A recipient of the Marina Grin and the Classical Music Awards, Kyu Butler is an accomplished pianist and has received awards from 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. Butler has trained with such masters as Leon Fleisher, Aldo Ciccolini, Menahem Pressler, Yefim Bronfman, Vladimir Feltsman, Boris Slutsky, Timothy Ehlen, Daniel Schene and many others in US, Europe, and Asia. Butler is actively performing at prestigious stages such as Krannert Center for Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center, and Carnegie Hall. Butler performed as a soloist with the Korea Soloists Orchestra under the baton of her own teacher, Maestro Ian Hobson in 2018. In the 2019 - 2020, she was invited to perform at Blackburn College, St. Louis University, and University of Illinois at Springfield as a guest artist.
Butler graduated from Ye-Won Arts Middle School and Seoul Arts High School in Korea and she received her Bachelor of Music from The Korean National University of Arts’ School of Music. Here she studied with Mr. Choong-Mo Kang, a former faculty member of the Juilliard School in New York City. Butler also received a Master of Music in piano performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Mack McCray. She also received her Professional Studies Diploma in Early Historical Keyboards with emphasis on Fortepiano from the Conservatory.
Butler studied with the renowned pianist and conductor Dr. Ian Hobson at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with full scholarship for Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature and Master of Music in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying. Butler has completed the 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 studio accompanist at the University of Illinois. Butler recently became a NCTM (Nationally Certified Teacher of Music) in piano and has been certified as an Elementary Specialist by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada.
Butler runs a private studio in Saint Louis, MO. She is also an adjunct faculty at the Community Music School of Webster University. Her students have won local and nation-wide competitions, festivals, exams and auditions. One of her recipient students of the “State Certificate of Excellence” award at Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Exam was selected among 12 states in Midwest to perform at the Chicago Symphony Hall in March 2020.
Butler’s current research focus on preventing injuries and wellness for pianists is influenced by personal experience. Butler’s work was selected for presentations at the Music Teachers National Association’s National Conference in Spokane WA, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago IL in 2019, and World Piano Teachers Association Conference in 2020. Her superb presentation resulted in an invitation to write a paper for MTNA E-Journal, which will be published in September 2020. As a pedagogue, Butler was invited to conduct masterclasses and a lecture at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2019 and Illinois Wesleyan University in 2020.
Butler is a Co-Vice President of Missouri MTA, and President of St. Louis Area MTA, as well as Chair of SLAMTA’s Young Artist Competition. She recently inaugurated as President of World Piano Teachers Association USA-Missouri and created concert series, master class series, and Amateur Competition which draw international attention. Butler is a member of MTNA, SLAMTA, WPTA, Piano Teachers Round Table in St. Louis, The Korean National Association of Piano Pedagogy, and The Pianissimo - The Musical Arts Association of Korea.