Jean Ahn

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Born in Korea, Jean Ahn finished her B.A. and M.M. at Seoul National University and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. Her creative output includes works ranging from solo instruments to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance and electroacoustic music.

She received First Prize at the Renée Fisher Competition and the Sejong Korean Music Competition as well as awards from the Korean National Music Composers Association, the De Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition, and the Isadora Duncan Award for Saltdoll. She was a Finalist for the League of American Orchestra Women Composers Commissioning Competition, and for the American Prize.

Her works have been performed by the Berkeley Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Memphis Symphony, California Youth Symphony, Contemporaneous Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, Earplay, Enhake, Ensemble Sur Plus, Invoke String Quartet, Khasma Duo and Aspen New Music Ensemble.

Commissions include works for the Diablo Symphony, Tapestry Choir, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Volti, SF Bach Choir, SF Choral Artists, Ong Dance Company, New Arts Collaboration, Gayaguem Soloist JUL, Locrian Chamber Players, among others.

Her current project includes a gayageum concerto for Santa Cruz Symphony and “Animal Farm” for Dancer Jia Wu and the Saint Mary’s College Performing Arts Department . Her “Folksong Revisited” for piano and “K-Folksongs” for voice and piano are ongoing projects that show her vision to introduce Korean songs and techniques to professional performers in the US. The first collection will be published by Hildegard Publishing Company in 2024.

She teaches at UC Berkeley and also teaches special needs student at CHIM Studio. She is also the director of Ensemble ARI, the Korean-American ensemble whose mission is to bridge Korea and other communities through western instruments.  For more information on Jean Ahn and her music, visit