers Concert, directed by Theodore Antoniou
    • Research assistant at University of Minnesota's Spark: International Electronic Music and Arts Festival
    • Recipient of a music teaching certificate approved by the Ministry of Education, Korea
    • Performances include University of Minnesota, School of Music's Convocation; and YoFES's faculty recital
    • Invitation to Two Days and Two Nights of New Music (2D2N), an international contemporary music festival in the Ukraine, held by the International Society for Contemporary Music
  • Awards
    • Winner, Belvedere Chamber Music Festival, Luna Nova Ensemble in Memphis, Tennessee
    • Winner, Renegade Ensemble's semi-annual call for scores, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Selected composer by Zeitgeist, a contemporary music ensemble, in a call for scores, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Winner, 60×60 Project, an electronic music competition held by Vox Novus in New York, New York
    • Winner, Midwest Electronic Music Festival at Lewis University in Chicago, Illinois
    • First prize winner, Joseph Dorfman Memorial Composer's Competition, Germany
    • First prize winner, Beethoven Club's student composition contest in Memphis, Tennessee
    • Recipient of the Dissertation Research and Travel Fund, University of Minnesota
    • Recipient of the Wainwright Prize, Songs for Nature, Boston University
  • Education
    • Ph.D., University of Minnesota, composition
    • M.M., Boston University, composition
    • B.M., Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea, composition and music education

In Their Own Words

"I believe that music education goes well when the knowledge is recognized and practiced in performance. I focus on helping my students understand an entire theme of how music theory, composition, and performance work together to become better musicians. I also value learning with a great attitude as music operates in a collaborative manner."

"I believe that having respectful, honest, and kind attitudes are as important as getting good grades to be successful as a musician. Love and patience are the cores of my teaching philosophy. I make a class that is warm, bright, and forgiving in that students have a chance to fix and make things right in their learning process. I hope my students learn how to pursue their dreams in a way that works."