Holiday show features pure musical talent

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Holiday show features pure musical talent

A concert featuring one of Korea’s most sought after pianists and violists performing familiar classical music, including Beethoven’s “Nocturne,” on Christmas Eve would make a wonderful Christmas gift.
And that’s exactly what fans will get when pianist Paik Hye-sun and violist Choi Ensik play a special show in Seoul at the Kumho Art Hall on Dec. 24.
Critics and classical music fans worldwide hail pianist Ms. Paik for her artistic expression and technique, while Mr. Choi was chosen as a special contributor to Korean classical music in 1997, 1999 and 2001. The two are married.
Ms. Paik rose to stardom in 1994 when she won a bronze medal in that year’s Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, the first Korean to win a prize at the event.
She also won a gold medal in 1989 in the William Kapell International Competition in the United States, which was immediately followed by a sold-out solo recital at Lincoln Center in New York.
Ms. Paik was critically acclaimed for her “sublime musicianship” and “stunning virtuosity.” Following her New York recital debut, the New York Times stated: “In programming as well as performance, one could hardly have asked more from a debut recital. Ms. Paik seemed every bit the major talent her advance billing suggested.”
Ms. Paik has performed with a number of prominent orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony, Moscow State Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, KBS Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic orchestras. She has been invited to perform in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Argentina, Chile and Japan.
Mr. Choi won the top prize in a young artist competition sponsored by Brentwood-Westwood Orchestra when he was studying under the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s principal violist, Heichiro Oyama. He later attended the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he also taught. Mr. Choi has performed at Lincoln Center, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and Wigmore Hall in London.
Besides Beethoven’s “Nocturne,” they will present Ravel’s “La Valse,” and Franck’s Sonata in A Major. The “Nocturne” was a piece for piano, violin and viola, but later it was arranged by F.X. Kleinheinz for viola and piano with the approval of Beethoven. “La Valse” was originally composed as an orchestral piece for dance performances, but was later presented without dance.


by Limb Jae-un

The concert will be held at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Ticket prices are 30,000 won ($26) to 40,000 won. For more information, call (02) 1588-7890 or visit www.kumhoarthall.com. Kumho Art Hall can be reached from Gwanghwamun station on subway line No. 5, exit 7.
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