What's in Your Luggage?

I bought this carry-on case during my first year at graduate school. It has served me faithfully, and now I can pack up to two weeks worth of stuff in it. For this four-day trip, I had plenty of rooms for few extra things (see below),

When I first started this blog, I wanted to write some non-music related posts every now and then. So here is my first such post... 

I often end up reading every single issue of Delta Sky Magazine during some 60,000-plus miles I annually fly with the airline (I will have to write about my rapid ascent in Delta's Medallion Program and my obsession with the MQM someday). My favorite column is "Bag" where they reveal what various celebrities or successful entrepreneurs carry in their bag/suitcase. I happen to be on the road at the moment and decided to share what's in my bag:

My iPad has completely replaced my laptop since many years ago. The Belkin bluetooth keyboard/case makes it possible for me to do some heavy duty work on this iPad. I recently started carrying my Kindle again and am amazed how easy it is to read on it. I also started reading the addictive Murakami and brought a physical copy just in case. Finally, the leather tray helps me not to leave any valuables behind when I check in and out of different places. 

A scarf and UGG's wool sleepers keep me warm as the weather begins to cool down.

A concert attire and pair of black shoes are the must when traveling for concerts. 

I don't usually carry this much food with me. Granola mix and mixed nuts are easy easy to travel with. Apples supplement some much needed vitamins (I picked up several more from Atlanta's Delta Skyclub lounge). This time I also brought couple of Shin Noodle Bowl and a water boiler!

Things I forgot to bring: Starbucks VIA packs, a tumbler, a water bottle, and a pair of sneakers...

Next time, I will post a blog entitled "What's in Your Clarinet Case?" 


2014 August in South Korea

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 found this poster at Duo Music Seoul!

My CD is displayed far right at Duo Music's Gallery

Mozart Lecture at Duo Music Hall, Seoul

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:

Hall Lobby at Seongnam Arts Cetner

Steps to the Concert Hall



They also had some large banners with name on all over the street!

The street in front of Seungnam Arts Center had full of these banners

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. 

Dress Rehearsal with Seongnam Phil

Dress Rehearsal with Seongnam Phil

with Mastero Lim

Playing the basset clarinet

Playing the basset clarinet

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:

People lining up for my autograph!

People lining up for my autograph!

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.

A different view of Seoul

We ordered in some pizza with sweet potato topping

Rehearsing some trios

Isn't this a nice place?

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.

Entrance to Maria Callas Hall


They had some ultra high end speakers

They had some ultra high end speakers

We were even mentioned in a table mat in the restaurant

After the first performance by our "trio"

Reubin O'D Askew Young Alumni Award

Pictured at the 2014 Young Alumni Awards Dinner (left to right): Shayne Mifsud, Kevin Garvey, Wonkak Kim, Donna Lou Askew, Layla Dowdy, Carisa Champion-Lippmann and FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes.

I feel both incredibly honored and humbled to be one of the six recipients of the Florida State University's Reubin O'D Askew Young Alumni Award:

"The Florida State University Alumni Association’s Thirty Under 30 Award was created to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of FSU’s young alumni. Each recipient must show exceptional achievement and significant contributions to his or her profession, community/society or university. The recipient must exemplify outstanding professional and personal development either through traditional channels or innovative approaches.

"Up to six honorees may be chosen to also receive the Reubin O'D. Askew Young Alumni Award by members of the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors' Awards Committee. The Askew Award, presented for the first time in the spring of 2012, is the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the Alumni Association. "


The most exciting part was to meet with and get to know the fellow awardees and other Thirty under 30 inductees. They all had amazing stories to share, and the reception dinner was one inspiring evening! I look forward to continue making the best out of my career for many decades to come. I also feel immensely proud to be a Nole!

FSU Grads Made Good at FSU Alumni Center

Since I was in Tallahassee, I drove by the old apartment I used to live while in grad school. Nostalgia...

Alumni Dinner Reception. Nice food, isn't it?

Some goodies I get to keep!