This grad is on fire. John Yun on Alicia Keys’ Broadway musical team

John Yun, MMus'12, is the associate music director for the Alicia Keys Broadway musical Hells Kitchen, opening April 20. (Photo credit: Curt O'Neil Photographer)

Article via Western News:

How does a boy from ‘The Soo’ land on Broadway, working alongside Grammy award-winning artist Alicia Keys?

“Isn’t that the craziest thing ever?” John Yun, MMus’12 said, reflecting on the path that’s brought him to his current role as associate music director for Hell’s Kitchen, Keys’ semi-autobiographical Broadway musical opening April 20.

This is the third Broadway show for Yun, who served as associate conductor for Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ in 2023, and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical from 2021 to 2022.

But it was the furthest thing from his mind growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., where he worshipped hockey heroes, playing just as much ‘shinny’ and soccer as piano.

He stopped playing piano for two years during high school, losing interest until he discovered Canadian jazz pianist and composer Oscar Peterson though a CBC television special.

“I was blown away,” Yun said. So much so, he “reconsidered his choices in life,” and pursued his undergraduate degree in music.

“But I still wasn’t really thinking about music as a career,” he said. “I was a late bloomer that way. Even when I arrived at Western to do my master’s, I was still very behind the curve. I remember my first studio session with professor Stéphan Sylvestre in a room full of very strong pianists, and I was not prepared.”

Yun credits Sylvestre for “opening his eyes.”

Read full article via Western News: This grad is on fire. John Yun on Alicia Keys' Broadway musical team
By Keri Ferguson, April 18, 2024

Related links

Piano Division - Don Wright Faculty of Music

Graduate Studies in Music at Western