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It will be a memorable return for me to play with Incheon Philharmonic Orchestra this June (21th) in Incheon Arts Center, Korea.
December 50 years ago, I made my debut concert with the same orchestra under the baton of the late Prof. J S Kim. This time it will be Brahms d-minor with maestro Byung-Wook Lee.
In May, I am looking forward to visit Europe, giving solo recitals in Schloss Göden, Ostfriesland, Germany (May 17), in the historic Bösendorfer Salon in Vienna (May 21) and in the beautiful Palais Lichtenau in Potsdam (May 22).
Prior to the tour, I give a piano master class in Manhattan School of Music (April 11) and a solo recital & master class for the Abell Master Series at UCLA (May 2) in the States.
December 13th, I had an honor to give a first recital on the newly purchased Steinway (New York) piano as one of the newest members of the Peabody Cibservatory faculty, at the newly opened Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center Washington DC.
I chose J.S. Bach’s timeless Goldberg Variations for this occasion. Below is my program note:
This monumental variation set by J. S. Bach exhibits excellence in every aspect. Not only does it demonstrate exceptional composition skills in terms of harmony, motive, compact and balanced rhythm, but it also follows a specific structure with three variations forming a unified whole, repeated ten times. In a symbolic sense, the number three represents the trinity, a source of perfection and creativity. The number ten signifies the completion of a cycle. For J.S. Bach, this cannot happen coincidentally. Nonetheless, it is not without humor!
Although the authenticity of the well-known story involving Count Kaiserling and the cembalist Gottlieb Goldberg is unclear, one undeniable fact remains: this music uplifts the spirit. It seems almost fateful that I chose to perform this piece for this particular concert. Reflecting on my past experiences, I realized that I often played the “Goldberg” before or after significant milestones in my life. The music of Bach has always been an irreplaceable resource for my soul, providing alignment whenever I needed it.
I feel uplifted to present this rare musical collision of devotion and meditation during this special time of year, marking both JHU’s occasion and my own.
A return to California area after decades: Artcial International Piano Festival & Competition as a jury & faculty. (August 2-5, San Francisco, CA, US)
A concert of György Ligeti’s 100th anniversary at SNU Ensemble Academy in the Powerplant of Seoul National University. (May 31) My student Sunwha Lee performed Ligeti’s Horn Trio with Seoul Philharmonic players Sergei Lee (Horn) & Haesung Choi (Vn) and I performed two of Unsuk Chin’s etudes and the last sonata of Franz Schubert, the favorite and most meaningful work for Ligeti and also for me. Another my proud student, Dr. Jung-Eun Yoon gave insightful talks about Ligeti and wrapped up the event with Ligeti’s etude ‘arc en ciel’ most beautifully. My memorable farewell concert for SNU –
Lovely visit to HongKong Academy for Performing Arts to give piano master classes for young talents! (May 3-5)
It is always a huge delight and honor to visit Guildhall School of Music & Drama. (Master Class on March 13)