Daily Bow: Two “Firsts” in Global Bridging Performances

Daily Bow LogoIt’s been quite a year with a number of incredible events, performances, new developments… and it doesn’t look like things are slowing at all!

On November 30th, the last day of the month, two performances occurred which marked important “firsts” in bridging different cultures, societies, and experiences together.

The first was a contemporary music concert held at the Butler School of Music at the University of Austin, Texas (which made our Daily Bow last week with the story on Classical Reinvention). The School of Music’s New Music Ensemble, directed by composer and conductor Dan Welcher, gave its third concert of the 2012-2013 season on November 30th. So what was so important about this third performance of the year?

The third concert of the 2012-2013 season (featured) a program of two works by young Chinese-American composers, a world premiere by a Turkish composer, and an established work by a U.S. composer living on the West Coast. Accordingly, this concert is called “An East-West Confluence.”

For many people, new music may still be a little bit of a sensitive subject. But, regardless of whether you enjoy listening to it, there is something to be said for music that is composed by those who are still living. Dan Welcher himself said, when asked of the importance of such a concert, that it is significant “because all of the composers are still alive” (with the noted exception of Ligeti).

Read the original articleNot-so classically speaking: New Music Ensemble highlights the work of contemporary composers. You can also learn more about the New Music Ensemble at the University of Austin, Texas: a 16-member core ensemble comprised of top musicians at the Butler School of Music.

The second story is about a dynamic chamber ensemble. For the first time ever, four young Korean classical musicians performed last Friday November 30th in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The ensemble is the Kallaci String Quartet, visiting Tanzania on the invitation of their embassy to put on a concert in commemoration of two decades since the start of diplomatic relations between the Far East and Sub-Saharan countries. With their renditions of Niccolo Paganini’s String Quartet in A Minor, Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in D Major, and Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet No. 9 in C Major, the four musicians evoked excitement among local classical music lovers.

SHEER professionalism reared its head when the lights went out in the middle of the visiting Korean Kallaci String Quartet’s concert at the Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam on Friday evening.

The violinist and group leader, Hyuk-Joo Kwun, admitted to the ‘Sunday News’ minutes after the concert that the first thought he had after being fully submerged in darkness was that this happens, so it was not a big problem. With reference to being plunged into sudden darkness, his colleague, the second violinist; Yoojin Jang said the audience remained quiet and really listening.

At that point they had just started the second movement, so she thought why at this point in the concert this had to happen. “We were surprised but we could memorise a bit and were able to repeat a passage. We were kind of waiting for the lights to come back. All-the-same, It was a nice experience, which we’ve never had before.

We were happy that we did not stop and could keep the concert going and people could concentrate on what was being played,” the viola player, Hanna Lee, chipped into the conversation. No wonder later on, before leaving them to go and rest in preparation for their Saturday flight out of Dar es Salaam, Hanna referred to the audience as being “a really nice” one.

The Kallaci String Quartet has been showing the world their music, having performed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the previous Saturday. At home in Korea, these four are regarded as among the best young talented classical musicians, all with distinguished solo careers behind them. They formed their ensemble in March 2011.

Kallaci String Quartet Performance in Tanzania

Read the original articleDarkness didn’t stop Korean quartet playing. You can also learn more about the Kallaci String Quartet by visiting their Facebook Fan Page.

One Response to Daily Bow: Two “Firsts” in Global Bridging Performances

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