The homecoming journey of Park Kyu-hee, a Korean classical guitarist, was long and winding. In late March this year, flights back home were no more available in Spain. She went to Mexico to come back, but there were no flights either. Park flew to Tokyo for her guitar but only got her instrument without entering the country for the entry ban of foreign arrivals. A text message arrived the next morning. Her concert, which was scheduled in April, had been called off. Her concert celebrating the 10th year of debut is finally taking place on October 17 at Lotte Concert Hall after the sixth months of delay.
Park was three when she laid her hands on a guitar for the first time when she went to a guitar school with her mother. Since 2007 when she turned 22, the guitar prodigy has won 9 international concours. At the Belgium concours in 2008, Park became the first Asian and female guitarist to win the competition. She made an official concert debut in 2010, and two years later, she made a mistake of pausing during the Alhambra concours in Spain, but impressed by her artistic performance, the judges allowed her another win.
The Seoul concert in October will come in two acts. The first part will offer her solo performances most popular with the audience over the past 10 years. Starting with the number of Spain’s Isaac Albeniz, Act I will feature the arranged version of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 to finish with Alberto Ginastera’s sonata. “Ginastera is so tough that it can have your fingers overworked, so I put his in the last order to keep my fingertips ready,” said Park Kyu-hee.
In Act II, Park is joined by flutist Cho Sung-yeon and other guitarists, who will play “History of Tango” by Astor Piazzolla’s and “Carmen” by Georges Bizet. “The concert is designed to allow me the opportunity to get congratulations from the artists that I love and admire,” she explained.
Kaori Muraji, a Japanese female guitarist, was Park’s role model when Park was a kid, but now the Korean musician boasts a solid fanbase in Japan. Most of her albums released in Japan were chosen as the special album of the Japanese magazine “Record Art.”. It was achieved with her little fingers typically an inch shorter than men’s.
She will also introduce a new album in October. The album will feature the works of Isaac Albeniz and Enrique Granados embodying Spanish soul. “I am more eager to promote the charm of classical guitar rather than making my name,” said Park with a smile. As delicate as any instrument gets, the classical guitar runs the whole spectrum of chords like the piano.