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KAIST and KNUA to Collaborate on Culture Technology
Distinguished Visiting Scholar Soprano Sumi Jo Accompanied by AI pianist ‘VirtuosoNet’ during the Special Concert at KAIST KAIST will expand the convergence of arts education and culture technology research in collaboration with the Korea National University of Arts (KNUA), the nation’s top arts university. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee signed an MOU with President Daejin Kim of the Korea National University of Art on January 6 at KAIST’s Daejeon campus for collaborations in arts education and research. KAIST and KNUA will expand educational programs such as student exchanges and co-credit programs. The two universities will team up for cooperation focusing on research centers and academic conferences for the creation of culture technology and convergence arts. Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Hee Hwang also attended the ceremony. Minister Hwang said that the Ministry will invest 132 billion KRW in R&D for developing metaverse and content technologies. He added that this collaboration will be a very meaningful turning point for creating a new culture combining high-level technologies. President Kim also expressed his expectations saying, “The collaboration of our two universities will generate a huge synergistic impact for nurturing talents and the creation of convergence arts. President Lee said that the collaboration with KNUA will take KAIST another step forward as it aims to foster well-rounded talents. “We look forward to proactive collaborative research that will expand the new chapter of convergence arts and future stage performances.” Right after the signing ceremony, world renowned soprano Sumi Jo, who was named a Distinguished Visiting Scholar, took the KAIST auditorium stage for a special concert. AI pianist ‘VirtuosoNet’, developed by Professor Juhan Nam at the Graduate School of Culture Technology, made its debut at the concert by playing Mozart’s Turkish March arranged by Arcardi Volrodos. VirtuosoNet also accompanied Soprano Jo on one of her songs. The concert by Sumi Jo and AI pianist VirtuosoNet heralds what KAIST is pursuing for education and research in culture technology. The Graduate School of Culture Technology plans to conduct research on future culture industries combined with technologies for the metaverse. The Sumi Jo Performing Arts Research Center will conduct research on performing technologies together with virtual artists. Head of the Graduate School of Culture Technology Woontack Woo said that KAIST will expand the sphere of the culture industry including tourism in collaboration with KNUA by incorporating technology into arts.
Diva Sumi Jo to Join the KAIST Faculty
Visiting Distinguished Professor Jo will enrich KAIST’s scholarship and inspire futuristic art and technology research Soprano Sumi Jo will join the KAIST faculty from the spring 2022 semester. Named as a visiting distinguished professor in the Graduate School of Culture Technology, she will give special leadership lectures. Her tenure will be through September 2024. Jo joined the appointment ceremony held online at KAIST on October 14 from Portugal and expressed her high expectations for teaching KAIST students from next year. “I am very grateful for this opportunity to meet students at KAIST, the birthplace of advanced science and technology in Korea,” she said. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee, who has stressed the importance of humanities and the arts in convergence studies of science and technology, lauded her joining the faculty as a big asset who will enrich KAIST’s scholarship. “Soprano Sumi Jo rose to stardom on the global music stage with her unrivaled talent and effort. I truly believe her experience and passion will inspire our students to expand their horizon of thought and knowledge,” said President Lee. Distinguished Professor Jo will also participate in convergence research at the Graduate School of Culture Technology with KAIST professors and many other experts. The Sumi Jo Performing Arts Research Center at the Graduate School of Culture Technology will conduct research on the converging of imaging and audio processing technologies that will enhance virtual artists’ performances. Distinguished Professor Jo explained, “The world is changing so fast. I look forward to working on culture technology research at KAIST that will raise our life quality.” Professor Juhan Nam from the Graduate School of Culture Technology said, “We look forward to working closely with her and her team to develop research themes that envision futuristic art combined with technology such as the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Coloratura soprano Jo was born in Seoul and educated at Seoul National University and the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Italy. Among her teachers were Carolo Bergonzi and Giasnnelas Borelli. Following her graduation from the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in 1985, she swept major international competitions in Seoul and Europe. In 1986, she was unanimously awarded the first prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition in Verona which is open only to the first-prize winners of major competitions. Since her debut in the role of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigolleto in Italy in 1986, she has performed on the world's biggest stages along with noted maestros such as Herbert von Karajan, Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, and James Levine. Distinguished Professor Jo, one of the most sought-after sopranos in the world, released more than 40 albums.
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