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Posted April. 04, 2006 02:59,   


For the first time in the history of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, a father and his son have both become orchestra members.

They are Seoul Philharmonic violinist Jin Young-gyu (57) and his son, violist Min-ho (29).

The father, who is in his 25th year in the orchestra, is its oldest member; his son is the newest.

The results of the Seoul Philharmonic audition were announced on April 3.

“I never dreamed of such a great honor. Congratulations have been pouring in from all sides. We must both try harder from now on,” Young-gyu said.

“Since we both play a string instrument, my father and I understand each other well, and while I was preparing for the audition, he gave me a lot of advice,” Min-ho said.

There are many musicians in the Jin family. The father’s older cousin performed with the Seoul Philharmonic as its top horn player, and his younger cousin is a cellist who won first place at the Donga Music Concours.

But the father originally had no intention of raising his only son Min-ho as a performer. This was because he knew what a lonely path it was. However, the apple does not fall far from the tree and the son announced he wanted to do music when he was in fifth grade. After graduating from the conservatory of the Korean National University of the Arts, he is currently studying at Germany’s Detmold Music Academy with only his graduation recital left to complete.

At first he played the violin like his father but in 2000 he belatedly switched his major to the viola.

“I really enjoyed chamber music, but the viola is less flashy than the violin and doesn’t really stand out but it nevertheless plays an important role. I came to love its timbre and switched majors at the last minute.” (son)

“My son is quite tall so on account of his size as well we thought it would be good for him to switch to the viola.” (father)

As his senior in music as well as life, the most important teaching the father has given his son is sincerity and persistence. “It’s not enough to be satisfied with one good performance, it is most important to always try to do your best whether the performance goes well or not.”

What are the pros and cons of becoming your father’s “colleague”?

“I am happy that we will be able to go to work together in the mornings and leave work together. The con? Maybe work outings will be a little uncomfortable?” he said laughing.

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com