The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music mourns the loss of Ik-Hwan Bae, 57, who died today, July 24, in Bloomington, Ind. He came to IU in August 1999 and was Professor of Music (Violin and Chamber Music) in the String Department.
“The passing of Ik-Hwan Bae marks a huge loss not only for the Jacobs School faculty and community but for the music world at large,” said Stephen Wyrczynski, chair of the Jacobs String Department. “He was an elegant and poetic violinist who made an indelible impact on all who heard him. He was a dear colleague and friend. Our condolences go to his beloved wife, Sung-Mi Im, and his son, Subin.”
Bae was born in Seoul, Korea, and made his professional debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at the age of 12. He studied with Ivan Galamian at The Juilliard School. His performances in recitals and concerto concerts took him to most of the major cities in Europe, Asia and the United States.
In 1985, he received the gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and also was a prizewinner at the Munich International Competition in 1984. In 1986, he was the recipient of a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
As an enthusiastic participant in many of the world’s best chamber music festivals, Bae was seen everywhere from Seoul to Alaska. He was an artistic director of Bargemusic Ltd., one of the leading presenters of chamber music in New York City, for 13 years, until 1995.
His most recent project was as concertmaster of the Hwaum Chamber Orchestra in Korea, which is a conductor-less string orchestra. He led them to Krakow, Poland, and Puerto Rico at the Casals Festival.
Much sought after as a pedagogue, he also taught at the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University, the Manhattan School of Music and the Korean National Institute for the Arts. He gave master classes worldwide annually.
Bae was a jury member of the Munich ARD competition in Germany, Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Denmark, Benjamin Britten International Violin Competition in London and Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki, Finland.
He recorded for the RCA, ECM, Delo and Hoch labels.
He is survived by his wife, Sung-Mi Im, and son, Subin. Information on a memorial concert this fall will be announced at a later date.