As a young child, founder and president Kyungah Nam was inspired by her father, Professor Sejin Nam, to follow in his steps to devote her life to music. In a home filled with classical music from an opera singing father and a mother whose love for music and books almost rivaled her love for her children, Ms. Nam spent her childhood training to become a classical concert pianist. Years later, she stepped down from her life of presenting the works of Schumann and Chopin to the public, and into the role of motherhood, where she would pass on her love of music and the arts to her two daughters, Eunjee and Yungjee.
In 2001, she moved to the United States with her husband, Dr. Jongyeol Kim and her two daughters. Despite being halfway across the world, Ms. Nam never ceased to promote the arts and music of both her own culture and others.
Years after her father had once inspired her to play her first tune on the piano, he once again inspired her, leading Ms. Nam to found a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting arts and culture with help from her supportive husband. In honor of the man who so greatly influenced her, she named this organization Sowoon Arts and Heritage, after his honorable title.
Baritone / Professor Emeritus
Throughout his life, Sejin Nam has displayed excellence as a teacher, performer, and administrator. He graduated from Seoul National University College of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Voice in 1957. He earned a Master of Music in Voice at Yeungnam University in 1980. In 1965, he began to teach at Daegu National University of Education in the department of Music Education as an instructor. He has lectured in continuing education programs and undergraduate and graduate courses in various universities and colleges in Daegu, Korea. He retired from Daegu National University of Education in 1999, and is a Professor Emeritus.
He debuted as a soloist at the prestigious 7th Chosun Newspaper Debut Concert in 1957. He embarked on his prolific career in opera as Silvio in Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo. From the mysterious and dark Baron Scarpia of Tosca by Giacomo Puccini to the comical Uberto of La serva padrona by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Professor Nam has portrayed a variety of characters. He was invited to perform in Japan and China. His enthusiasm and love for music have been grown with age; he recently performed at the Spring Concert at the Daegu Opera House in March 2011 with senior singers.
Professor Nam won the Kyungpook Music Award from Kyungpook Province Government in 1980, the Daegu Award in arts from the Daegu City Government in 1989, and the Kumbok Arts Award from the Kumbok Culture Foundation in 1996. In 1999, he was awarded the Order of Civil Merit of Moranjang, the second highest honor given to Korean civilians by the Republic of Korea, for his dedication and service to the public.
Professor Nam has also been a fervent proponent of the cultivation of music and culture. As president of the Daegu branch of the Music Association of Korea, he asserted the necessity of a Culture and Arts Center and an opera house in Daegu for the promotion of culture and arts in metropolitan Daegu and its vicinity. He hosted the first Daegu Music Festival in 1981. In 1996, not surprisingly, given his leadership and excellence in management and administration, he was the first popularly elected director of Daegu Culture and Arts Center and deputy director of Daegu City Arts Group composed of seven organizations including symphony and opera. During his tenure as director through 1998, he advocated for the addition of the Daegu Open Air Music Hall to the Daegu Culture and Arts Center, which was completed in February of 2000. To further the cultivation of opera and performing arts, he proposed the establishment of the Daegu Opera House, which, with strong support from the incumbent mayor, was completed and opened in 2003. He has been served for various opera groups and musical societies as both a member of board of directors and an active member.