[Concert Review]

Pastoral, Passionate

“…The unique Beethoven-aesthetic stood out even under the balance and restraint and the powerful dynamic especially in the final movement made the audience rise above themselves…. 

The performer closed the sonata (Appassionata) and thus the New Year’s concert of The House Concert with absolute overwhelming coda. And she gave us all in the same space the energy, courage and expectation to live the year 2022 vigorously. Then I finally understood the intention of this artist to complete a grand epic poem by omitting the intermission and I could not agree more. It will need quite a long time till the echo of this concert would diminish.”

Jin-Suk Kim, pianist

[Music Journal] Feb-2022



Beethoven captivated in Bagband

“…The Korean pianist Hie-Yon Choi continued her piano sonata cycle in the Musikalischen Sommer festival. Her appearance was the „Hammer“ (‘awesome’ in German slang) – in the true sense of the word itself….”

Karen Hochmuth

[Ostfriesische Nachrichten] Juli-16-2017



As if Beethoven Himself Sitting at the Piano

“… Eyes closed; you would believe that the honorable composer himself would have sat at the piano. Hie-Yon Choi is passionate in dealing with the interpretation of these sonatas – so passionate that you would have to be afraid for the instrument. With extraordinary power and speed this Korean governs the score – and yet succeeds to let it fulfilled with compassion, intimacy and pure joy.….”

Ina Wagner

[Emder Zeitung] Aug-13-2015



A Wild Fury over All Keys

Spectacular Experience of Highest Art of Piano

Roland Moll

[Ostfriesischer Kurier] Aug-13-2015



Radiant Happiness after Perfect Presentation

“…The magical, almost elegiac parts were contrasted with the thundering fortissimo in orchestral sense which seemed to quake the church walls. Hie-Yon Choi convinced through the highest virtuosity in the best sense & thus complied fully & totally the Liszt‘s image & gave with her boldness a glamour of a unique improvisation to the piece….”

Roland Moll

[Ostfriesen-Zeitung] July-27-2009

Petitessen and Reger’s Opus Magnum

her strong suit lies no doubt in the virtuosic passages which she mastered with impressive technique powerful and leap-sure, but also with insight for the inner thematic structure. She kept overview also in the nine-minute-long double fugue  where she took time over and over for filigree and clean-playing for contrapuntal figures, dynamically refined shadowing, before she towered the pathos with thick final chords using the last energy reserves. ”                         

Andrea Prölss

[Der neue Tag] Oberpfalz, Aug-15-2007



Adamant rhythm with intensity, explosive and passionate touch

“…HieYon Choi possesses rigorous craftsmanship to offer a stage of the highest quality… Her pure approach towards music is the strongest power to win over the audience… Her approach to Beethoven is quite reckless…”

Sang-Woo Han

[Monthly Joy Classic] May-2002 



Extraordinary capacity and freshness

The Korean “Clara Haskil”, HieYon Choi held the breath of the audience with her sincere attitude towards music and threw them into the sea of lyricism and romanticism with her delicate touch. 

Jae-Eun Kim

[Monthly Pianoforte] Dec-2000



Musical sensation based on a clear interpretation and mature technique

“…It is rare to experience a performance which makes us realize the fact that the dynamics and the colors are the keys for the musical structure. This performance was a harmony of clear interpretation and mature technique. I was confirmed that the ‘musical sensation’ is only possible on this premise.”

Uzong Choe

[Monthly Eumak Chunchu] Feb-2000



Examination in marks of Mozart

“..The realization of Mozart A Major Concerto KV 488 by Hie-Yon Choi: a high-spirited, full of sentiment, eloquent up to every detail and precisely formulated interpretation, in the sovereign and at the same time reserved manner (as if perceived the spirituality of young Clara Haskil itself), besides without any perfectionistic attitude…” 

Hans-Klaus Jungenheinrich

[Frankfurter Rundschau] Sep-3-1997

A freshness coming from Korea

“…Hie-Yon Choi was full of freshness and spontaneity who incidentally drew us to the spirit of Clara Haskil, who gave so much of the youthfulness and the depth into her playing.”

Aime Corbaz

[Le Matin] Sep-1-1997



 Charm and Originality

“…After the break was the monumental b-minor Sonata by Liszt. Hie-Yon Choi broached dramatic peaks and unleashed impetuous storms with her superb phrasing and unfailing technique….”

Norry Goedert

[Luxemburger Wort] Oct-24-1996



Young Pianist enthralled

“…With charm and deep meaning Hie-Yon Choi interpreted also the Beethoven Sonata Op. 101 in A Major. The mysterious and unreal Adagio movement – ” slowly and with longing” written by Beethoven – was most of all convincing. Jovial and exuberantly presented the Korean also the fast final movement….The climax was Skriabin’s 5th Sonata. Hie-Yon Choi entered into another world as she created a magical tone color on the piano.”


[Neue Rheinische Zeitung] Oct-15-1996



Thriller after Notes

“…It was overwhelming how this Korean held the audience under her spell with her maturity and diversity of interpretation. Hie-Yon Choi possesses faultless technique, sparking ease and fascinating virtuosity….”

Daniela Goebel

[Darmstädter Echo] Jan-30-1995



14th International Piano Competition

“..Hie-Yon Choi, the south Korean, possessed a temperament of fire. As if the rouge of her dress set fire on her fingers, we were at the present of fiery interpretation, full of power and character, which entirely seduced the audience…”


[Liberte de l’est] Mar-29-1993



Kapell Finalists’ Choice Music

“…A brisk reading of Beethoven’s B-Flat Sonata, Op. 22, and Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit” showed Choi capable of flexible, supple playing. She had lovely rich tone, with some beautiful shading….”

Kate Rivers

[The Washington Post] July-18-1992

Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 18, 26, 27, 30

“… Choi is more than just at home with the linguistic ductus of this music. She understands this music, reconstruct it and by doing so she can form lots of details to a big entirety. – the biggest challenge for Sonatas. She can subtly untangle Beethoven’s linear work, the deliberate confusion in elaboration of theme for the listener, fill them with life, let them become comprehensible. At the same time her way of playing is connected with magnificent sense of sound, never exaggerate the tempos, (marvelous pacing in Op. 90, the 2nd mvt.!) the dynamic, even the hard accents and eruptions sound mellifluous, without losing their meanings. In op. 81a she traces the pain of statement so convincingly that one could understand the emotions which is transformed in this music. And also, the Op. 109 which is hardly leading to comprehensible flow, she succeeds excellent! What a shame that this CD is released only at Decca Korea.”

Carsten Dürrer

[PIANO NEWS] Vol.03/2019

Get to you the “Viennese Feeling”, Beethoven Sonatas 

New Album of Pianist HieYon Choi

Performed on ‘Bösendorfer’ born in 1828…Deep and Elegant Sound Contrast to Brilliant Tone Color of ‘Steinway’

“A Beethoven recording which you’d want to keep next to you for long time; an album of Beethoven Sonata No. 18, 26, 27, 30, performed by HieYon Choi (Professor Seoul National University), released by Decca label. A selection of calm and intimate character. A flowing and elegant connections, architecture of an intelligence and without any vanity; it feels like an intimate talk with a thoughtful friend. The abundant acoustic which makes one feel listening to it in a proper-sized living room adds to a perfection of this recording….”

Yoon-Jong Yoo

[DONG-A DAILY] Jan-18-2019

The first release of HieYon’s recording was all 6 Liszt-Paganini Etudes in 1988, recorded in Südwestfunk, Baden-Baden (Germany) for Parke & Davis Company who awarded her the Parke & Davis Award. In the same year HieYon recorded Isang Yun’s 5 Klavierstücke for the composer’s archive at Neue Musik Institute Hochschule der Künste Berlin. The recording was released on the occasion of composer’s 75th anniversary in Berlin, 1992.


HieYon recorded 24 Etudes by Frédéric Chopin Op. 10 & Op. 25  with Cord Garben as the producer (Wolfgang Karwatky editing) in Ebert-Halle Harburg, 2001. It was funded by SNU and released in 2005 on Korean lable, Aulos.


The recording project with her and all Beethoven Piano Sonatas was originally planned during her first Beethoven cycle by Kumho Cultural Foundation however it had to be removed for artist’s health reason. In 2015 HieYon resumed the project and has kept since then recording Beethoven sonatas with producer Martin Sauer at Teldex Studio Berlin. The selected Bösendorfer VC280 for the recording was tuned by the piano technician Thomas Hübsch.  The Decca Korea has released her first Beethoven album with Piano Sonatas Nos. 18, 26, 27, 30 in late 2018. Her second Beethoven album, “The Great Sonatas” was released late 2021.


In the middle of Beethoven recordings HieYon added recording of Debussy Douze Etudes and Schubert Sonata D960. Her Debussy Etudes pour le Piano is released early 2020 by Universal Music Group. (Digital only)