|Year of Birth:||1962|
Sumi Jo (조수미; Korean pronunciation: ; born 22 November 1962) is a Grammy Award-winning South Korean lyric coloratura soprano known for her interpretations of the bel canto repertoire.
Jo was born Jo Su-gyeong in Changwon, South Korea. Her mother was an amateur singer and pianist who had been unable to pursue her own professional music studies because of politics in Korea during the 1950s. Determined to provide her daughter with opportunities she never had, Jo's mother enrolled her in piano lessons at the age of 4 and later voice lessons at the age of 6. As a child, Jo would often spend up to eight hours a day studying music.
In 1976, Jo entered the Sun Hwa Arts School from which she graduated in 1980, receiving dual diplomas in voice and piano. She continued her music studies at Seoul National University from 1981 to 1983. While studying at SNU, Jo made her professional recital debut, appeared in several concerts with the Korean Broadcasting System, and made her professional operatic debut as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro with Seoul Opera.
In 1983, Jo left SNU in order to study at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Among her teachers were Carlo Bergonzi and Giannella Borelli. While Jo studied in Italy, she was frequently heard in concert in Italian cities and on national radio broadcasts and telecasts. It was during this time when Jo began to use "Sumi" as her stage name in order to make her name more friendly to European language speakers who often found it difficult to pronounce Su-gyeong. She graduated in 1985 with concentrations in keyboard and voice.