Born in 1961 in Seoul, she has lived in Berlin since 1988. Her music has attracted performers with its modern language but lyrical and nondoctrinaire communicative power. She has also attracted the attention of eminent conductors such as Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Robertson, Peter Eötvös, Neeme Järvi, Markus Stenz, Myung-Whun Chung, George Benjamin, Susanna Mälkki, François-Xavier Roth, Leif Segerstam, and Ilan Volkov, among others. Her many honours include the Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition (for Violin Concerto, 2004), Arnold Schoenberg Prize (2005), Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award (2010), and Ho-Am Prize (2012).
She has been commissioned by leading performing organisations and her music has been performed in major festivals and concert series in Europe, the Far East, and North America by orchestras and ensembles such as the Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Boston Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Kronos Quartet, and Arditti Quartet. In addition, Unsuk Chin has been active in writing electronic music, receiving commissions from IRCAM and other electronic music studios. In 2007, Chin's first opera Alice in Wonderland was premiered at the Bavarian State Opera at the opening of the Munich Opera Festival and released on DVD by Unitel Classica. Her second opera Alice rough the Looking Glass has been commissioned by the Royal Opera in London for premiere in the 2018/19 season. Since 2006, Chin has overseen the contemporary music series of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a series she founded herself. Since 2011, she has served as Artistic Director of the Music of Today series of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. Portrait CDs of her music have appeared on Deutsche Grammophon, Kairos, and Analekta.
(Reprinted courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes.)
Selected works: Die Troerinnen for three female voices, women's choir and orchestra (1986-90), Gradus ad in nitum for tape (1989), AkrostichonWortspiel, seven scenes from fables for soprano and ensemble (1991-93), El aliento de la sombra for tape (1992), santika Ekatala for orchestra (1993-96), Allegro ma non troppo for tape or percussion and tape (1994-98), Fantaisie méca nique for five instruments (1994, rev. 1997), ParaMetaString for string quartet and tape (1996), Piano Concerto (1996-97), Xi for ensemble and electronics (1998), Miroirs des temps for alto, two tenors, bass and orchestra (1999-2001), Kalá for soprano, bass, mixed choir and orchestra (2000), Spectres.speculaire for violin and live electronics (2000), Violin Concerto (2001), Double Concerto for piano, percussion and ensemble (2002), Etudes for piano (1995-2003), snagS & Snarls for voice and orchestra (2003-4), antatrix Sopranica for two sopranos, countertenor and ensemble (2004-5), Double Bind for violin and electronics (2007), Alice in Wonderland, opera in eight scenes (2004-7), Alice in Wonderland - Advice from a caterpillar for bass clarinet (2007), Rocaná (Room of Light) for orchestra (2008), Šu for sheng and orchestra (2009), Scenes from Alice in Wonderland for soprano, mezzo-soprano and orchestra (2004-11), Fanfare chimérique for two woodwind and brass ensembles with electronics (2010-11), Gougalon (Scenes from a Street eater) for ensemble (2009-11), cosmigimmicks for ensemble (2011-12), Grafftti for large ensemble (2012-13), Cello Concerto (2006-13), Le silence des sirènes for soprano and orchestra (2014), Clarinet Concerto (2014), Mannequin - Tableaux vivants for orchestra (2014-15), Le Chant des enfants des étoiles for children's choir, four-part choir, organ and symphony orchestra (2015-16), Puzzles and Games from Alice in Wonderland for soprano and orchestra (2017).