[Herald Interview] German pianist Christopher Park talks about the connection to music

By | November 25, 2022

German pianist Christopher Park poses for photos during an interview with The Korea Herald on Tuesday.  (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

German pianist Christopher Park poses for images throughout an interview with The Korea Herald on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Anybody aware of Korean surnames would assume that German pianist Christopher Park has Korean roots. And, certainly, he did. He was born to a German mom and a Korean American father in 1987, however it wasn’t till 2009 that he was capable of make his first journey to South Korea.

The chance introduced itself throughout an opportunity encounter between Park’s elementary college trainer and Pete Tune, who runs a classical music manufacturing firm, Pete Music, on a prepare in Germany in 2008. Upon studying that Tune labored within the music enterprise, the trainer extremely advisable Park. This assembly befell six years earlier than Park gained the Leonard Bernstein Prize on the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Competition in 2014 and eight years earlier than he was chosen as a “Rising Star” by the European Live performance Corridor Group in 2016.

Since then, the 35-year-old has visited Korea a number of instances and collaborated with famend musicians like soprano Jo Sumi and violist Richard Yongjae O’Neill.

Returning to South Korea after 3 years, Park will take the stage with Korean violinist Edwin ES Kim, a mix made on the advice of German conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach.

“We’re each very a lot in love with the German romantic and classical repertoire which is Mozart, Schubert and Brahms,” Park advised the Korea Herald in an interview on Tuesday.

On November 29, the duo will reunite at IBK Chamber Corridor, Seoul Artwork Middle, to carry out Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 26, B-flat main. Ok 378, Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 1 in G Main by Brahms, Op. 78. After an intermission, they are going to be again on stage with Mozart’s Violin Sonata No. 17, C main, Ok-296 and Schubert’s Rondo for Violin and Piano in B minor, “Rondeau Brillant”, D. 895 .

German pianist Christopher Park poses for photos during an interview with The Korea Herald on Tuesday.  (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

German pianist Christopher Park poses for images throughout an interview with The Korea Herald on Tuesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Park began taking piano classes on the age of seven and realized that the piano related him extra naturally to music than another instrument, such because the violin or the flute.

“The piano was my old flame. I may go straight into the music (with the piano). I did not prepare rather a lot, however I performed rather a lot, it was my approach of coaching,” he remembers.

Throughout the pandemic, when many live shows and recitals have been canceled, Park mentioned he appreciated the uncommon free time to immerse himself in sure items he had at all times needed to play, such because the “Goldberg Variations”, with none interruptions. no time constraint.

This was solely potential as a result of he was capable of train college students through Zoom. Since 2021 he has been instructing on the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

He tells his college students to observe much less and play extra to get nearer to the music, as an alternative of turning into too computerized and mechanical.

“As a result of as a pianist it’s totally straightforward to get distracted as a result of you will have rather a lot to do bodily, and it may be very distracting from the music truly and so observe is a double-edged sword,” mentioned he added.

He additionally cautioned college students and musicians in opposition to searching for recognition from others.

“This phenomenon could be very poisonous, particularly for artists like musicians. The one factor you want is to share what you’re keen on. It isn’t sports activities,” he famous.

One method to keep his uniqueness as a musician, he instructed, is to cease referring to YouTube movies or different materials that’s in abundance.

“It is such a treasured second once you play a chunk for the primary time in your life. It is a distinctive probability to get nearer to the composer like by no means earlier than and by no means once more,” Park mentioned. “However most individuals waste that chance” by listening to every kind of various interpretations and mixing them with their very own concepts, leading to a bland interpretation that provides nothing new.

“Do not hearken to different recordings till you will have made your individual connection to the piece,” he added.

Forward of subsequent week’s efficiency in Seoul, Park and Kim will carry out a duet recital on the Ulju Tradition and Arts Middle in Ulju, North Gyeongsang Province on Friday, and a live performance with a chamber music orchestra on the identical place on Sunday.

By Park Ga-young ([email protected])