[November 17, 2011] This past summer, I had the opportunity to hear the piano quartet piece From the Sixth Hour at the Atlantic Music Festival. This festival meets every year at Colby College, Maine, for a wonderful four weeks of free classical music concerts open to the public. This piece was featured at the last marathon chamber concert on August 3, 2011, running from 7:00 PM to past midnight. I was not one of the brave souls who dared to stay the entire time, but what I heard was a wonderful combination of old and new music, excellently communicated to a responsive audience.
This particular piece was composed by AMF’s artistic director, Solbong Kim, a graduate in composition from the renowned Curtis Institute. As an active composer, he has written many pieces for chamber and orchestra, had his works performed and recorded by various music groups, and he has been the recipient of many prestigious composition awards, such as the Presser Music Award in 2005. His works have been much admired for their sophistication, and it is easy to see why.
From the Sixth Hour was performed by Sang Woo Kang, pianist; Dennis Kim, violinist; Pu Reum Cho, violist; and Marco Pereira, cellist. This group was an excellent group of players. A note about the selection of performers: it was a diverse mix of musicians from various stages in their careers, as well as originating from different countries. Kim and Kang are established musicians. Kim is the concertmaster of the Tampere Orchestra in Finland, and Kang is a concert pianist and professor of music at Providence College in Rhode Island. Pereira, a professional cellist and likewise an established musician, hails from Portugal, while Cho, at the age of 19, was easily the youngest person in the grouping, and hailed from South Korea. They were a wonderful representation of the diversity of the musicians at this music festival.