ICA ClarinetFest 2015 Madrid, Spain

It was a great privilege to be invited to perform at the 2015 ClarinetFest in Madrid, Spain. I spent a week of July in this beautiful city, meeting some amazing clarinetists and friends, playing great music, and enjoying plenty of sightseeing. My recital featured two American works for clarinet and piano: Leonard Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata and Peter Lieuwen's new work, Bright River (2014), with this performance being the official European Premiere. I was thrilled to be joined by my friend Sasha from London. 

After the recital with pianist Sasha

Excerpts from my ClarinetFest recital prepared by Silverstein Works

Grand Entrance to Conde Duque

I was also delighted that Peter (the composer) flew all the way with his wonderful wife attended our concert with his nephew who happened to be living in Madrid. It was the first time Peter heard Bright River being performed. I am looking forward to see him again during my residency at Texas A&M University in College Station, TN in September where I will perform this work again. 

Post recital dinner at a local restaurant, where I had a kangaroo burger!

Despite my unfamiliarity with this part of Europe, there was something very elegant yet approachable in this city. A great deal of vibrancy and wonderful foods...

View from my room in Madrid

Due to a last-minute absence by a clarinetist in KoMo Clarinet Quartet, I was invited to fill in the spot for their concert at the end of the week. I not only got to play some fun music, but was very fortunate to become good friends with Useon, Geonju and Maxine, all wonderful musicians and people!

@Madrid Conservatory with the members of Komo Quartet

Dinner at an extremely fancy restaurant in downtown with my friends from Silverstein Works, Calvin and BK (CEO and President) 

with Karl Leister

Among many other things I got to do in Madrid, the visit to Muso Prado singularly stands out. The museum houses some of the greatest works that are familiar to us. I was more impressed by its unique organization and distinct taste of the Spanish monarchs who curated the selections throughout past many centuries.

Muso Nacional del Prado

Special 10-piece Picasso Exhibit @ Museo Prado 

2015 Summer Plan

An unrelated image taken several years ago in Minneapolis, MN. 

May 13-18 - New York City and Alpine, NJ

May 30-June 5 - Chapel Hill, NC

June 20-25 - Washington D.C. and Northern VA 

June 26-30 - Greensboro, NC

July 1-3 - Harlaxton, UK 

July 4-8 - London, UK

July 8-19 - Greensboro, NC

July 20-26 - Madrid, Spain 

July 27-August 1 - Greensboro and Raleigh, NC

I am looking forward to a busy but fun-filled summer! In May, I will be in Alpine, NJ and NYC, visiting friends and family as well as doing some consulting works. I was also invited to be an Artist-in-Residence at local youth orchestra in Murfreesboro and will work with young musicians there at the end of the month. I will need to find some time here and there to work on edits for two of my upcoming CDs (enahke's Piazzolla CD on MSR and Krehl's chamber music on Naxos) as well as a clarinet textbook for my studio.  

In June, I will return to Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop (my sixth year). Aside from working with many long-time participants and friends, I am excited to welcome my friends from the Larchmere String Quartet to be this year's ensemble-in-residence with whom I will perform Stephan Krehl's Clarinet Quintet, op. 19. I am also looking forward to performing a series of recitals in Northern VA (Lyceum Chamber Music Series) and D.C. area with Grace, featuring the world premiere performance of Peter Lieuwen's Bright River for Clarinet and Piano (the work we commissioned), as well as works by Bernstein, Devienne, Martinu, and more. Later in June, I will take up a residence at my friend Jacob's house in Greensboro, NC. with Grace, who will serve on the piano faculty at the Eastern Music Festival for the next five weeks. 

July will be a very busy month for me, as I will make couple of overseas trips. First, I will be visiting my students at the Harlaxton Chamber Music Festival earlier that month. You can read about this on my recent blogpost. I am also excited to collaborate with my friend and amazing pianist Sasha Karpeyev. Sasha will perform with me in Madrid at this year's ICA Conference in Madrid, and we will work on a number of projects (including our US performance in March 2016) during my stay in London. I have not seen Sasha since our time together at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival back in 2011 and am really looking forward to our collaboration. After couple weeks off in Greensboro, I will be back in Europe to be a part of ICA ClarinetFest in Madrid, where I will present the European premiere of Peter Lieuwen's new work for clarinet and piano. 

For more details and specific dates/times/venues, please visit my calendar page. I am much relieved that I will be back home in August to get ready for 2015-16. It will be a demanding academic year with 19 students and 5 senior student recitals as well as some major performance opportunities for me. Please stay tuned for some great projects planned for the next season!

[Press Clipping] Exploring New Opportunities with Mixed Chamber Ensembles with Wonkak Kim and enhakē

The following article appeared on the official blog of the International ClarinetFest 2014 following my performance/lecture with enhakē at the ClarinetFest in Baton Rouge, LA. The article is written by my wonderful colleague Dr. Tim Phillips, clarinet professor at Troy University.


On Saturday at 10:00 AM in the Black Box Theater, clarinetist Wonkak Kim and his chamber ensemble enhakē presented a lecture entitled “Exploring New Opportunities with Mixed Chamber Ensembles.” The ensemble consisted of Kim, violinist M. Brent Williams, cellist Katherine Geeseman Decker, and pianist Grace Eunhye Choi. (It should be noted that Choi is not a regular member of the group, but was filling in for one member who had recently had a child.)

The lecture began with the group performing the Breakdown Tango by John Mackey. This work was originally  composed for Antares (formerly Elm City Ensemble) and has been performed by them at least 100 times. After the performance, Kim presented some “trivia” information about the group. He indicated that they met when they were students at Florida State University, hence the name of the group. Enhakē actually means “sound” in the Seminole language. He then guided the lecture through a series of topics: Disclaimer — things don’t always work out as planned, working with each other, establishing short-term goals, taking advantage of each other, reaching out, taking tangos to Argentina and choros to Brazil, (re)investing in the future, commissions, and recording.

Kim stressed the importance of developing friendships with the members of your chamber group. Of course, as life evolves, it is likely that you will eventually encounter individual changes of location and family circumstances. Yet, these changes do not mean that the ensemble can no longer rehearse and perform. He suggested having a handful of pieces that you return to frequently, allowing the group to really get to know each other as musicians.

Violinist M. Brent Williams explained that he had done several arrangements for the group and they performed two of these arrangements, Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla and a Brazilian choro. They noted that all of these arrangements are available for purchase on their website www.enhake.com. The session ended with the group performing a section of a new piece they recently commissioned from well-known composer Libby Larsen.

Throughout the lecture, Wonkak Kim was engaging and jovial. The other members of the group chimed in occasionally, and their performances were of the highest quality. This session was an excellent contribution to the Clarinetist as Entrepreneur theme of this conference.

–Notes by Timothy Phillips
Timothy Phillips serves as Associate Professor of Clarinet at the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and manages Clarinet Corner, weekly program on Troy University Public Radio.


Source: http://clarinetfest.wordpress.com/2014/08/...