I feel very fortunate having spent incredible last three weeks of my summer in Korea. The trip is long but I take it quite frequently to visit my family. This time, I had all that, some great food, and also lots of music.
During the first week, I had a chance to meet and work with wonderful people at Duo Music Seoul. Not only they took a great care of my instruments, but spent untold amount of hours with me to make sure that I feel comfortable with the Buffet Prestige basset clarinet. I was also invited to give a lecture entitled "Mozart, Stadler, and the Basset Clarinet" at Duo Hall for a group of brilliant clarinet student's from Seoul's leading universities and high schools.
I was both anxious and stimulated for my upcoming performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concert, K. 622 on basset clarinet with Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra. Not only this was my debut with basset clarinet, but I was told that I am the first Korean clarinetist to have done it in Korea! The Seungnam Arts Center was truly impressive with a massive complex of concert halls, opera house, art galleries and restaurants:
They also had some large banners with name on all over the street!
Maestro Lim and musicians of the orchestra were very considerate and helped me to focus on my music making. I did not feel one-hundred per cent in commune with the instrument, yet, but gradually shifted my thoughts from various technical problems back to the music.
The performance will be broadcasted on Arte TV Korea, and I plan on posting the video when it becomes available. For the time being, I put together some clips from our dress rehearsal on my Video page.
I got to do some things that only famous people do:
It was also nice to catch up with many friends in Seoul. I and Grace got to hang out a bit and play a concert with our violinist friend Jiyeon. In preparing for our recital, we crammed in few hours in this secret location at the heart of Seoul ran by her management.
Our concert took place at Maria Callas Hall during lunchtime, and the program featured some short, but exciting works by composers like Saint-Saens, Widor, Piazzolla, etc. And of course, I played the Adagio from K. 622 on my basset clarinet. The concert was documented in detail (in Korean, and with many pictures...) here.