"Audience Friendly, Singer Friendly"
Yoonhak Baek, professor at Yeungnam University and Music Director for ConcertOPERA, Philadelphia (COPA), is busy as a conductor in both the fields of orchestra and opera. He has been invited to conduct renowned orchestras such as KBS (Korean Broadcast System) Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, Daegu Symphony Orchestra, Bucheon Philharmonic, among others. He collaborated with IRCAM in the event of Music & Electronics by TIMF (Tongyoung International Music Festival) Ensemble. Recommended by world renowned composer Unsuk Chin, he was the staff conductor of TIMF in Bangkok, Thailand. Also recommended by Grammy Award winner Dr. Higdon, he was one of the young conductors who participated in New Music Festival in Winnipeg, Canada.
As an opera conductor and coach, he has been the Artistic/Music Director of COPA since 2011. In March/ April 2014, he conducted Andrea Chénier with his own arrangement for chamber ensemble. Likewise he arranged and conducted for COPA, Un Ballo in Maschera and Carmen, 2013 and 2012 respectively. Additionally Maestro Baek has been strongly involved with OperaDelaware as an Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master for the productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Tosca, La traviata, Merry Widow, Magic Flute, Porgy and Bess, as well as productions of OperaDelaware Youth Program and Outreach concerts. In addition, Maestro Baek has devoted his time to young local singers in Philadelphia as Music Director of Opera Libera, which inaugurated its first production of Carmen in 2011. In summer 2009, he was an Assistant Conductor of Michael Ching, former Artistic Director of Memphis Opera, for Lucia di Lammermoore at Opera New Jersey in Princeton, NJ.
While studying at Curtis, he organized and conducted a concert version of Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss. He led the concert version of Alcina by G.F. Handel and worked with several conductors at Curtis Opera Theater as well. As an opera coach, he served as pianist for Poor Richard Opera Company in several productions; he was adjunct faculty at Kyung Hee University in 2013 and conducted Un Ballo in Maschera and a symphonic concert while there.
Yoonhak Baek graduated from Curtis with an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting, under renowned conducting teacher Otto-Werner Mueller and from Temple University with a MM in piano accompanying and opera coaching, under the tutelage of John Douglas. He holds a bachelor degree of Electrical Engineering from Seoul National University. He was appointed as full time professor of Yeungnam University last Spring 2014.
Upcoming appearances include December 2016, when he will debut in Lotte Concert Hall as well as conducting once again the KBS Symphony Orchestra this March.