A native of Seoul, Korea, Okon Hwang came to the U.S. to further her study in various graduate schools and pursue her creative/research interests.

Her training as a classical pianist began at age five, and she won her first piano competition at age ten. She was the first-prize winner of the Edmunds and Thelma Miller Award for Young Artists and a winner of the J. Earl Lee Piano Competition. She has been performing regularly as a soloist as well as a chamber musician.

As an ethnomusicologist, she has been studying the intersection between Western art music and Korean cultural identity as well as various aspects of popular music in Korea. She has received many research grants and delivered papers in regional, national and international conferences. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Her book, Western Art Music in South Korea: Everyday Experience and Cultural Critique, was published in 2009. In 1995, with the support of the Korean government and various scholarly and performing organizations, she took a leadership role in forming the Association for Korean Music Research, which was the first effort to establish an international community of scholars to promote, exchange, and advance in-depth study of many different aspects of music of Korea. It is now an ancillary organization of Society for Ethnomusicology.

Okon Hwang received two masters and two doctorates while studying in the U.S.: a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature from Eastman School of Music of University of Rochester, a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, a Master of Arts in Music Theory from Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her Bachelor of Music degree is from Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea.

She is currently Professor of Music at Eastern Connecticut State University.

(860) 465-5109