Hong honored with Steinway Top Teacher Award

March 13, 2023

Hong honored with Steinway Top Teacher Award

Dr. Caroline Hong receives the Steinway Top Teacher Award

For many pianists, expertly performing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no. 2 in C minor is, in and of itself, an accomplishment worthy of celebration. But for Caroline Hong, professor of piano, an evening spent performing an impassioned rendition of the piece was marked by yet another honor.

On Feb. 22, Hong was presented the Steinway Top Teacher Award, a formal recognition of a music educator’s passion, artistry and commitment to students that is awarded to the top educators in their field around the world. Hong said, upon receiving the award, “The students I have met through my post here have enriched my musical life in a way that I could never have imagined.  To be with them through their journey while here at Ohio State has been a privilege – and a source of inspiration to me for their trust in my ability to reaffirm that which they aspire to for themselves. “

Hong added, “The popular notion that ‘the teacher makes the student’ actually works, in my opinion, in the opposite manner: ‘the students make the teacher.’”

Hannah Bullock, Director of Operations at Graves Piano & Organ Co., serves as the local liaison for Steinway & Sons. In presenting the award, she outlined what it means to be recognized by the revered piano manufacturer. “Every year, Steinway dealers have the opportunity to nominate individuals that they feel exemplify outstanding piano teaching and a commitment to furthering music education within their community. I am very proud to have Dr. Hong joining the ranks of those internationally-recognized educators that are considered the best in the business.”

Michael Ibrahim, director of the School of Music, co-presented the award, saying, “Caroline Hong has been an inspiring and vital member of the School of Music for 26 years. For several decades, she has inspired students to go on to having creative, successful and meaningful lives all around the globe.”

The accolade comes on the heels of an announcement that the School of Music will commit to becoming an all-Steinway institution, in an effort to provide students with world-class instruments on which to practice and perform.

Hong was adeptly accompanied by the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra, directed by Miriam Burns, assistant professor of practice and orchestral conducting and director of orchestras. A complete recording of that performance can be viewed on YouTube.

Hong has been a recognized Steinway Artist since 2008. In 2011, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra ranked her as their No. 1 keyboard artist. In 2018, she joined the board of the American Liszt Society and currently serves as executive and artistic director of the Franz Liszt (U.S.) International Piano Festival and Competition, which is hosted by Ohio State’s School of Music.

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