Biography

Dong-Wan Ha is a pianist from Seoul, South Korea. He began his piano studies at the age of seven, and studied for several years with Jung-Hyun Lee, winning several regional competitions. He continued studying piano with Mari Kwon at the Sunhwa Arts High School in Seoul and achieved the school’s excellent performance awards. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Seoul National University in 2011, having studied with Hyoung-Joon Chang. He moved to the United States to pursue a Master of Music degree in piano performance and literature at Eastman School of Music, studying with Barry Snyder and working as an accompanist of the school. He continued the intensive study of two majors related to keyboard—solo piano with Haesun Paik, and collaborative piano with Anita Pontremoli—at Cleveland Institute of Music where he uniquely received artist diplomas in piano performance and collaborative piano at the same time. He is now studying with Alan Chow as a candidate with a full scholarship for Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Northwestern University, where he is a member of the school’s Contemporary Music Ensemble.

He has also been involved in renowned international summer music festivals such as Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masterclass, PyeongChang Music Festival & School, Music Academy of the West, Pianofest in Hamptons, and many others, where he was taught by many distinguished artists including Emanuel Ax, Jacques Rouvier, Pavel Gililov, Matti Raekallio, Soo-Jung Shin, Choong-Mo Kang, Norman Krieger, Kevin Kenner, Stephen Hough, Jerome Lowenthal, Jeremy Denk, Leon Fleisher, Robert McDonald, Conor Hanick, Paul Schenly, James Giles, Andrea Bonatta, Pierre Réach, Jerome Rose, Tigran Alikhanov, Philip Jenkins, Françoise Thinat, Martino Tirimo, Joan Havill, Ronan O’Hora, Allan Schiller, Rudolf Meister, John Lill, Billy Eidi, and Sontraud Speidel.

During only one year in 2016, he also successfully expanded his global career as a rising concert pianist by winning plenty of international competitions, including the 1st prize from Paderewski International Piano Competition in Farmington, Connecticut, the 3rd prize from International Baltic Piano Competition in Gdańsk, Poland, the 1st prize from Piana del Cavaliere International Piano Competition in Arsoli, Italy, the 1st prize from Kerikeri International Piano Competition in Kerikeri, New Zealand, the 1st prize from Delia Steinberg International Piano Competition in Madrid, Spain, the 1st prize from Neue Sterne International Piano Competition in Wernigerode, Germany. Prior to that prolific year, he has won the 1st prize from Glasgow International Competition of Young Pianists in Glasgow, United Kingdom, and the 2nd prize (1st prizewinner not awarded) from Asia Chopin International Piano Competition in Kawasaki, Japan, as well as other prizes from several national competitions including the Korean Piano Duo Competition and Joong-ang National Music Competition.

He has appeared in several public concerts including Kumho Young Chamber Concert at Seoul in 2009, Kumho Young Artists Concert at Seoul in 2010, and the Conservatory Project at the Kennedy Center, D. C. as one of the representatives of his schools twice in 2014 and 2016, and his solo recital at Halberstadt in Germany in 2016, as well as numerous recitals at his schools. He has also performed piano concertos with Sunhwa Arts High School Orchestra, Prime Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea, and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, and Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra.