When she was a kid, Beata Moon just wanted to fit in. Born in North Dakota and raised in Indiana, she found that being Korean-American set her apart. So did her prodigious talent at the piano.
Moon made her musical debut at age 8 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She enrolled as at the Juilliard School to study piano with Adele Marcus. But when she got to graduate school, she started to question her choices.
“I had always done what my teachers told me to do and what my parents wanted me to do,” Moon says, “I just needed a break.”
One of her first jobs when she took a semester off was to improvise for a modern dance class. That got her thinking about composing.
She is essentially self-taught as a composer. Critic Kyle Gann calls her music "post-minimalist," "charmingly at ease," and “. . . dipping lightly into Copland and Messiaen, but really bubbling up out of her own imagination, as though she has crossed paths with the post-minimalists only by coincidence.”
Moon says she feel fortunate to have been safe and healthy this past year. She's been able to teach and work from home. But she’s troubled by the recent rise in anti-Asian sentiment.
Watch the whole interview with WXXI’s Brenda Tremblay here.