by Stephanie Manning
By the time she was a teenager, Bokyung Byun had lived in South Korea, China, and the United States — giving her an international perspective, but also complicating her sense of belonging. And as many musicians do, she grappled with her feelings through music. For her visit to the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society on October 8, Byun brought a program designed around her identity, both as a performer and as a person.
As the guitarist told the audience at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, her move to New York at age 16 — to study at Juilliard — inspired her love of music from the Americas, with its flexibility and diversity of style.