Solo pianist to end Korean tour in SeoulSolo pianist George Winston captured the heart of Koreans with his “December” album, which also led him to international fame. At one point, songs from the album, such as “Carol of the Bells,” “Thanksgiving” and “Pachelbel’s Kanon,” were so popular they seemed to be played everywhere in Korea, in cafes, restaurants, stores and on the streets. Since then, George Winston has become almost synonymous with “New Age” music, even though he does not like that designation.
Winston said the main influence for his piano music comes from rhythm & blues and jazz, and he also plays harmonica and guitar.
Born in the state of Montana, in the United States, in 1949, Winston was heavily influenced by his surroundings. “The beautiful scenery that changes every season has been the source of my musical inspiration,” Winston once said.
Winston calls his music “piano folk songs” and said he tries to be influenced by nature and to use his music to emulate nature.
His favorite music while growing up, Winston said, was instrumental rock and rhythm & blues. He began playing the organ in 1967 and turned to the acoustic piano in 1971, and recorded his first solo album, “Ballads and Blues 1972,” a year later. Since 1980, Winston has released eight more solo albums, many with seasonal themes: “Autumn” (1980), “Winter into Spring” (1982), “December” (1982), “Summer” (1991) and “Forrest” (1994). Winston said he composes one or two songs a year without planning or an intent to compose.
Most recently, he recorded “Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions ― A Hurricane Relief Benefit,” dedicated to hurricane relief efforts. The album will be released in September.
Winston has performed in Korea five times and will play again in Seoul this weekend at the Seoul Arts Center, concluding a Korean tour that began on June 22.
The Saturday performance, which starts at 8 p.m., is titled “The Summer Show” and Winston will play solo piano, guitar and harmonica songs such as “Rain,” “Woods,” and “Fragrant Fields.” The Sunday show, which starts at 4 p.m., is called “The Winter Show,” at which Winston intends to play many of the songs from the “December” album, already well-known to Korean audiences.
by Limb Jae-un
The performance starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 p.m. on Sunday, at the Seoul Arts Center. Ticket prices are 30,000 won to 120,000 won. For information, call 02-548-4480 or visit www.seoularts.com.