Younghi Pagh-Paan Collection

Younghi Pagh-Paan
Korean-German composer

born October 26, 1945 (lunar calendar) / November 30, 1945 (solar calendar), in Cheongju, South Korea


Younghi Pagh-Paan comes from the first generation of Asian composers who were born after World War II and received their training primarily in Europe. Her music unites a contemporary post-serial idiom with spiritual and musical traditions from her native Korea.

Pagh-Paan’s oeuvre contains more than 80 works, with pride of place going to chamber music for various combinations of instruments, frequently with percussion. Much of her music also highlights her relation to works of literature; she has set lyric poetry by Anna Akhmatova, Rose Ausländer and Louise Labé as well as Heinrich Heine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Angelus Silesius, not to mention Korean poets. Her magnum opus, alongside her orchestral pieces Sori (1979-80) and Nim (1986-87), is her sole work of music theatre, Mondschatten (‘Moonshadows’, 2002-05), on a libretto based on Sophocles’ tragedy Oedipus at Colonus. It received its première at the Stuttgart State Opera in 2006.

Younghi Pagh-Paan at the Donaueschingen Festival, 1980 (photo PSS)
Younghi Pagh-Paan at the Donaueschingen Festival, 1980 (photo PSS)
Younghi Pagh-Paan, Sketch for Sori for large orchestra (1979–80)
Younghi Pagh-Paan, Sketch for Sori for large orchestra (1979–80)

From 1965 to 1971 Pagh-Paan studied music theory and composition at Seoul National University. In 1974 she travelled to Germany on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in order to pursue her studies at the Freiburg Musikhochschule, where her teachers included Klaus Huber (composition), Brian Ferneyhough (analysis) and Edith Picht-Axenfeld (piano). Her breakthrough as a composer came in 1980 with the performance of her orchestral work Sori at the Donaueschingen Festival. After teaching as a visiting professor at the Musikhochschulen in Graz and Karlsruhe, she became professor of composition at the University of the Arts in Bremen (1994-2001), where she also founded the Atelier Neue Musik.

Established in 2013, the Younghi Pagh-Paan Collection contains sketches, drafts and fair copies of all her compositions as well as jottings and pieces from her student years. At the moment, it has only isolated items of correspondence and documentary material, but the collection is being enlarged on an ongoing basis.

Scope of holdings

  • Music manuscripts: ca. 100 folders
  • Textual manuscripts: 1 archival box
  • Correspondence: 1 archival box
  • Programmes / reviews: 1 archival box
  • Photos: ca. 200
  • Sound recordings: 10 DAT tapes

Period covered

since ca. 1972


  • 2013 Collection enters the PSS holdings
  • 2015 First supplementary delivery of current manuscripts


  • Younghi Pagh-Paan: Music manuscripts (7 February 2019) - PDF online
  • Internal inventories

Internal links


External links

Editor: Ricordi


18 September 2019