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Violinist Clara-Jumi Kang hopes to offer 'healing power' of music during September recital tour

July 10, 2024 - 18:06 By Park Ga-young
Clara-jumi Kang speaks during a press conference held at Geoam Art Hall in Southern Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Clara-jumi Kang, a violin virtuoso, will embark on a nationwide recital tour in September with a new instrument and a program that holds a significant meaning to her.

Kang is set to blend technical mastery with lyrical expression with a program consisting Tartini's "The Devil's Trill," Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1, Chausson's "Poeme," and Franck's “Violin Sonata.”

Regarding the program, Kang said, “I've chosen pieces that I personally love and have had a personal connection with since childhood.”

For instance, Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1 shocked her when she first heard it at the age of 8, while Tartini's "The Devil's Trill" is a piece she remembers performing when she was about 4 or 5 years old.

“The program is divided into two parts: The first part includes Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 1, a piece composed during World War II, reflecting the reality of today. Prokofiev’s trill in this sonata represents the fear of reality, contrasting with Tartini’s dreamlike trill. The second part features works by Chausson and Franck, pieces that have been significant throughout my musical career,” Kang told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.

Clara-jumi Kang performs during a press conference held at Geoam Art Hall in Southern Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Kang said studying and delivering these great works well is one of her goals as a musician.

Ultimately, she added, she hopes to bring comfort and courage through her performances. “Since young, I've felt a strong sense of concern and empathy when incidents and accidents happen around the world. As a musician, I'm always thinking about how I can contribute to society through my music,” she said. "I believe in the healing power of music and aim to bring it to places where classical music is not easily accessible. I wish to contribute to society through music, providing comfort and courage to those affected by various events and disasters," she added.

For this recital tour, Kang will be accompanied by Russian pianist Ilya Rashkovskiy, with whom the violinist performed together in various settings, including streaming performances and live concerts.

She currently plays “Thunis” Stradivarius of 1702, on loan from South Korean automobile maker Kia, after eight years playing "Ex-Strauss," made by Antonio Stradivarius in 1708.

She described her current instrument as having a vast range of colors and exceptional sound volume. She noted the unique fit and feel of “Thunis,” likening its sound to an uncut diamond -- perfectly suited to her hands.

The tour will begin at Bucheon Art Center on Sept. 1 and continue at Daegu Suseong Artpia on Sept. 5, Haman Culture and Art Center on Sept. 6, Seongnam Atrium on Sept. 7, and Tongyeong International Music Hall on Sept. 8.

The recital tour will wrap up at the Seoul Arts Center on Sept. 10.

This event will mark her first solo performance in Korea since her Beethoven Violin Sonata recital tour in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, she debuted with the New York Philharmonic and the Budapest Festival Orchestra and performed at Wigmore Hall. She also performed in Korea with the Munich Philharmonic at the end of last year. Looking ahead, she is set to return to the BBC Proms and make her debut at the Salzburg Festival.