A Korean pianist in her 20s will host a music festival in Germany. Director Kim Jeong-eun (26) will hold a music festival Celler Sommerkonzerte on August 6 to 15. She will have eight concerts at four venues including Schloss Celle built in 1315 and host a master class of pianist Bernd Goetzke.
Kim won the Kumho Prodigy Grand Prize at the Seoul Arts Center Music Prodigy Concours in 2009 and performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at the age of 15, the youngest pianist ever, at the symphony festival the following year. She has been actively playing music under the name “Severin Kim” after entering Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover in Germany in 2011.
The theme of this year’s festival is Beethoven Nachträglich. It highlights Beethoven’s music again that had not been highlighted enough last year, the 250th year of his birth, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kim will play the piano in five out of eight concerts. There was an upside of COVID-19 as well. Many musicians agreed to play in the concerts after losing opportunities to stand in front of audiences.
Two concerts where actress and reciter Johanna Krumstroh will participate on Wednesday are especially interesting. She will recite messages from the youth about their lives during the pandemic at 4 p.m. and Kim will play the piano. Works of Schubert and Beethoven will be played at 7 p.m., and Krumstroh will recite writings by German writers and musicians about the two composers and poet Friedrich Hölderlin. They have tried to combine recitation and music in various places in Germany over the past two years.
Goetzke will hold a master class. He taught Kim at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover. He will hold two concerts with his students at the master class on Thursday, the last day of the festival. Pianist Markus Becker who taught Kim chamber music at the same institution will participate in the Haydn concert on Tuesday.
“I requested various local institutions and businesses for financial support,” She said. “It wasn’t particularly difficult. I just had to fill in the forms.” There is a supporter who she is especially thankful for. “I needed masks that are verified for Europe. So I asked a Korean mask manufacturer SJ Innovation whether they can provide masks on which a festival logo is printed. They provided 1,200 masks for free,” she said. “I will try to improve the quality of the festival and make it distinctive by reflecting the feedbacks from local communities rather than trying to grow the scale.”