My recent CD with enhake, entitled Prepárense: The Piazzolla Project, received a glowing review from the renowned classical music magazine, Gramophone. I, along with other members, had an opportunity to do a short interview about our recent endeavors as a new music ensemble few weeks ago, and it was also featured in Gramophone's November issue. Here is a short excerpt from the incredibly positive article:
I am very excited to announce that TTU Clarinet Ensemble is invited to perform at International ClarinetFest® 2017 in Orlando, FL this summer! What an exciting opportunity for our students, and I cannot wait to introduce them to the clarinet madness! We will be premiering a new work written for our group, and we will collaborate with the bass clarinetists from the exciting duo Sqwonk from San Francisco. Please stay tuned for updates and details.
This past weekend, I visited Santa Fe, NM for the first time for a concert with enhake as well as our performance/presentation at the College Music Society's National Conference. The town was truly beautiful, and the wonderful weather only made the trip even more pleasant. There were many elements of challenges, however, as it was our first time flying with our 5-month old daughter. Fortunately, she was an incredible baby all throughout, and we were able to survive some pretty hectic schedule.
As a part of our presentation on Thursday, I performed enhake a program entitled "Mixed Quartet inspired by the American Southwest." It featured three compositions: Gulfstream by Peter Lieuwen, Red Vesper by David Biedenbender, and Rodeo Queen of Heaven by Libby Larsen.
Another great perk about this trip was getting to hang out with my wonderful colleagues and friends. enhake boasts an increasingly growing family, and it was very special to see our babies all gathered together! We enjoyed some great sight-seeing, fine dining experience, and many shops all over the downtown. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was particularly impressive with its interesting history, many notable relics, etc.
Our evening recital at the Southwest Arts was quite satisfying, and we were thrilled to have Peter Lieuwen and David Biedenbender attend our concert.
I had a distinct pleasure of playing with the Newberry's Victorian Cornet Band last night. The ensemble consists of wind players from around the country who specialize in early music, particularly the music of the late 19th century America on instruments from the same period. In fact, I was told NVCB is the only professional ensemble who exclusively performs music from this period on such authentic setting. Although the majority of the band are brass instruments, there happened to be four clarinets and a flute/piccolo, too. I was asked to play with them on their concert at TTU earlier this semester, so that's how I ended up there. The period ensemble tunes to A=454, and the clarinet section plays on Albert's System clarinet. Fortunately, they obtained a nice Boehm System PH Buffet for me, so I had not much trouble playing my part with them!
I particularly enjoyed getting to know the clarinetists of the band. Larry Bocaner, a former bass clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra in D.C. actually studied with the legendary Daniel Bonade! I was so glad that he was able to give a master class for my studio, and we absorbed plenty of his many insights and wisdom. Thomas Carroll, an early clarinet specialist from Boston also gave a nice lecture on 5-key clarinet and demonstrated several passages from the classical and early Romantic eras.
This was a unique experience for me, and performing with them gave me a sense of traveling back in time of the Civil War America. I look forward to the next opportunity I get to see them and some wonderful new friends I made.
I had a great pleasure of being a part of the Tokyo to New York 2016 Series at Bargemusic, NYC. It was busy schedule catching up with some old friends, meeting with new colleagues and making some wonderful music.
I collaborated with the clarinetist Thomas Piercy, and we only had few hours to put together a very challenging work called "Duo Capriccioso" by Hidemi Miaki. Despite the time constraint, I was very happy with the soundscape we created playing this wonderful work.
The performance at Bargemusic was very special for its wonderful view overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline along with the occasional turbulences that passing by boats through at the "floating concert hall." It was great to play for a full house of enthusiastic audience, and I was thrilled to see that so many people who genuinely support the creation/performance of new music. I certainly look forward to the opportunity to return to this wonderful venue in near future.
I first met Attacca Quartet back in 2011 at the finalist/winner reception of the Osaka International Competition & Festa. I was a participant with enhake in the Festa division, and I remember meeting Attacca who was the 1st prize winner of the chamber music competition. It is a small world, because I then got to see them again and play together at Norfolk Summer Music Festival only few months later. This time, I invited them over to my university's Center Stage Series, where we collaborated on Mozart Clarinet Quintet. I was only to happy to play this all-time favorite with such exciting group of musicians and friends. Playing this for the first time on basset clarinet was an added bonus. Here is a brief clip from our run-through, and I hope to post the performance video here soon:
The incredibly busy week is almost over. Now I am headed to NYC for a performance at Bargemusic and take care of few businesses and back for the Bryan Symphony Concert on Sunday...
I realized that my program for this year's faculty recital was a bit ambitious, considering now that I and Grace have to fit our 3-month old daughter Tayeon into the equation! Fortunately, between some help from our wonderful student/babysitter and the baby being such angel, I was able to find both find sufficient time for myself to work and play the recital without any disruption. The program included virtuosic solo piece called "Clarinettologia" by Trincanti, "Rigoletto Fantasy" by Verdi/Bassi, Saint-Saëns's Clarinet Sonata, Schubert's "Shepherd on the Rock" along with few other small works. The last piece was in collaboration with the soprano Sabrina Laney Warren, whom I first met when she came to sing with the Bryan Symphony Orchestra on Marhler 4th Symphony several years ago.
Since I perform with Grace as a duo all the time, we really enjoy when jointly collaborating with others. This was our first performance of Schubert's much beloved work, and we were all so glad that we moved forward with the idea! The trio will perform again soon at WPLN Nashville Public Radio's Live in Studio C, as well as our appearance at the Beethoven Club of Memphis later in March 2017, thanks to Sabrina's invitation. Looking forward to playing together soon!
Enjoy this brief preview clip from our final run-through of the Schubert:
It appears that my photo was included in a recent post entitled "10 Notable Korean Clarinetists" by the popular Korean Clarinet Page called "Fall into The Clarinet." I am both surprised and honored to find my picture among these incredible players, especially since there are so many phenomenal Korean clarinetists out there! I have only recently began active performance schedule in Korea (mainly in the summer) playing at some notable venues such as the Seoul Arts Center's IBK Hall, and I look forward to expanding my concert, teaching and recruiting activities there in coming years.
I had a great time working with the wonderful musicians and friends of Mirus Trio, a fabulous group based in Seoul. The cellist of the group, Jayoung, is my longtime friend and fellow founding member of enhake, and she has been teaching and performing in Seoul since she moved back to Korea several years ago. They kindly invited me to perform Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time, and every minute of the rehearsel was much fun.
We had our first run-through performance at TLI Hall in Seongnam City couple days ago before our important concert at Seoul Arts Center. I was amazed at the superior acoustics of the SAC's beautiful IBK Chamber Hall. The hall seats about 800 people, and our concert was completely sold-out and packed. It was not difficult to stay inspired throughout this grueling work, and I very much look forward to our upcoming collaborations.
Incidentally, this happened to be my 60th performance of this monumental work!