Pensacola Christian College music faculty Dr. Doori Yoo has always been musically ambitious. “Seeing how much I loved to play the piano, my mom took me to a piano teacher when I was three years old,” Doori said, “but my teacher advised us to wait until I turned four because my little fingers had no strength.” On her fourth birthday, she started piano lessons.
On February 23, 2014, she fulfilled one of her dreams: performing in Carnegie Hall. “All the legendary artists play in that hall,” Doori said. “I always said to myself, ‘someday.’ But the experience of playing at one of the world’s best concert venues was life changing.”
Doori was invited to play with a friend from Florida State University, violinist Jiwon Hwang, concertmaster for the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra.
Though the Carnegie recital was sponsored by Jiwon’s alma mater in Korea, Doori was given fifteen minutes to present a solo piece along with the other pieces she played with Jiwon.
In Weill Recital Hall, one of three auditoriums in Carnegie Hall, Doori and Jiwon performed for over 100 people. “It was neat to see people I have never met simply wanting to come to hear our music.” Doori met a family from Germany and a young lady from Brazil.
The recital, entitled Russia in New York, featured works by Russian composers Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Frolov. Doori performed Sonata in A Minor, Op. 30, by Nikolai Medtner.
During the performance, besides calling out to God for concentration, Doori said, “I don’t remember thinking about anything else but the music. I wanted to play my fullest. My goal is always the same for every concert venue—to give my very best.”
The Carnegie performance was significant for Doori. “Other musicians build their career to get to Carnegie, but Carnegie was my first high-profile concert venue!”
Doori plans to perform at other venues in Korea this summer and even more after that. But her goals, in her teaching and her own work, extend far beyond mere performance. Doori wants to help students open their eyes and ears to the language of music that God created. “I want to help them see that they can communicate to the world through music. Artists have an overwhelming desire to share what they think and feel, and I have a desire to show people the world which I see—the world that God shows to me.”
Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.