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Synergy of passion and calmness create innovative music

Posted September. 11, 2018 07:45,   

Updated September. 11, 2018 07:45


Korea’s famous first-generation violinist Chung Kyung-wha praised Monday to the skies her collaborating partner, pianist Cho Seong-jin, 24, at a press conference for a duo concert. She highly commended the young pianist for his high level of understanding and sophisticated sense of music. Chung and Cho have been on a nationwide tour since Sept. 1 with an upcoming celebratory performance for the 30th anniversary of the Seoul Arts Center scheduled on Wednesday in Seoul. It is the first time in six years since Cho, a high school student, was selected by Chung, widely known as a person of taste, to co-perform.

Asked what the 24-year-old pianist thinks of Chung’s spontaneous and unexpected style of piano-accompanied performance, he answered that he finds it interesting and incredible to play according to her style, even if other pianists may not prefer. As late as 2015, winning the Chopin Competition brought the young pianist to attention while Chung has grown into one of the world’s famous violinists since the 1970s. She is many years senior to him. Also, she is a great tutor to Cho.

Although the two alike feel deep affection for music, they have different characteristics, obviously. Chung is a figure of energy and passion while Cho is a reserved and calm man. While chatting during practice sessions, Chung found it surprising to hear that Cho had never shouted in anger and fury before.

“What matters to me is not what I do, but rather what I shouldn’t do on stage. When commissioned to play, if I do not want to or think that I am not supposed to, I say no although it is hard to turn an offer down," Cho said. "I believe that I have fared well without any critical problem so far.”

The two musicians will stand on stage to co-play the Violin Sonata by Schumann, Beethoven and Franck. “Cho is a young-aged man, which never means he is an immature being," Chung said. "He has taught me that musical maturity has nothing to do with age. I am looking forward to our upcoming playing."

Yeun-Kyung Cho yunique@donga.com