Pianist Jason Kwak has already enjoyed a successful career, both as an artist and as a pedagogue. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kwak began his piano studies at the age of four. He has earned his degrees in Piano Performance from Eastman School of Music and The University of Texas at Austin. His principal piano teachers include David Watkins, Douglass Weeks, Maria Clodes-Jaguaribe, Barry Snyder, and Nancy Garrett. He has also coached with many renowned artists including Lev Naumov, Claude Frank, Emanuel Ax, Gary Graffman, Alexis Weissenberg, Warren Jones, and Leon Fleisher. Dr. Kwak is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano at Texas State University. Previously, he has held teaching positions at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas Extension Program, and the Austin Chamber Music Center. He is consistently in high demand for performances, masterclasses, lectures, and adjudications on a state, national, and international level.
Dr. Kwak has received top prize in many piano competitions including the Atlanta Steinway Society Competition, Handok Piano Competition, Southern Keyboard Competition, Atlanta Music Club, Peter Petroff Piano Competition, and the Clara Wells Piano Competition. He has made numerous national and international appearances as a solo pianist including performances with the Victoria Symphony, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, The University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Wind Symphony, The Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rocky Ridge Orchestra. In Spring of 2010, Dr. Kwak was slated for many performances throughout the country and the world, including several performances in Turkey and Malaysia.
Damian GarciaDr. Kwak has also given solo performances in many notable venues and festivals, including performances at Tanglewood Music Festival, San Antonio Convention Center, Jeju National Museum, Bundy Arts Center in Waitsfield, Vermont, and Fox Theatre in Atlanta as well as solo performances at many National college campuses including North Texas University, Baylor University, Oklahoma University, Kennesaw State University, Souther Illinois University – Carbondale and the University of Texas at Austin and many International college campuses including Halla College (South Korea), Adnan Menderes University, Yasar University (Turkey), and University of Malay (Malaysia). An avid chamber musician, Dr. Kwak has collaborated with many distinguished artists including performances with Mezzo-Soprano Shin Ja Kim, pianists Jose Feghali and Nikolai Petrov and violinist Vincent Fritelli. In 2008, Dr. Kwak, along with Dr. Ian Davidson and Professor Daris Hale, formed ‘Trio 488’, a chamber group comprised of applied music faculty at Texas State University. The chamber group has already performed at the Hawaii International Conference in Arts and Humanities, College Music Society Regional Conference, and at the Mysterium of Modern Music Concert. In July of 2009, Trio ‘488’ traveled to Birmingham, England to premiere the complete set of Russell Riepe’s ‘Five Rivers of Hades’ at the Internationl Double Reed Society Conference.
As an educator, Dr. Kwak has presented many lecture performances including lectures for Victoria Symphony, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Corpus Christi Music Teachers Association, Kingsville Music Club, Jeju National Museum, Texas Music Educators Association Convention and The University of Texas at Austin. Further, Dr. Kwak has presented master-classes throughout the US and around the world. In June of 2009, Dr. Kwak was a clinician at the Texas Music Teachers Association Conference in Houston, Texas where he presented his research in implementing various etudes into the piano lesson curriculum. In 2003, Dr. Kwak was awarded by Texas A&M University-Kingsville the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. Also, in 2007, Dr. Kwak was included in Who’s who among American teachers and educators,