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New maestro melds artistry with wit

photo of BW director of orchestral studies Soo HanAs a child, he would rearrange the living room furniture and pretend they were different sections of the orchestra as he stood in the center pointing and conducting to the music of Beethoven.

Today, Dr. Soo Han stands at the helm of BW's symphony orchestra. With a distinguished record of success, he has earned accolades nationally and internationally. But beyond the bio is a man who reveres authenticity as well as artistry and who brings optimism and vision to his work.

Meet the Conservatory of Music's director of orchestral studies through a video and snapshot interview that reveals an insider look at how talent, gratitude and humor are the cornerstones by which he lives his life and inspires others.

Musical style

It is very broad. Of course, I am incredibly passionate and inspired by sophisticated music that expresses and impacts the human condition. However, I also love music of any genre that is just simply fun. I think people would be surprised at the musical 'junk food' that occupies the playlist that I listen to when I go on long runs!

Favorite instrument

Piano - it is the instrument that started my musical career. When we first immigrated to this country, my parents scraped together what little they had and bought me a spinet piano. Every time I sit down at any piano, I remember my childhood and family.

Trait you most admire in a musician

Courage. It takes courage to create sound from silence. Courage taps into a performer's inner (and often secretive) thoughts and feelings. It takes courage to be vulnerable to judgements and criticism from others. And finally, it takes courage to interpret music in an authentically original way, especially if something has been done a certain way for many years.

Three words to describe yourself

Optimistic - I like to see and believe in the goodness of all things in our lives.
Goofy -I love to laugh and tell jokes.
Passionate - I am passionate about my work, music, serving students, helping others, family and friends. These are what give my life meaning.

Audience experience

I want audiences to experience an authentic, aesthetic experience when they come to a concert. I want the music to connect meaningfully to them.

Gratitude

With a grateful heart, I remember the professors who helped and inspired me. My goal for students is that I provide them the tools and courage to be authentic interpreters of music.

Dream concert stage

Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, because of its history, significance and beauty. I watch the New Year's concert by the Vienna Philharmonic each year and I dream that one day I will conduct on that stage.

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