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Younggun Kim Dazzles With Jazzy Modern Music, Playful Mozart

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Nathan Cone
/
TPR
Younggun Kim

The San Antonio International Piano Competition is more than their every-three-years contest; in between the big event, they hold recitals and sponsor young artists to encourage the appreciation of piano music and repertoire. Younggun Kim, who received special recognition at the 2012 competition, was in San Antonio on February 25, 2017 for a recital on the University of the Incarnate Word campus that dazzled the audience. Luckily, we were there with our microphones, so you can enjoy the show as well, via the Soundcloud link at the bottom of this page. Fasten your seat belts for Mozart, Schubert, some one-handed stuntman Chopin, and jazzy melodies by the Ukranian composer Nikolai Kapustin that had the audience hollering for more!

Program:

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: “Sonata in B-flat Major” Listen in the third movement for a little surprise, as Younggun Kim quotes Beethoven in a short cadenza. “The g minor movement of the sonata kind of has a similarity to the Pastoral Symphony,” Kim explained. “It felt totally ethical to borrow the Pastoral Symphony and motivate some chuckles in the audience!”
  • Franz Schubert: "Six Moments Musicaux"
  • Franz Liszt: "Spozalizio"
  • Leopold Godowsky: "Studies on Chopin Etudes" Leopold Godowsky was a Polish-American pianist who lived from 1870-1938, and was a bit of a daredevil. In his Studies on Chopin Etudes, Godowsky takes Chopin’s “Revolutionary” Etude and arranges it for the left hand only. In another, he swaps Chopin’s original left and right hands. It sounds crazy, and I asked Younggun Kim, why does he do it? “[Because] he could do it,” was Kim’s reply. “He was a risk-taker.”
  • Robert Schumann: "Toccata, Op. 7" Schumann once claimed this music was the most difficult thing ever written for piano.
  • Nikolai Kapustin: "Four Concert Etudes, Op. 40" Kapustin trained at the Moscow Conservatory but found early success as a jazz pianist. These concert etudes sound as much like Chick Corea or Weather Report as they do Rachmaninoff.
  • [Encore] Johann Strauss II: "Evening in Vienna"

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.