Sumi Jo is one of the greatest exponents of bel canto, or “beautiful singing,” in the world. She was born on Nov. 22, 1962. Because her mother could not pursue a professional career due to political circumstances, Jo had to practice playing the piano every day to make sure she would achieve her dreams. She started taking piano lessons at the age of 4 and voice lessons at the age of 6. She continued her voice and piano lessons at the Sun Hwa Arts School. In 1981, Jo entered Seoul National University and made her first professional recital debut. In 1983, she moved to Rome and entered the National Academy of St. Cecilia and learned from Carlo Bergonzi and Giannella Borelli. She made a successful European debut in 1986 at an opera house in Trieste. She won first place in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition and won many prominent competitions in Seoul, Naples, Enna, Barcelona, and Pretoria. She also received the prestigious Grammy Award in 1993. Recently, Jo held a special concert called “Stand Up for Inclusion” with the Special Olympics Korea Ensemble. Since the Abu Dhabi Festival and Special Olympics Korea tried to reflect the theme of the concert, “Culture of Determination,” the ensemble consisted of 25 “people of determination.” Jo said, “This gives me profound happiness. I consider them artists. All of them are hugely talented and they have been working so hard for this concert.”
Christine Kim Staff Reporter
1. When was Sumi Jo born?
2. Who did Jo learn from at the National Academy of St. Cecilia?
3. What award did Jo receive in 1993?
1. Have you heard about Sumi Jo before reading the article?
2. Have you heard of Jo's singing? If so, where did you hear it from?
3. Do you think parents should be allowed to push their own dreams onto their children?
4. Which Korean artist do you predict will win a Grammy in the future?