Lee Byung-woo is a guitarist, composer, producer and professor of applied music. His music can be heard in more than a dozen films and many commercials. Lee created the soundtrack for the horror film 'The Host', a favorite at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and earned the Korean equivalent of an Academy Award for the score. He also won the Golden Goblet Award at the Shanghai International Film Festival for 'Untold Scandal' in 2003 and music awards from local film festivals including the Korea Film Festival for 'My Beautiful Girl, Mari' in 2002 and the Blue Dragon Awards as music director for 'The King and the Clown'. Lee's music for 'A Tale of Two Sisters' was described by OhmyNews as 'one of the best film scores ever composed for a Korean film' and was featured in a Cartier Advert as well.
After gaining success as a pop musician in his early 20s, Lee felt the necessity for more formal training so that he went to Europe to study at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 1998, he traveled to the United States to continue his studies at Peabody Institute, the Johns Hopkins University. In the same year, Lee became the first classical guitarist to earn the 1st Place Award in the Yale Gordon Competition at Peabody.
In addition to being one of the most sought after film soundtrack producers in Korea, Lee has been putting utmost efforts to increase the warfare of people with disabilities. He's the musical director of the 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics World Winter Games, the Olympics for people with intellectual disabilitie, including autism, and wishes this Special Olympics to become the chance to break prejudices surrounding disabled people and Korean society in general to take more of an interest in social minorities.
On today's Heart to Heart, we've invited Composer Lee Byung-woo to talk about his life in music and the significance of the Special Olympics in today's world.