‘Here and Now’: Kumho foundation looks back on 20 years of promoting young classical music talents

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Jul 3, 2018 - 17:02
  • Updated : Dec 28, 2018 - 17:48

Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation will hold “Here and Now” concerts to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kumho Prodigy Concert Series at Kumho Art Hall in Seoul from July 20-21.

Founded in 1998, the Kumho Prodigy Concert Series is the foundation’s platform for young talents. Since its launch, the series has helped more than 1,000 local musicians. Many of them went on to be part of the foundation’s other programs, such as the Kumho Rising Star Series and Kumho Artist.

Those from the Kumho prodigy series who have become internationally recognized artists include pianist Son Yeol-eum, pianist Kim Sun-wook, pianist Sunwoo Ye-kwon, pianist Kim Tae-hyung, late violinist Kwon Hyuk-joo, violinist Shin Zi-a and cellist Mun Tae-guk.

The upcoming concerts “Here and Now” celebrate two decades of effort by the foundation to promote young talents. The concert on July 20 will feature some of the artists who have previously performed in the prodigy concert series, while the most recently selected young artists will perform the following day.

The July 20 concert will start with two piano, eight hands works, performed by pianists in their 20s -- Kim Kang-tae, Park Jin-hyung, Lee Taek-gi and Chung Kyu-bin. The four pianists will perform Ernest Guiraud’s two pianos, eight hands arrangement of Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre Symphonic Poem” in G minor, Op. 40 and N. Jane Tan’s arrangement of Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance,” also for two pianos and eight hands. 

Violinist and executive director of Encore Chamber Music Cho Jin-joo (Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation)
Violist and conductor Lee Seung-won (Kumho Asiana Cultural Foundation)

Following the four pianists’ performance, Cho Jin-joo, violinist and executive director of Encore Chamber Music, and Lee Seung-won, violist and conductor, will share their know-how and address questions concerning classical music. The session will run for some 20 minutes.

Also highlighted on the first day will be cellist Lee Jung-ran, one of the artists selected in the first year the prodigy series was initiated. Together with cellist Nam Yu-rina, cellist Lee will perform the andante and allegro prestissimo from Jean-Baptiste Barriere’s Sonata for Two Cellos in G major.

On the following day, the concert will introduce three young artists who have been selected for the prodigy program in the last few years. They are 14-year-old pianist Kweon Jin-young, sixth-grade cellist Han Jae-min and violinist Woo Jin-an. After performing solo and duo works by different composers ranging from Handel to Sergei Rachmaninoff, the three artists will come together to perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)