Young violinist readies to charm audiences

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jan 6, 2014 - 19:47
  • Updated : Jan 6, 2014 - 19:47
Violinist Park Hye-yoon. (Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation)
Park Hye-yoon, a 21-year-old violinist with a budding performance career in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, is preparing to dazzle audiences here.

Having been named the 2014 artist-in-residence by Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation, Park is preparing five concerts with the foundation, scheduled throughout the year, which she and officials at the foundation hope will grab the attention of Korean concertgoers in a year packed with big-name concerts.

“Although I performed quite often in Europe, I’ve had few opportunities to meet and communicate with audiences in Korea, my home country. I am glad that I finally have the chance through this program,” she said at the media showcase at Kumho Art Hall in Seoul on Monday.

Her last solo concert here was in 2002, when she was 10 years old, as part of Kumho’s prodigy concert series. She then left for the United States for study and later moved to Germany where she has since resided.

She is the second musician chosen by the foundation, the birthplace of the Korean Mecenat Program, under its artist-in-residence program. Last year, the foundation picked 23-year-old pianist Da Sol and provided the musician with financial support and an opportunity to hold concerts on a regular basis. Da Sol is to perform as a soloist with the world-renowned New York Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul next month.

“Like Da Sol’s case, we hope that Hye-yoon will grow by leaps and bounds through this program,” said Kim Yong-yeon, senior executive vice president of Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation.

On Jan. 9, Park will make her debut as the Kumho artist-in-residence with a love-themed program that she put together. It includes Robert Schumann’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105 and Pablo de Sarasate’s Fantasy on Bizet’s “Carmen” for Violin and Piano, Op. 25, featuring German pianist Florian Uhlig.

Like the forthcoming concert, Park will choose what to play and whom to play with on stage, which she said is one of the most exciting things about the artist-in-residence program.

“In September, I am planning a violin duo with Antje Weithass, who has taught me for many years,” she said.

Born in Seoul, Park started playing the violin at the age of four and entered the Pre-College of Korean National University of Arts two years later.

At 17 years old in 2009, she won the first prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Germany, alongside two special prizes. She was the youngest-ever winner in the history of the competition. She also received the prestigious London Music Masters Award in 2012.

By Lee Sun-young