Sungji Hong

Sungji Hong - headshot

Senior Lecturer, Composition


Composition Studies

Contact Information

Office Location: 
Music Building
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Sungji Hong's music has been described as "a work of iridescent freshness" (BBC Music Magazine), "the sound is utterly luminous" (Fanfare Magazine), "a virtuoso exploration of the technical and sonorous possibilities" (Daily Telegraph), and "the harmonies and fluid dynamics were modern" (The New York Times).

Her compositions include works for solo instruments, orchestra, chorus, ballet, and electroacoustic media with special interest on timbre and pre-determined pitch structures. Her musical language is colorful with a wealth of imagery and exquisite delicacy. She has received commissions from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University (2019/2004), Tongyoung International Music Festival (2007/2005), Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation, MATA Festival, iSing Silicon Valley, Texas Flute Society, and National Flute Association. Her CD release Stella Maris on the ECM New Series (ECM 1929), performed by the vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval, received critical acclaim and reached the top ten on the Billboard Classical Chart and iTunes Classics. In 2022 she was awarded a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The prize, funded by the family of the late composer, Charles Ives, is bestowed on “composers of extraordinary gifts.” Also in 2022, she was elected as an Associate by the Royal Academy of Music upon its 200th anniversary. This designation is made to Academy alumni who "have distinguished themselves in and made a significant contribution to their music career."

Over the last decade, Sungji's music has been performed by leading players and ensembles in over 46 countries and 213 cities at such venues as the Carnegie Hall (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Merkin Hall (New York), Herbst Theatre (San Francisco), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Flagey (Brussels), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Temple Church (London), Athens Concert Hall (Athens), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), Cantacuzino Palace (Bucharest) and National Theatre 'Opera and Ballet' (Ljubljana).

Her music has been widely broadcast in more than 17 countries (37 channels including BBC Radio 3, SWR 2, DLF, MDR FIGARO, WNYC 2, RDP-Antena 2, HRT 3, ERT, YLE Radio 1, ABC CLASSIC FM, and others) and has been recorded and released on the Soundbrush, Elektramusic, Atoll, Dutton Labels and by ECM Records. Her music is published by Tetractys Publishing in the UK.

Sungji has received 50 distinctions for her compositions, including the Kazimierz Serocki (1st Prize), the Franz Josef Reinl-Stiftung (1st Prize), Magistralia (1st Prize), Ilshin Composition Prize (1st Prize), In Nova Musica Competition (1st Prize), Jesus Villa Rojo (1st Prize), European Competition of the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki (1st Prize), Temple Music Composition Prize (1st Prize), Crwth Competition (1st Prize), the international competition for original ballet music at the ISCM World Music Days – Slovenia (1st Prize), Montserrat International Camera Music Composition Competition (1st Prize), Salvatore Martirano Composition Competition (2nd Prize), Dimitris Mitropoulos International Competition (2nd Prize), Theodore Front Prize (IAWM), Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize (ACL), Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers Scholarship, and several other prizes and awards.

Sungji Hong studied composition with Kyungsun Suh at Hanyang University in Seoul. Subsequently, she completed her master’s degree with Robert Saxton and Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music in London and her Ph.D. in composition with Nicola LeFanu at the University of York in the UK. She has participated in various workshops and masterclasses such as Voix Nouvelles (Royaumont) and in Darmstadt, where she studied with Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Tristan Murail, and Toshio Hosokawa, as well as the International mastercourse and workshop for conductors and composers with Peter Eötvös and Zsolt Nagy in Herrenhaus Edenkoben.