One of the most prominent second-generation women composers in Korea, Kim Eunhye (b. 1956) studied at Seoul National University, then distinguishing herself by becoming one of the few Korean women composers to study in France. Kim exhibits considerable variety in her compositional approach, creating works integrating Korean with Western styles, using borrowed material in an original manner, and deriving inspiration from the signs of the zodiac in Korean cosmology. Inspired by the Korean traditional genre gagok, Kayagum is her first composition clearly showing Korean influences upon her music. Dualistic borrowing is seen in her series of pieces entitled Arari, which are based on the best-known Korean folk song Arirang and yet also borrow material from a multitude of Western sources. Seeking inspiration from nonmusical sources, Kim has also composed cycles of works exhibiting her interest in the signs of the zodiac, along with the animals and their corresponding character traits identified with respective birth years. Kim Eunhye’s intercultural tendencies, interest in transformations of Arirang, and fascination with cosmology have helped her to achieve status as one of the most important women composers in Korea.
Kayagum for soprano, gayageum and changgo