After Touring Abroad, Cellist Schedules 6 Dates Back Home

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After Touring Abroad, Cellist Schedules 6 Dates Back Home

Cellist Chang Han-na is returning to her homeland for her first solo recital in two years. The last time she performed for any Korean audience was at the gala concert with the National Orchestra of North Korea last year. Ms. Chang was at the forefront of that significant event, linking North and South Korean orchestras.

All of which means her music fans here have not had a chance to listen to her perform any selections from "Swan," her third album that was released last year.

In order to play for her fans, Ms. Chang in coming for a tour that will take her all over Korea, starting in Taegu on Monday, followed by Ulsan on Tuesday, Cheongju on Wednesday, Chuncheon on Aug. 17, Seoul on Aug. 18 and Suwon on Aug. 21.

Ms. Chang is going to treat her patient fans by performing yet-to-be-released pieces such as Richard Strauss's "Sonata" and Robert Schumann's "Fantasy." In the second half of the concert, she will present selections from "Swan" including Rachmaninov's "Vocalise," Faure's "After a Dream," Saint-Saens' "The Swan" and David Popper's "Dance of the Elves." The album was recorded with Leonard Slatkin and the Philharmonia Orchestra, but for the tour, she will be accompanied by the pianist Daria Hovora. Hovora has played with Ms. Chang since her Rostropovich International Cello Competition in 1994.

Ms. Chang has been a busy performer, playing at many international music festivals. Her most recent concert was at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts on July 15 where she did Saint-Saens' "Concerto for Cello."

In a telephone interview after the festival she said, "I'd like to add 'Elegy for Cello and Piano' by Faure in the beginning of the program in order to cherish Guiseppe Sinopoli's memory." Sinopoli was an important influence on Ms. Chang, going back to 1995 when she made her Seoul debut conducted by the then-conductor of the Dresden Staatskapelle Orchestra.

Behind Ms. Chang's current accomplishments have been the support of some of the most respected musicians in the world, such as Mischa Maisky, Mstislav Rostropovich, Guiseppe Sinopoli, Charels Dutoit and Lorin Maazel.

Starting with a concert with the Cincinnati Symphony at Carnegie Hall in the beginning of this year, Ms. Chang added Shostakovich's "Concerto for Cello" series to her repertoire. Those who missed hearing it will have another opportunity at the opening of James Conlon and the Cologne Philharmonic in late August. Up next for Ms. Chang is Prokofiev's "Sinfonia Concertante" that will be added in her fourth album coming next March, complemented by the London Symphony.

Ms. Chang attended the Verviers Music Festival in Switzerland for four days last month before heading to back to Korea. Next month she will begin another chapter in her life when she enrolls at Harvard University. She said she will study literature and philosophy in order to add depth and character to her performances.

by Lee Jang-jik

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