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Born in South Korea in 1983, Donghoon Shin studied composition at Seoul National University with Sukhi Kang and Uzong Choe. He moved to London in 2014, studying with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and with Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London.

In 2010 Donghoon Shin won the Gran Prix of the ANM-BBVA International Composition Concours, followed by the Goethe Award in 2013 from the Goethe Institut and Tongyeong International Music Festival. Major awards over the past decade include the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2016, a UK Critics’ Circle Music Award for Young Talent in 2019, and the Claudio Abbado Prize in 2022. In 2017-18 he served as Young Composer in Residence with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group through Sound and Music’s Embedded Scheme and in 2019 was selected as a composer laureate for three years by Ricordilab.

Donghoon Shin’s music has been performed and commissioned by prominent orchestras, ensembles and festivals such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic, Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Recherche, Riot Ensemble, EXAUDI ensemble, Festival d’Automne à Paris and Tongyeong International Music Festival.

Recent works include Of Rats and Men (2019) for chamber orchestra, premiered by the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Peter Eötvös, with further performances in Grafenegg, Budapest and Seoul. Kafka’s Dream (2018/19), inspired by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges’s essay about Kafka, was first performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth, has travelled to Dresden and was toured internationally by the Seoul Philharmonic in autumn 2022.

2022 also saw the premieres of Shin’s cello concerto Nachtergebung (Night Surrender) for Bruno Delepelaire and the Karajan Academy conducted by Kirill Petrenko in Berlin and of his double concerto for sheng, accordion and orchestra, Double Act, in Bochum with soloists Wu Wei and Pascal Contet. Osmo Vänskä conducts first performances of Shin's new orchestral work Upon His Ghostly Solitude in 2023 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and its Asian premiere follows with the Seoul Philharmonic under the baton of Jaap van Zweden.

Donghoon Shin’s music is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

February 2023

This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with the following credit: Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes

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