MM, Eastman School of Music
Korean American guitarist/composer Sungmin Shin maintains a vigorous schedule divided between performing and teaching in a wide variety of musical settings. As a musician Mr. Shin finds a unique balance between his classical training and deep roots in rock and popular guitar styles. This combination drives his curiosity to seek new modes of expression through performance, improvisation, and composition. As a soloist and chamber musician, Sungmin embraces the eclectic demands of the modern musician through performing works in a wide range of styles including classical standards to inventive contemporary music and his own original works. A frequent collaborator with various musicians and ensembles, he is a current and founding member of the Eastman Guitar Quartet.
Mr. Shin has been acknowledged through numerous awards, grants and scholarships, and has been invited to perform and present workshops, masterclasses, and lectures across the U.S. and Canada. He has made numerous radio appearances and has performed to critical acclaim in the masterclasses of world renowned artists including Oscar Ghiglia, Timothy Kain, Dale Kavanah, Alvaro Pierri, David Russell, Raphaella Smits, Benjamin Verdery, and more.
Recent engagements include appearances at the Prismatic Debussy Festival, Women in Music Festival, Guitar Foundation of America Convention, and a performance with the University of Rochester Brass Choir as electric rock guitar soloist. Committed to sharing his music with diverse audiences, he regularly engages in outreach performances throughout the community.
An advocate for performing music of living composers, Mr. Shin frequently works with Rochester based contemporary music ensembles Musica Nova, Ossia, and Rest Is Noise. He has premiered numerous works and has participated in performances of challenging pieces such as Le marteau sans maître (Boulez), Song, Drones and Refrains of Death(Crumb), Four Kings Fight Five (Gordon), Quartet for 4 guitars (Haas), and Electric Counterpoint (Reich). He has worked with leading composers and conductors in new music including Brad Lubman, Alan Pierson, Steve Reich, Frank Ticheli, and Melinda Wagner. Also, he has studied with Dusan Bogdanovic and Roland Dyens, the foremost living guitarist/composers, on performing their music.
Mr. Shin is currently pursuing a doctor of musical arts degree at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. He studies with and serves as a teaching assistant to Prof. Nicholas Goluses, one of America's most sought-after guitarists. In conjunction with the doctoral degree, Sungmin is a certificate candidate through the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program. Upon completing his master of music degree at Eastman, he was awarded the highly selective Performer's Certificate for outstanding performance. During this time, he studied baroque performance practice with lutenist and conductor extraordinaire, Paul O'Dette.
Mr. Shin completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California where he was a recipient of the Classical Guitar Department Award. At USC, he studied privately with distinguished artist/pedagogues James Smith and Brian Head while receiving additional instruction from flamenco master Adam del Monte and Los Angeles Guitar Quartet members William Kanengiser and Scott Tennant. He was fortunate to study privately with the legendary Maestro Pepe Romero as well as perform numerous times in his masterclass. Sungmin made his professional debut during his time at USC as a featured soloist alongside Professor Smith with the National Children's Choir (formerly the Paulist Choristers) in Los Angeles.
Sungmin is an alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with virtuoso Sharon Isbin on a full scholarship. He is also a four time alumnus of Guitar Workshop Plus (Toronto, ONT) where he studied jazz guitar with scholarships.
Mr. Shin is a devoted educator and shares his passion for music with students of all ages and levels. As a teaching assistant at Eastman, Sungmin has taught in private guitar lessons and masterclasses, and coached ensembles for the guitar chamber music class. He has assumed the role of primary instructor for Guitar History & Literature, Guitar Pedagogy, and Fretboard Harmony courses at Eastman and has served as a TA under John Covach (History of Rock) and Josef Hanson (High Voltage: Heavy Metal Music and Its History) at the University of Rochester. He has been invited to teach and present at various institutions including Acadmie Ste Cecille (Windsor, ONT), Buffalo State College, Eastern U.S Music Camp (Hamilton, NY), Korean American Guitar Society (Los Angeles, CA), and Rochester Guitar Club (Rochester, NY). He currently teaches guitar at the University at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo), the Eastman Community Music School, Music & Arts (Pittsford, NY), and in his home studio (Brighton, NY). During the summers, he serves on the faculty of Guitar Workshop Plus in Toronto, ONT.
Sungmin began his musical life at the age of 10 as a blues/rock guitarist in LaSalle, ONT, studying with Ron Mcminn. He began his classical guitar studies in high school with Mike McNamara in Windsor, ONT receiving high honors in examinations on guitar and music theory through the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada.
An avid audio/video engineer, Sungmin is the creator and producer of The Plucker Report , an award winning classical guitar website.