SEJONG SOLOISTS PERFORMED ANNUAL GALA CONCERT TO SOLD-OUT AUDIENCE
ZANKEL HALL AT CARNEGIE HALL, FRIDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 9, 2018
Sejong Soloists presented their Annual Gala Concert to a sold-out audience, featuring music from Vivaldi to contemporary. The musical theme was peace and hope, and guest artists included wind and brass faculty members from the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute. Vivaldi’s Chamber Concerto in C Major opened the concert. The virtuoso soloists were Sooyun Kim, flute, Roni Gal-Ed, oboe, Adrian Morejon, bassoon, and Stephen Kim, violin. Composer Augusta Read Thomas talked about her Plea for Peace, a 2017 commission by the University of Chicago to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the world’s first nuclear reactor. Sejong Soloists and soprano Hyunah Yu gave a powerful, gut-wrenching performance.
TV journalist Paula Zahn, a long-time supporter of Sejong Soloists, was this year’s Honoree. Nine-time Emmy Award winner and co-host of WNET’s weekly program “NYC Arts” Ms. Zahn’s joined the orchestra 18 years ago as Gala Master of Ceremonies. Special guest Neal Shapiro, WNET President, highlighted Zahn’s dedication to Sejong and to the arts, her financial support, and her humanitarian causes. Yo-Yo Ma sent a video greeting with spoken tribute and brief Bach performance, which was shown to the audience.
The glorious Baltimore-based soprano Hyunah Yu, who performed the Plea for Peace vocalise, joined Paula Zahn and the Sejong cellists for the Aria from Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. This was followed by A Poem of Hope, concertino for cello and strings, written by New York composer Eric Ewazen in 2007 and dedicated to Paula Zahn, who performed the solo. An accomplished cellist, her performances have become a tradition at Sejong’s gala concerts. Finally, the Wagner Siegfried Idyll closed the program.
The audience of friends, music lovers, and supporters included distinguished members of the diplomatic community from the United Nations. Ambassadors from 15 nations: Albania, China, Cyprus, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Russia, South Korea, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.
About Sejong Soloists
Hailed as “one of the top ensembles of today” by CNN, Sejong Soloists is a first-class string orchestra renowned for its exceptional dynamic style, with ranges of quartet-like precision to full orchestra resonance. Founded by Hyo Kang, artistic director, it is highly praised for its diverse performances, documentaries, television broadcasts, and recordings. Sejong Soloists has performed in over 120 cities around the world, collaborating with renowned solo artists, such as violinists Gil Shaham, Vadim Repin, pianists Leon Fleisher and David Fray, Vladimir Feltsman, and singers David Daniels, Christophe Dumaux, Kathleen Kim, and Sasha Cooke. In March 2018 Sejong Soloists was presented with Vadim Repin in Moscow and Siberia by the Trans-Siberian International Art Festival. This was followed by Hic et Nunc International Festival in South Korea, and a Hong Kong debut.
Founded over twenty years ago, Sejong has a deep commitment to advancing the artistry and leadership of its members, with successful results. Currently, eight former Sejong leaders and soloists hold concertmaster positions throughout North America including the NY Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Sejong’s highly-praised documentaries, television broadcasts, recordings, youth development activities, as well as philanthropic endeavors worldwide are integral to the mission of this unique orchestra.