Back To Articles
February 23, 2024

Music in My Life: Byul “Bella” Seo, Violin

Tell us about your family.

I come from a big, lively family with four siblings and one niece and two nephews. Family gatherings are always energetic and full of
laughter. They’ve always encouraged me to follow my dreams and supported my decisions. While I’m the only one pursuing a musical
career, I find joy in sharing the beauty of music with my family and it adds a musical and enjoyable element to our family connections.

When did you start playing the violin?

My musical journey began at the age of three when I developed a fascination with sitting on the piano bench and delicately touching its keys. According to my mom, I had this habit of wanting to “play” the piano around 10 p.m., which concerned her that I might bother neighbors. It seemed my internal clock had its own preferred performance time. This early fascination sparked my dream of becoming a pianist, setting me on a musical adventure. In elementary school I accidentally stumbled upon a violin recital by KyungHwa Chung that completely stole my heart. The sound of the strings instantly grabbed my attention, and I knew I had found my new passion—the violin.

What do you enjoy about being part of the ISO?

I am from Daejeon, South Korea, and Indiana is the first place I’ve lived in the U.S. Being a musician here feels like I’m performing for my own community, which brings me immense joy. Sharing a diverse range of music with the people of Indy has been such a fulfilling experience. Working with talented musicians has not only sharpened my skills as a professional but inspires me to contribute my best work. I’m honored to be a part of a team that delivers outstanding music.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not performing?

Outside of music, I’m out exploring Indy’s hidden spots with friends. Here’s a fun fact about me—I’ve recently started hitting the gym and I’ve taken an interest in learning golf—a new endeavor.

Any advice for someone considering a career in the orchestra?

I think exposure to various concerts and diverse experiences can be helpful. And there’s a ton of orchestral repertoire out there, and exploring new pieces creates opportunities to grow. I’ve still got a bunch on my list to dive into! Also, playing chamber music is a chance to get creative, bounce musical ideas around, and really connect with fellow musicians. It’s a great way to learn, get togeth-
er, and produce one beautiful sound. Most importantly, it’s so much fun!

What do you want our audience members to know about the ISO?

I can’t emphasize enough how talented our ISO musicians are. I encourage our audience to dive into the variety of music we offer. You might find an appreciation for a new genre, from classical to pops and beyond.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

Last season, I had an opportunity to perform with pianist Joyce Yang. What’s even more fascinating is that Joyce’s aunt was my very first music teacher, the one I credit for introducing me to this magical world of music. I grew up hearing all about Joyce Yang and dreamed of being an amazing pianist like her, until my passion shifted to the violin. Sharing the stage with Joyce was like revisiting my first love for music.