Sejong Cultural Society
Yerin Yang
About Composer:

Dong-il Sheen was born in Seoul, Korea. He was described as “a quiet revolutionary who broke the barrier of classical music” (Culture and Me magazine 2006). In a 2002 article in the New Music Composition and Critics journal, Professor Young-Han Heo of the Korean National University of Arts wrote, “Dong-il Sheen is a composer who filled the huge void in our lives with a new style of creative music. He explored music style that was ignored by other composers and now firmly established his own style.”

Mr. Sheen has been active in writing music in many different styles, including western European music, traditional Korean music, children’s music, film soundtracks, and musicals. He graduated Seoul National University and received his Master’s degree at the New York University Graduate School of Music. He collaborated with pianist Jung Hee Han in the album Blue Bicycle, which later received a critical acclaim. He started the new style music movement “Han-ma-dang” and “Music Composers-ma-dang.”

In 2002, Mr. Sheen collaborated with writer-illustrator Jae-soo Liu in the CD-Book Yellow Umbrella, which was named as one of the 10 best illustrated books by the New York Times. Japanese pianist Takako Takahashi made a CD of Mr. Sheen’s music in Japan.

He received numerous awards including the Best Young Artists of the Year award from the Korean Ministry of Culture & Tourism in 2003, and the Grand Prize of the Year in composers and conductors categories from the Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) in 2004.

Mr. Sheen is a board member of the Association of Korean Musicians, President of the Composer’s Association (Jahk-gok-ma-dang), and Co-president of the Children’s Arts Production. Currently he is a lecturer at the Korean National University of Arts and Seoul National University Graduate School of Music.

Beggar’s Song, also known as “Market Song”, was commonly sung by beggars wandering around market places. Unlike other Korean folk songs, this melody is in 4/4 rhythm. Most Koreans are very familiar with many variations of this tune. This piece was written using seventh chords with a humorous expression of the original tune.