Blog

Pa-mun: ripples on water

In the midst of a dominant Western classical music tradition, Asian classical composers tend to get overlooked, whether it be in live performance or in recordings. Few know that beginning in the 20th century, Korea had a fruitful classical music culture with individuals like Isang Yun being recognized by their Western counterparts as composers of great stature. Many of these compositions were unique for their blend of Western and Eastern influences, as these composers utilized a distinct Western heritage while retaining traditional Eastern elements like scales […]

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The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

Perhaps readers will not be too familiar with enigmatic classical composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920). This comes as no surprise, because though Griffes was a brilliant Impressionist composer with a unique musical language, he composed only a handful of pieces during his short life. He could count among his influences French Impressionism, contemporary European music with its bitonality and tonal ambiguity, and Asian music, a compositional influence that was relatively new at the time. His music is therefore a dynamic and distinct blend of these influences […]

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A Visit to the Frederick’s Historical Piano Collection

On October 2, 2011, at 4:00 PM, the Frederick’s Historical Piano Collection hosted a concert at the Ashburnham Community Church. Concert pianist Junghwa Lee, who is currently an active soloist and associate professor of piano at the Southern Illinois University, beautifully performed from memory a program of Fauré, Ravel, and Liszt. Lee, a native of Korea, who has upcoming concerts in Missouri, Illinois, London, Paris, and Amsterdam, has been described by various sources as a pianist of “acute intelligence,” with “flawless technique” and “masterful artistic control.” Lee is also an old friend – she and I actually went to school together at Eastman School of Music. This was her first appearance in the concert series, and it was a superb one as Lee skillfully blended historical authenticity on the centuries old piano she performed on along with dynamic interpretations. […]

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A little more friction, please.

It seems that talk of innovations in classical music and the production of dynamic new performances is a frequent theme in my blogging. It seems that more often these days, I am writing about interesting things other people are doing that work, interesting things people are doing that don’t work as well but still have plenty of value, […]

It seems that talk of innovations in classical music and the production of dynamic new performances is a frequent theme in my blogging. It seems that more often these days, I am writing about interesting things other people are doing that work, interesting things people are doing that don’t work as well but still have plenty of value, or even things that I am trying to do to engage the audience a little bit better.

And these are all questions that are definitely fascinating […]

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Bach to Bacewicz: First Piano Concert at AMF

For the past few years, I’ve served as the director of the Atlantic Music Festival‘s Piano Institute and Seminar: a wonderful opportunity for budding pianists to take private lessons from renowned teachers and performers, as well as for the chance to attend both inspiring chamber and orchestral performances, free of charge, by famous conductors and other artists. […]

For the past few years, I’ve served as the director of the Atlantic Music Festival‘s Piano Institute and Seminar: a wonderful opportunity for budding pianists to take private lessons from renowned teachers and performers, as well as for the chance to attend both inspiring chamber and orchestral performances, free of charge, by famous conductors and other artists. On Tuesday, July 19, we kicked off our 2011 performing season with the first piano institute concert of the season, introducing our piano students and fellows to the general public with an eclectic program of music.

The program featured the “usual” […]

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