Jun 13, 2006

Bae Yong Joon as seen by Maestro Seikyo Kim

Maestro Seikyo Kim conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra at the "April Snow" Event, held at the Saitama Super Arena.I would like to share the maestro's comment on BYJ he posted in his official blog (with the kind permission of his webmaster).

A Man Named Bae Yong Joon

The number of people who participated in yesterday’s event was approximately 30,000. A number I had never experienced before. Because the sound of an orchestra is acoustic, and is not delivered through the use of a PA system, there is a limit to the size of the venue. I think a hall with the capacity for 3000 people, is probably the maximum acceptable size for an orchestra. Of course, the 30,000 people who assembled on this day were all waiting for the one and only Bae Yong Joon. I was able to see what was so special about this man right before my eyes (actually, the conductor’s podium was a pretty good seat!).

I will give my personal thoughts.

When I met him, I was struck by the elegant and sophisticated air about him, and while possessing a gentle demeanor, he seemed a man with an open and generous heart. Earnest and honest, always considerate towards those around him, this man is seen smiling at all times. Now, if you think this is easy…. When I arrived at the arena a little before noon, I saw an enormous number of staff working there, and due to the magnitude of the event, I could sense that the air was charged with something quite out of the ordinary. Watching the staff paying the utmost attention to security, I thought they really had a tough job. We were not able to go through any section of the arena unless we had a pass around our necks.

And in the midst of all this, Yong Joon-ssi is smiling, smiling, smiling. Every where he goes, there is a mob of staff and SPs of about 20 to 30 people. It was quite a sight! We had our final meeting before the event in this chaotic state with people running all over the place. This meant that we were not going to have a run through, which made me just a bit nervous, but I had a sense that we had the momentum to pull it off. Don’t be too nervous about the small things – that’s the Korean way. The strength of this style is that it utilizes the momentum. Or should I say instantaneous force and concentration?
Just before the event started, I happened to meet him in the hallway, and looking toward me, he gave me the message, “I would appreciate your support” with his eyes. Unbelievable! Who in this crazy situation would have the self-composure to act like this? He’s just that big. Anywhere, at any given time.

I had so much to learn from this man, and watching him stand at the front and leading those around him was just an incredible sight. He is an example I should follow. And to think he’s only 33! Amazing, really. This is a quality to be sought in conductors, too. I reflect upon myself, and feel I should have been more aware of this.

And as for the dialogue he had with the 30,000 fans who he calls “family”, I strongly felt that he was truly communicating with them from the bottom of his heart. This is probably what you call a true star.

Just one more thing. Something that was quite inconceivable 10 years ago, no, not even 5 or 6 years ago is happening right now. This is something that we Koreans living in Japan are truly happy about. The fact that Japanese people are taking interest in Korea, and showing admiration towards a Korean star. My grandmother would have been so happy if she had lived to see this. This thought moves me deeply.

Feeling the overwhelming voices of support from Yong Joon-ssi’s fans on my back, I felt that we professionals of the classical music world must also take action. WE need to wake up, too! Let’s do what we have to do! It isn’t right to think “classical music is only for people who can appreciate it”, we really have to think seriously about how we can deliver it to a bigger audience. Music is an international asset. A great legacy. Look, music is incredible, you know. I really want more and more people to be aware of this, and feel this!

I want to express my appreciation to Yong Joon-ssi in many ways. Thank you so much!!! And I would like to thank the staffs who gave me the opportunity to participate in this wonderful event.


jaime said...

thanks for the translation, flowerbossa. One disciplined man's view on another. It's always nice to hear how other men see him. This gentleman is obviously very impressed with him, even see YJ as a role model. I hope he can fulfil his dreams of spreading classical music to a wider audience (like me).

take care ..... jaime

flowerbossa said...



Maestro Kim is a great man himself.
I was moved by his humble attitude.

I went to hear him conduct Mozart and Richard Strauss last weekend and it was marvelous. I hope you have the chance to hear him sometime in Canada.

bb said...

know what, my friend? you're an excellent translator. or at least i think so, i believe so.

thank you for bringing us this piece.

p.s. i also like your 'selection'... hee, you seem to have the penchant to pick things that i enjoy reading to translate. thank you so much :)

flowerbossa said...

bb, you are too kind.
Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed this one because it meant a lot to me to translate it.

BTW, satovic told me that you took interest in her explanation on ayurveda. I hope to translate her posting on this topic some time soon.

bb said...

yes yes yes! thought the whole idea of an alternative holistic system of health and medicine is quite cool... :)

satovic also told me she's posted a bit about how 'windy' and 'watery' and 'airy' wuri yong joon is... am so interested to hear more about it too.