Born in Korea, Sung-Won Yang graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and was assistant to Janos Starker at Indiana University in the United States. He was invited to be in the jury of the International Competition of Chamber Music in Banff, Canada, the International Cello Competition André Navarra in France, the International Cello Competition Cassado Japan and the Tongyeong International Competition in Korea. Recipient of numerous awards, he is currently a professor of cello at the School of Music Yonsei University in Seoul, visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music and Artistic Director of the Festival Owon at Chateau de Chaumont sur Loire in France.
He has performed throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician. He has given solo and chamber music concerts in prestigious venues as Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, the Salle Pleyel and Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Opera City Hall in Tokyo, Symphony Hall in Osaka and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
His recitals have also led to other leading cities, such as London, Rome, Frankfurt, Madrid, Prague, Helsinki, Boston, Seattle, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Sydney and many others.
While exclusive artist for EMI-Korea, his first album entirely devoted to Kodály, was “the editor’s choice of the month” Gramophone Magazine (February 2003) and “critic’s choice of the year” Gramophone Magazine in the UK (December 2003). He was also nominated for best solo album to Edison Awards in the Netherlands (2003). His other recordings for EMI, are works by Rachmaninoff and Chopin with the pianist Ick Choo Moon (2002), the complete J.S. Bach’s suites for cello solo (2005), and the complete Beethoven Sonatas and Variations for piano and cello with pianist Pascal Devoyon (2007). These recordings have all received with great response and success from music lovers and critics alike. After his Schubert album with violinist Olivier Charlier and pianist Emmanuel Strosser, appeared under the Decca label in 2009, his recent recordings are Dvorák Cello Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra(Cond; Znedek Macal) and Trio Dumky (2010); an album combining jazz, Latin music and la variété française with the ensemble Les Bons Becs ‘Musical get away’ (2011); Beethoven’s ‘Archduke’ trio and Op. 70 No. 2, with trio Owon (2013); and the complete works by Brahms and Schumann for cello and piano with Enrico Pace (2014); two records for Decca / Universal by Trio Owon : The complete recording of Beethoven trios (2015), and For The Future (Olivier Messiaen : Quatuor pour la fin du temps) (2016).
Sung-Won Yang has collaborated with great musicians such as Christoph Eschenbach, MyungWhun Chung, Peter Eötvös, Johannes Kalitzke, Laurent Petitgirard, DongSuk Kang, and Pascal Devoyon. His interpretations of the Cello Concerto by Saint-Saëns, the Brahms Double Concerto, and Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky with the Orchestre Symphonic Français were broadcast by French TV in France and throughout Europe on Eurovision, and are available in DVDs (Goldline Classics). In addition, France Music, NHK (Japan), and KBS (Korea) among other radios have broadcast many of his live concerts. A regular performer of contemporary music, Sung-Won Yang premiered in Asia Peter Eötvös’ concerto grosso with Seoul Philharmonic, with the composer conducting, and in Austria with the RFO, Austrian Radio Symphoniker. He also regularly commissions new works to young composers, such as two trios for piano, violin, cello, to very talented Korean composer MinJae Jeon (2014 and 2016) and other works such as with daegum (Korean flute Traditional wood) to Korean-American composer Jee Young Kim (2006) as well as a trio for piano, violin and cello to French composer Pierre Charvet (2006). These works have been world premiered by Sung-Won Yang in Paris, Saint-Nazaire and Seoul.
2016 has been a busy year full of projects : Festival La Folle Journée au Japon, Festival Tons Voisins, les Grandes heures de Saint-Emilion, Festival d’Evian, Sagra Musicale Malatestiana, Rome (Villa Medici). The première of Laurent Petitgirard Concerto in Seoul with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Henri Dutilleux concerto “Tout un monde Lointain” at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées under the direction of Laurent Petitgirard with the Orchestre Colonne. A first experience as movie producer with “For the end of Time”, in memory of the french martyred priests of korea in the 19th century. A live recording of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quatuor pour la fin du Temps” for Universal Music/Decca, with Trio Owon and Jerry Chae.