Growing up as an ethnic Korean in Japan has given Kunihiko Ryo a unique perspective on the big picture, something that is especially useful in his role as music director for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

A pianist, composer and former anesthesiologist, Ryo, whose Korean name is Yang Bang Ean, was born in Tokyo as the youngest of five children to a North Korean mother and South Korean father.

His background in music production, for the likes of J-pop singer-songwriter Shogo Hamada and former Hong Kong rock band Beyond, has had a heavy influence on shaping his eclectic style, which has, in turn, played out in the storylines for the pageantry at the games, which wrap up Feb. 25.