Piano Virtuoso: Chang-Yong Shin


Writer Rebecca Zaner

The Living Music Performance Series at Christ the Lord Lutheran Church (CTL) in Carefree returns with another concert featuring world-class young talent. Opening the fourth annual series is virtuoso pianist, Chang-Yong Shin, who will perform at CTL on November 12 at 4 p.m.

Chang-Yong is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and is now pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance at the Juilliard School. He is young, but has many credits to his name and has given recitals at Salle Cortot and the Louvre in Paris. Later this year, Chang-Yong will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and then with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. He will also be recording a CD under the Steinway & Sons label.

The CTL concert features music by Korean composer, Unsuk Chin, as well as Bach, Beethoven and Prokofiev.

“I thought it would be very challenging for me to present a variety of musical styles, from the Baroque period to a more contemporary style in one concert, and to show the audiences the unique colors of each time period”

Chang-Yong followed in his older brother’s musical footsteps and began playing the piano at 5 years old. He was also studying violin at the time, but realized the strings were not for him. He discontinued his violin studies, but loved the piano and remained in practice throughout his childhood years.
“I’ve always enjoyed listening to classical music, especially piano music,” Chang-Yong says. “My mother told me that I always asked to listen to the classical radio station in the car as a child.”

At age 8, Chang-Yong decided he wanted to continue piano as a serious life study. Of course, he still enjoyed his average childhood activities, including roller skating and playing with friends.

“I would say the time I spent away from the piano was also valuable time,” Chang-Yong says. “Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time and enjoy those moments again. Since I started piano as a major, I mostly spend my time practicing.”

Chang-Yong has participated in numerous national competitions since age 9, most recently placing first in the 2016 Hilton Head International Piano Competition. In his early years, he graduated from an art middle school in Korea prior to his acceptance at Seoul Arts High School, which he graduated from at the top of his class.

Chang-Yong then attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music for five years, which he feels was the “best school for studying and growing as a real artist.”

“I learned how to play better musically and technically, and also to communicate and share my expression with others through music,” Chang-Yong says. “Curtis also made me feel at home. I felt mentally and emotionally stable and could focus more in depth on my music. My last five years are the most valuable and precious time in my life.”

Chang-Yong will bring his years of practice and studies to CTL this month to share his love for music. It is a wonderfully professional event that should not be missed.

“Piano allows me to express my feelings that cannot be explained in words,” he says. “When I find beautiful melodies or harmonic progressions, I become even more deeply inspired. I want to one day be a performer who can also teach my own students. My goal is to share my music with those who wish to listen. I have never been to Arizona and I am excited to go there. I am looking forward to performing and meeting new audiences in the beautiful church.”

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