Born in Seoul, Korea, Su-a was given a full-scholarship to attend Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester at the age of nine. She was then awarded a full-scholarship place to study with the late Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School in New York where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree.
Su-a has been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 1993 where she is also part of the experimental SCO LAB group and regularly participates in both the Orchestra’s education and community outreach programmes.
Alongside other players in the SCO, Su-a was a founder member of the group Mr McFall’s Chamber which was formed to present classical music in new and inventive ways. They began as a string quartet playing avant-garde classical music in late-night club venues. After huge success, the group has expanded to include a wide range of performers playing diverse repertoires from cartoon classics, through to progressive rock, jazz and tango nuevo. Recently they performed the works of the late Celtic fusion pioneer Martyn Bennett; collaborated with Norwegian electronic jazz percussionist Thomas Stronen and worked with the idiosyncratic Dundee poet Michael Marra.
Su-a is very much in demand as a musician outside the classical sphere, playing across the art forms and musical spectrum. She has played for theatre, dance and film and performs regularly with Scotland’s jazz and folk luminaries.
She is no stranger to musical adventure and often engages in challenging and experimental projects pushing musical and performance boundaries. Her musical saw playing is fast-becoming a favourite with audiences.
Su-a’s performances have taken her all over the world from South America to the Arctic Circle. As well as playing in many of the world’s major concert halls, including a recital in Carnegie Hall, New York, Su-a’s performances have found her in the most unorthodox and interesting locations including Japanese temples, circus tents and waterfalls – to name but a few!
Photo © Paul Hampton