Pianists Sylvia Hong and Michael Rector began performing together as a duo shortly after being married in 2011. They have played recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul, and are the current 1st prize winners of the Ellis Duo Piano Competition (2021). In April 2014, they toured in Eastern Europe, performing with the Georgian Sinfonietta and Black Sea Symphony. Highlights of their numerous tours in Korea include playing two sold-out concerts on the same day in Busan, and an invitation to perform with the orchestra in the Olympic city of Gangneung during the 2018 winter games. Avid proponents of American music, Sylvia and Michael presented a lecture-recital on the music of Morton Feldman at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, in 2019. Following extensive research at the Library of Congress, their current project is a recital program and recording of rediscovered 19th-century American compositions for four hands.
Sylvia Hong is known to audiences worldwide as a pianist of imagination and virtuosity. As a concerto soloist, Sylvia has played in Korea with the KBS Orchestra, Mokpo Symphony, Busan Symphony and Suwon Symphony. In her native United States, she has performed with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and Mt. Vernon Symphony Orchestra. She made her debut in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall at the age of 16 as the 1st prize winner of the National Russian Competition. Sylvia’s three commercial recordings, all live performances, were produced by the Far East Broadcasting Corporation. She was the Korea Times “Musician of the Year” for 2012. Sylvia credits much of her success to her principal teachers-Lydia Frumkin of Oberlin Conservatory, Lee Kum-Sing of the Vancouver Academy of Music, and Benjamin Pasternack of the Peabody Conservatory where she received her Performer’s Diploma in 2012. She is currently Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Michael graduated from the doctoral program at Manhattan School of Music in 2012, where his teacher was Philip Kawin. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he majored in comparative literature. Michael has presented lecture-recitals and masterclasses both at home and abroad, including at China Conservatory in Beijing, the University of Kassel in Germany, and numerous universities and music schools in Korea. His academic research focuses on performance practice and style change, with articles in the journals Empirical Musicology Review, Perspectives of New Music and the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie. He has also written about piano pedagogy for American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, and the MTNA e-Journal.He is currently Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.