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Posted March. 29, 2006 08:01,   


Three musicians who nurtured numerous disciples in the Korean music community will have a joint concert next month.

Yonsei University Music School Dean Lee Kyung-sook (piano), and Korean National University of the Arts professors Kim Nam-yoon (violin) and Chung Myung-hwa (cello) will hold a “virtuoso concert” at 7:30 p.m. on April 7 in Sejong Center for the Performing Arts.

Under the baton of Chung Myung-hoon, the music director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the youngest brother of Chung Myung-hwa, the three will jointly play Beethoven’s trio concertos. They pleasantly talked about their relationship with the conductor Chung they consider to be their younger brother. Lee and Chung Myung-hwa are the same age, and Kim is five years younger than the two.

“I gave candies to Chung Myung-hoon in New York years ago, and he was so happy the candies. I don’t know if he remembers that because he was too young then,” said Lee.

“When I was young, I would go to an eight-week music camp with him every summer vacation. I also prayed for him when he participated in a Tchaikovsky event in 1974. I wonder if he knows that,” said Kim, laughing.

But Chung Myung-hoon has been both an easy and difficult conductor for the three.

“To be honest, Chung Myung-hoon is a difficult conductor to play for because he has a thorough knowledge of not only the piano, but also string and wind instruments thanks to influences from his sisters. But he makes his players comfortable because he knows everything very well,” said Kim.

“I’m very familiar with Beethoven’s trio concerto because the ‘Chung Trio’ played it many times overseas and Deutsche Gramophone released it. People gave us a curious look when Chung Trio played the music with Myung-hoon conducting and playing the piano, Kyung-hwa playing the violin and me playing the cello. I expect a new ensemble would be created since I will play the music with my close friends,” said Chung Myung-hwa.

The three helped each other a lot in the 1960s when they were studying music in New York. In 1962, Lee, who was preparing for entering Curtis Institute of Music, lived for a semester in Chung’s home, who was attending the Juilliard School of Music at the time

Lee recalled, “Kyung-hwa, who was studying playing the violin, also lived with us. It was hard for me to use the bathroom because she practiced playing the violin in the bathroom everyday.”

Kim is particularly close to Chung Kyung-hwa because both of them were pupils of Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School of Music. Kim said, laughing, “Kyung-hwa had particularly nimble hands. She was good at trimming her hair and cooking. One day, she laid me down to trim my eyebrows, and pulled them out with tweezers, turning the skin around my eyebrows red.”

Ticket price for the concert are 10,000-100,000 won. Call 02-3700-6300 for detailed information.

Seung-Hoon Cheon raphy@donga.com