Praised by Classical Guitar Magazine as “confident and quite extraordinary,” Korean guitarist, Bokyung Byun enjoys a reputation as one of the most sought-after guitarists of her generation. Notably, she is the first female winner of the prestigious JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, where Falletta herself described Ms. Byun’s performance as “stunning, showcasing her gorgeous tone, immaculate technique, and sophisticated musicianship.” Committed to expanding the role of a 21st-century musician, Ms. Byun is the co-founder of Sounding Board: The New Music Initiative for Guitarists and Composers. The project focuses on promoting collaborative relationships between composers and performers to create new works for guitar, and its inaugural festival in Besançon, France in 2019 has been praised as “extraordinary, in the strict sense of the word,” by La Presse de Gray. Ms. Byun’s debut recording has been praised as “a very beautiful disc. From the first notes of the “Gallarda” from Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Escarraman, we are treated to extraordinary musicianship, technical assurance, and beauty of sound” (Soundboard Magazine). Now based in Los Angeles, Ms. Byun is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Southern California and holds degrees from The Juilliard School.
Preston performed on Show 391, broadcasting the week of November 9, 2020.
Preston Hong (guitar), 11, from Los Altos, California, is a sixth grader at Cupertino Middle School. He studies guitar at the California Conservatory of Music with Christopher Mallett. Some of Preston’s proudest accomplishments have been placing in the United States International Music Competition and winning the Kenny Hill Guitar Award prize at the University of Rhode Island Guitar Festival. When he isn’t concentrating on music, Preston enjoys participating in Boy Scouts, playing video games and basketball, and reading.