Violinist Sarah Chang brings own musicality to ‘home-like’ Seoul Arts Center

By Shim Woo-hyun

‘I wanted to bring a performance with no conductor this time’

  • Published : Feb 12, 2018 - 16:43
  • Updated : Feb 12, 2018 - 16:55

“It‘s better to have a reason for playing music, instead of not having one. It is more important to play something I can truly enjoy, rather than just playing Brahms or Tchaikovsky a thousand times in a mechanical manner,” said acclaimed violinist Sarah Chang said in a press conference held at the Seoul Arts Center on Monday.

“Almost 99 percent of performances I have given are concertos, and I wanted something different this time. So, I decided to organize a chamber music project, which I have always wanted do.”

Violinist Sarah Chang is slated to make an appearance with her performance at Seoul Arts Center on Tuesday, in celebration of the center’s 30th anniversary under the title “Sarah Chang & 17 Young Virtuosi.”

“I think it is important to be open-minded and share ideas with other players, especially when preparing an ensemble project led by individual soloists,” Chang said.

Chang drew up the program for Tuesday‘s concert, which includes Leonid Desyatnikov’s version of Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons” and Mueller’s version of “Chaconne” by Vitali. Chang noted that she wanted present musical works that have contemporary variations. For the Desyatnikov version of “Four Seasons,” Chang will perform using a different bow to express the strong and rough sounds of the musical piece that has jazz-tango elements.

Chang will also give her own interpretation of Verdi’s “Four Seasons,” one of the most popular Baroque pieces, “(‘Four Seasons’) is a Baroque work, but the piece provides freedom to players to decorate the piece. I love Vivaldi for allowing soloists such freedom,” Chang said in explaining the reason for including the work in the program.

“I wanted to offer a certain balance with the three different pieces of classical music --  combining Vivaldi‘s work that feels somewhat pure, tango-inspired Piazzolla and the Baroque piece,” Chang explained the reason for choosing musical works with different styles.

The SAC concert will also highlight 17 other classical musicians from Korea. The “17 Young Virtuosi” will feature, among others, violinists Shin Ah-ra and Lee Han-na, cellists Park Noll and Lee Jung-ran and bassist Sung Min-jae.

SAC wanted to hold a performance with musicians who are in their 30s to mark its 30th anniversary,“ said John Hae-oung, SAC general director of art management. “The musicians here are individuals are part of the 30-year history of SAC and will lead the next 30 years of the Korean classical music,” said John.

Violinist Sarah Chang made her first appearance at the SAC in 1990 with the KBS Symphony Orchestra led by Gum Nan-se, about two weeks after her debut with the New York Philharmonic. Since then, Chang has performed at the SAC on special occasions, inlcluding the 20th and 25th anniversaries.

“The SAC is a home-like place to perform,” said Chang, a child prodigy who has gone on to become one of the foremost violinists of our time.

Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)