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Seulki Susie Yoo began playing the piano at the age of 5, and has continued her musical journey ever since. Take a look at her career.

Dr. Seulki Susie Yoo: Reviving the music of a Forgotten Composer

Seulki Susie Yoo, DMA is an internationally recognized pianist born in South Korea. Seulki is dedicated to reviving the music of forgotten composers, such as Paul Dukas (1865-1935).

“Paul Dukas was regarded by some as the finest and most versatile Fin-de-siècle musician of the late 19th century. However, today he is only known as a ‘Disney composer’ for his L’apprenti Sorcier;  his piano repertoire is very rarely performed. The depth of Dukas’s musical artistry and mastery in his other compositions deserve much more attention.” says Seulki. 

To effectively deliver these lesser-known musical treasures, Seulki provides contextual lectures to accompany live performance. While completing her doctorate at Penn State University, Seulki performed a lecture-recital and a solo recital featuring Dukas’s piano repertoire. These performances garnered invitations to perform Dukas’s music at prestigious events, including annual conferences of esteemed organizations such as the College Music Society, Society for Music Theory, and Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. 

At the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association’s annual conference, themed Past, Present, and Future: Rediscovering our Past to Nurture our Musical Future,” Seulki discussed the musicological-sociological aspects of Dukas’s Rameau Variations followed by a live recital. This session reintroduced a forgotten piece from an important era of French history to a broader audience.

Seulki also delivered lecture-recitals on Dukas’s Rameau Variations at multiple academically-hosted regional College Music Society chapters, including Northeast (at Southern Connecticut State University, CT), Central (at Wichita State University, KS), and South Central (at Angelo State University, TX), with warm reception by professors and pedagogues. 

Attendees praised these performances as ‘exquisite,’ ‘magical,’ ‘refreshing,’ with some commenting that ‘her lecture-recital provided me with an opportunity for contemplation on various matters.’ Seulki also delivered a performance demonstration of  Dukas’s Rameau Variations titled “Revisiting the Tonality of Dukas’s Rameau Variations” at the Society for Music Theory Rocky Mountain annual conference held at Utah State University, earning accolades for her ‘beautiful performance.’

“I find it incredibly rewarding when receiving feedback from pedagogue colleagues, such as ‘I will explore more of Dukas’s works when I return home’ or ‘that piece would be a valuable addition to my college students’ repertoire,’ following my performances of Dukas’s compositions,” explains Seulki. She believes that academic environments such as conferences and university seminars  provide ideal opportunities to introduce more obscure or lesser-known music, as fellow teachers often incorporate the music into their own teaching materials.

Recently, Seulki has been offered the opportunity to publish her album recording featuring Dukas’s complete piano repertoire and the memorial work Le Tombeau De Paul Dukas (1936) through the Sheva Collection Label in the UK. The Sheva Collection is an established London-based record label founded in 2006 by the Italian CEO Ermannon De Stefani, and it partners with Naxos for distribution in the USA. Mr. Stefani agrees with Seulki, stating, ‘I look forward to listening to Dukas’s music (through Seulki), a great composer, a milestone in the story of the music. Unfortunately, most people only know his The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Your [Seulki’s] CD will for sure fill up this gap.’

Seulki continues to dedicate her craft and contributions to the music community through her performances and advocacy for underappreciated composers.

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