top of page


Bio: Text

Kyu Butler

A recipient of the Marina Grin and the Classical Music Awards, Kyu Butler is an accomplished pianist. Kyu was awarded 1st prize in many competitions including the Chosun Daily News Co. Music Competition, Korea Times Music Competition, The Korean National Students Competition, Samick Piano Competition, Choonchoo Piano Competition, Monthly Music Magazine Competition, Yookyoung Students Competition, and the University of Illinois Symphony Concerto Competition. Kyu performed at masterclasses for legendary pianists such as Leon Fleisher, Aldo Ciccolini, Menahem Pressler, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, Valery Kuleshov, James Giles, Susan Starr, Alexander Korsantia, the late Phillip Kawin, Yong-Hi Moon, Zhe Tang, Jerome Rose, Jose Ramos Santana, the late Alexander Slobodyanik, Magdalena Baczewska, Alexander Shtarkman, Gabriel Kwok, Warren Jones, Gwendolyn Mok, and others in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Kyu is an active performer who has performed on prestigious stages such as the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center, and Carnegie Hall. ​

Kyu has an international reputation. She was invited to perform as a soloist with Korea Soloists Orchestra in 2019. Also she was invited to conduct masterclasses and a lecture at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019 and Illinois Wesleyan University in 2020. She presented lectures at the World Piano Teachers Association's Conference and the Korean Association of Piano pedagogy's Conference in 2020 and 2021. Kyu was also invited to give a talk to Piano Teachers' Round Table members virtually and the Costa Rica International Piano Festival in 2021. 

Kyu graduated from the Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School, the most prestigious middle school and high school for arts in Korea. She received her Bachelor of Music from The Korean National University of Arts’ School of Music studying with Mr. Choong-Mo Kang, a former faculty member of the Juilliard School. Kyu then received a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Mack McCray. She also received her Professional Studies Diploma in Early Historical Keyboards with emphasis on Fortepiano from the Conservatory. Kyu has doctoral training at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with full scholarship and Teaching Assistantship. Here she studied with the renowned pianist and conductor Dr. Ian Hobson. Kyu completed a Piano Pedagogy Internship with one of the famous Piano Pedagogy scholars, the late Dr. Alexander Reid, and also worked as an opera coach, Teaching Assistant, and Accompanying Assistant at the University of Illinois. Outside of school, she participated and performed in Aria International Music Festival, Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, International Keyboard Festival & Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Piano Summer at New Paltz, Zephyr International Music Festival in Italy, Prague International Summer Music Festival and Academy, Beijing International Piano Festival, and UIUC Summer Piano Institute.

While an active performer, Kyu also has shown passion and energy in contributing to music education. Kyu is an Artist-Faculty in piano at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Public Relations Chair of Nebraska Music Teachers Association, Co-Chair of Trophy Festival at Omaha Music Teachers Association, Immediate-Past-President of St. Louis Area Music Teachers Association, former Co-Vice President of Missouri Music Teachers Association, Honorary Life-Time Past President of the World Piano Teachers Association USA-Missouri. 

Prior to working as an Artist-Faculty in piano at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Kyu worked as an adjunct faculty at Jefferson College, Lindenwood University, Community Music School of Webster University, and St. Louis Community College. Kyu became a NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher in Music) in piano and has been certified as an Elementary and Intermediate Specialist by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada. Kyu took the Teacher Training Courses at the Irina Gorin Institute for Russian Method, and the Suzuki Method through Suzuki Association of Americas. Kyu also worked as the Recruitment Coordinator at Webster University. Her students have won local and nation-wide competitions, festivals, exams, and auditions.

Kyu’s current research focuses on preventing injuries and wellness for pianists. This focus is influenced by her personal experience. Her work was selected for presentations at the Music Teachers National Association’s National Conference in Spokane WA, and at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago IL in 2019. Kyu’s presentation was well received, and resulted in an invitation to write a paper for MTNA E-Journal that was published in September, 2020. Kyu also presented her work at the World Piano Conference virtually in 2020, and the virtual Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy Conference in 2021.

Kyu is an internationally acclaimed pianist, clinician who has regularly given master classes, an active pedagogue and researcher on Alternatively-Sized Piano Keyboards, and frequently invited as an adjudicator at local and international competitions, auditions, and exams. She is a member of American College of Musicians, Federation of Music Clubs, Music Teachers National Association, Nebraska Music Teachers Association, Omaha Music Teachers Association, Missouri Music Teachers Association, Saint Louis Area Music Teachers Association, the Korean Association of Piano Pedagogy, and the Pianissimo-Korean Musical Association.

Bio: Bio
bottom of page