The renowned novelist Pearl S. Buck exhibited a sharp eye for talent and played a significant role in Joyce Noh’s career when the popular writer invited the young violinist to come to the United States from her native Seoul, South Korea, to further her music studies under a full scholarship.
Noh started playing violin at the age of five, and went on to win a host of competitions throughout Seoul. Her first teacher was her mother, a member of the Seoul Philharmonic. After arriving in the United States under the auspices of the humanitarian writer, Noh began studies at the New School of Music in Philadelphia with Jascha Brodsky. She spent a year at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, and from there went on to the Juilliard School, where she became a student of Ivan Galamian and studied chamber music with Felix Galimir and Robert Mann. Noh was a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for two years before she was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti in 1979 as the first Asian woman hired into the Orchestra.
In addition to television and radio broadcasts, Joyce Noh has appeared as soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on many occasions. In recent years, she has been an active recitalist in addition to making regular appearances with various CSO chamber music groups around the Chicago area. She also devotes her time to teaching and mentoring promising young violinists.