I looked like Kelsey Grammer as a baby. With mom (molecular biologist) and dad (chemical engineer) in Daejon, South Korea.
Age 1. My first picture with a keyboard!
Age 4. The picture was taken in Dortmund, Germany. I was visiting my dad while he was working there as a chemical engineer. This is about the time I started to take piano lessons from my aunt.
Age 5 during my first recital. I loved my fluffy gown. To this day, I remember it had 8 tutu layers.
Age 6. Playing the violin at the Suzuki Conference. I was a proud member of the violin section through junior high + high school orchestra.
Posing for the camera before my recital in my aunt's Suzuki school stage. Check out my custom made shoes that coordinate perfectly with my outfit.
My very first chamber music performance! Two violins and a piano. We made an excellent trio.
The meeting changed everything. I auditioned to study with Veda Kaplinsky. My family was shocked when she asked "When can you move to the states?" From the left: Veda Kaplinsky, Helen Huang (making her debut with the NY Philharmonic later that evening), my mom, my aunt (my first piano teacher), and me.
At Cherry Hill, NJ at the home of Veda Kaplinsky after the very first lesson with my teacher-to-be for the next 12 years.
Age 11. Moved to Stony Brook, NY with my mom. That's how I got off the school bus each day!
It's a good thing I didn't become a dancer. With my friend Ashley on the piano. Stony Brook, NY.
The day before my 13th birthday. After my debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra playing Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto. With my parents in the Academy of Music.
1999 was an epic year for me. During the conductor/soloist session with Leonard Slatkin before a performance with the Juilliard Orchestra. This was one of the most serious conversations I have ever had as a kid.
Christine Baranski giving me a bouquet of flowers after my performance with the Juilliard Orchestra (Prokofiev 3 with Leonard Slatkin) Shortly after, Kevin Kline (co-hosting the event with Christine Baranski) knelt down to give me a kiss on my hand. I was a cool 13 year old, I tell 'ya.
With Dad in the Kennedy Center before my debut with the National Symphony.
Moments after arriving at the Kennedy Center to play Saint-Saens 2nd Piano Concerto with the National Symphony.
Post Performance in Daejon, Korea. I always request 100 comp tickets when I play in Korea.
With my friends at the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival. I went there six summers in a row.
My "Shark" picture from the preliminary round of the Cliburn Competition. This was taken during Chopin's Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise.
RIP Van. Shaking Van Cliburn's hand at the semi-finalist announcement.
Big smiles with the Takacs String Quartet after the rehearsal of Dvorak Piano Quintet. All semi-finalists got to perform with the Takacs Quartet. It was truly a dream come true.
With my teacher Veda Kaplinsky moments after the finalists' announcement. "I'm in the top 6!"
Walking out to greet the audience after I became the Twelfth Van Cliburn Competition Silver Medalist. Beginning of a wild roller coaster.