SEATTLE SYMPHONY PRESENTS ELEVENTH ANNUAL CELEBRATE ASIA CONCERT ON JANUARY 27 FEATURING PIANIST SEONG-JIN CHO AND SOPRANO KATHLEEN KIM, LED BY CONDUCTOR SHIYEON SUNG
THE FESTIVE CELEBRATION INCLUDES PRE- AND POST-CONCERT PERFORMANCES
FEATURING THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CHIA-YING LIN’S ASCOLSIA, THE WINNING COMPOSITION OF THE 2018–2019 CELEBRATE ASIA COMPOSITION COMPETITION
SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Symphony presents the eleventh annual Celebrate Asia concert on January 27, 2019 at Benaroya Hall. Celebrate Asia honors Seattle’s Asian American community through a concert that explores the rich musical traditions of Asian countries. This annual celebration is presented with a myriad of pre- and post-concert performances that reflect various Asian cultures. Celebrate Asia has become an annual tradition where people and families of all ethnicities come to immerse themselves in an afternoon of cultural exchange and vibrant celebration. This year’s festivities focus on the remarkable musicians and music from South Korea, in addition to Taiwan and Thailand.
South Korean conductor Shiyeon Sung, the first woman to win the Sir Georg Solti International Conductors’ Competition in 2007, will conduct the performance. The concert beings with John Adams’ The Chairman Dances from Nixon in China followed by the world premiere of Taiwanese composer Chia-Ying Lin’s Ascolsia. Ascolsia is the 2019 winner of the Seattle Symphony’s annual Celebrate Asia Composition Competition, a meaningful initiative that honors new works by young composers inspired by rich Asian cultures. Lin’s compositions have been described as having “outstanding originality and creativity;” this piece uses musical elements and instruments of the Beiguan music of Taiwan, a local folk genre that accompanies rituals such as weddings and funerals. The first half of the program concludes with pianist Seong-Jin Cho performing Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. A Deutsche Gramophone artist, Cho was the grand-prize winner of the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw.
The second half of the program features soprano Kathleen Kim on snagS&Snarls by Unsuk Chin, one of today’s most prominent contemporary composers. Chin’s song cycle for soprano and orchestra uses texts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, which formed the basis of Chin’s celebrated opera Alice in Wonderland. A dazzling showpiece from Thailand’s foremost composer of Western classical music, Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen’s Pubbanimitta for Orchestra follows. Celebrate Asia closes with two of the most recognizable and beloved Korean songs, “New Arirang” and “I Miss Mount Keumkang.”
Pre-concert performances begin in the Samuel & Althea Stroum Grand Lobby at 2:30 p.m. Performers include the Swaranjali School of Music and Morning Star Cultural Center and International Lion Dance and Martial Arts Team. The celebration concludes with post-concert activities in the Grand Lobby with a performance by CHIKIRI and The School of TAIKO and Bhangra dancing led by Rhythms of India.
Admission to both pre- and post-concert activities are included with concert ticket.
Complete program information, artist biographies and additional information can be found by visiting seattlesymphony.org/concerttickets/calendar/2018-2019/symphony/celebrate-asia.
Sunday, January 27, 2019
Shiyeon Sung, conductor
Kathleen Kim, soprano
Seong-Jin Cho, piano
PRE-CONCERT: 2:30–4 p.m.
SAMUEL & ALTHEA STROUM GRAND LOBBY
Aleksa Manila: emcee
Morning Star Cultural Center: traditional Korean drumming and dance
Swaranjali School of Music: traditional Indian Classical and folk music
International Lion Dance and Martial Arts Team: Lion Dance
CONCERT: 4 p.m.
S. MARK TAPER FOUNDATION AUDITORIUM
JOHN ADAMS: The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra from Nixon in China
CHIA-YING LIN: Asclosia (World Premiere)
RACHMANINOV: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
UNSUK CHIN: snagS&Snarls (Scenes from Alice in Wonderland)
NARONG PRANGCHAROEN: Pubbanimitta for Orchestra
Orch. Phil Young: “New Arirang”
YOUNG-SUP CHOI: “I Miss Mount Keumkang”
POST-CONCERT: 6 p.m.
SAMUEL & ALTHEA STROUM GRAND LOBBY
CHIKIRI and The School of TAIKO: Taiko drumming
Rhythms of India: Bhangra dancing
Supporting Sponsors: The Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation
Contributing Sponsors: The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle and the MG2 Foundation
Post-concert Reception Sponsors: Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle Chinese Post and Wild Ginger
The Celebrate Asia Composition Competition is generously underwritten by Yoshi and Naomi Minegishi.
Celebrate Asia is presented as part of the Seattle Symphony’s New Music WORKS initiative, which is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. New Music WORKS features commissions, concerts and educational activities that use composition as a catalyst for collaboration and engagement in music.
Tickets from $31.
SHIYEON SUNG, CONDUCTOR
When Shiyeon Sung was appointed as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor in 2007, the winner of the Sir Georg Solti and the Gustav Mahler Conductors’ Competitions already had a reputation as one of the most exciting emerging talents on the international music circuit. She soon also began a close collaboration with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra where she became Associate Conductor in 2009.
As chief conductor of the Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra from 2014 to 2017, she led the young orchestra to international success, culminating in their appearance as the first Asian orchestra to be invited at the renowned Musikfest Berlin.
Born in Pusan, South Korea, Shiyeon Sung studied with Rolf Reuter in Berlin and continued her education with Jorma Panula in Stockholm.
SEONG-JIN CHO, PIANO
With an overwhelming talent and innate musicality, Seong-Jin Cho is rapidly embarking on a world-class career and considered one of the most distinctive artists of his generation. In January 2016 Cho signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. In November 2018 he released a Mozart album with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Yannick-Nézet-Seguin. In the 2018–2019 season, he plays recitals on the main stages of Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall and Zurich’s Tonhalle-Maag, among several other venues. Born in Seoul, Cho won the coveted Gold Medal at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw in 2015. In 2011, at the age of 17, he won third prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The following year he moved to Paris to study with Michel Béroff at the Paris Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique where he graduated in 2015. He is now based in Berlin.
KATHLEEN KIM, SOPRANO
Since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007, Kathleen Kim’s international profile has continued to rise with consistent critical acclaim reflecting the excitement she generates at many of the world’s premier opera houses and concert halls. In the 2017–2018 season Kim sang Blondchen at Bayerische Staatsoper under Ivor Bolton and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as La Fée in Cendrillon under the baton of Bertrand the Billy. She recently appeared at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Josephine in the world premiere of the newly adapted An American Soldier. In 2010 she was guest soloist in South Korea at the Independence Day Celebration Concert of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. She has a strong relationship to her homeland South Korea and this led to more projects with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra including Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 8. and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which was recorded and released by Deutsche Grammophon.
CELEBRATE ASIA COMPOSITION COMPETITION
The Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia Composition Competition invites submissions from up-and-coming composers who find inspiration and influences in Asian culture, music and traditions. After receiving numerous local, national and international submissions, the reviewing committee selected Chia-Ying Lin’s Ascolsia as the 2019 winner.
CHIA-YING LIN, COMPOSITION COMPETITION WINNER
A 2018 winner of a Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, Chia-Ying Lin is a composer from Taiwan. Her works have earned international recognition since 2015, including a third prize at the International Jean Sibelius Composition Competition (Finland), a first prize at the International Composition Competition Piero Farulli (Italy), a second prize at the International Composition Competition Michele Novaro (Italy), a first prize at William Howard’s Love Song Composing Competition (UK) and a commission prize from the Goethe-Institut Korea for its Asian Composers Showcase 2017.
Described as having “manifest flair” (The Sunday Times), Lin’s Chanson Perpétuelle for piano was released on Orchid Classics (London) in June 2018, while her Occultra for orchestra was released by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Her String Quartet was published by Casa Ricordi (Milan). Lin’s music has been broadcast on many radio stations around the globe.
ABOUT CELEBRATE ASIA
In partnership with numerous local community groups, the Seattle Symphony honors and celebrates the city’s Asian community with the eleventh annual Celebrate Asia concert. The concept originated when local Asian leaders from the region’s Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese communities wanted to find a way to strengthen bonds with the broader community through a cultural celebration. Now in its eleventh year, Celebrate Asia has become an annual signature event in Seattle. For more information about Celebrate Asia, visit seattlesymphony.org.
The Seattle Symphony is one of America’s leading symphony orchestras and is internationally acclaimed for its innovative programming and extensive recording history. Since September 2011 the Symphony has been led by Music Director Ludovic Morlot and in September 2019 Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Dausgaard will become the next Music Director. The Symphony is heard from September through July by more than 500,000 people through live performances and radio broadcasts and performs in one of the finest modern concert halls in the world — the acoustically superb Benaroya Hall — in downtown Seattle. Its extensive education and community engagement programs reach over 65,000 children and adults each year. The Seattle Symphony has a deep commitment to new music, commissioning many works by living composers each season. The orchestra has made nearly 150 recordings and has received three Grammy Awards, 26 Grammy nominations, two Emmy Awards and was named Gramophone’s 2018 Orchestra of the Year. In 2014 the Symphony launched its in-house recording label, Seattle Symphony Media.