Sumi Jo, the Grammy Award-winning Korean soprano, has been appointed as an honorary ambassador for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The PyeongChang Organising Committee (POCOG) made the announcement on 22 May at a special event, held at the Foreign Press Centre in the Republic of Korea capital Seoul. She is the latest member of an impressive roster of ambassadors who will help to promote the 2018 Winter Games.
Sumi Jo was born in Changwon (KOR) in 1962 and it wasn’t long before her musical flair was noticed. Her mother enrolled her into piano lessons at the tender age of four and singing lessons just two years later. While still a teenager, she graduated from the Sun Hwa Arts School with diplomas in voice and piano. It soon became clear that Sumi Jo’s talents lay in opera and she made her professional recital debut with the Seoul Opera while still a student at Seoul National University.
Soon after leaving university, Sumi Jo moved to Italy to study music at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and has since developed into a world-renowned soprano. She has performed in some of the world’s greatest cities including New York, Paris, Barcelona and London and has appeared with the world’s best operas and orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Sumi Jo has, to date, recorded ten solo albums, and gained international acclaim when she was nominated for an Academy Award in 2015 for her vocal recording on the movie, “Youth”, ultimately losing out to Sam Smith who won for his song, “Writing’s on the Wall” for the James Bond film, “Spectre”.
PyeongChang 2018 will not be Sumi Jo’s first involvement in a major sporting event; in fact, she is something of a veteran of the sporting arena. The Korean diva performed at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Football World Cup which was held in the Republic of Korea and Japan, the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the 2011 World Athletics Championships, which took place in Daegu and she admits that she is delighted to have the privilege of being invited to be an ambassador for next year’s Olympic Winter Games in her home country. “I am thrilled to be an ambassador for PyeongChang 2018,” she said. “To have the chance to help celebrate and promote Korean music, culture and sport to the world through the Games is a huge honour. It is going to be a wonderful experience being part of the fun and festivities next year.”
POCOG meanwhile is delighted to have enlisted someone of the calibre of Sumi Jo as an ambassador and the organisers hope that her presence will help to promote the 2018 Winter Games to a wider audience. “Culture is one of the key pillars of PyeongChang 2018 as we aim to showcase Korean culture and creativity to the world,” said POCOG President LEE Hee-Beom, before adding: “Sumi Jo is a global musical icon, and we are delighted that she is going to help us spread the word about PyeongChang 2018 to a new audience and be part of our cultural celebrations across Gangwon Province.”To have the chance to help celebrate and promote Korean music, culture and sport to the world through the Games is a huge honour.Sumi Jo