Nov 10, 2006

Why Classical Music?!

From Sohn-san's blog

Why Classical Music?!

I’ve often been asked, “why is your company dealing with classical music?" On such occasions, I try to explain it this way - there are many talented musicians in Asia, but because they perform music which has its origins in Europe, even someone who had been tagged a prodigy often has a hard time making it as he grows older. It is my wish to assist these artists to realize their potential.

For everything there is a catalyst, and what lead me to start dealing with classical music began with my encounter with Maestro Myung Whun Chung.

I had known of him since my childhood days – he is a celebrated figure in Korea who is known by virtually everyone. As a child, just like everyone around me, I took violin lessons around the age of six and quit immediately, then was made to practice the piano, and quit that, too in no time. Looking back, I think I should have stuck with it a little longer, but as a boy, I enjoyed baseball more, so it’s no use regretting it. Being the type that has a hard time keeping at something that is difficult, I can’t help respecting someone who continues to pursue his specialty for many years, remaining a leader of the world.

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Needless to say, it is great to see him in a concert for his wonderful conducting and performance at the piano, but I am also moved by the man himself – his down-to-earth and kind personality is revealed at times when we dine together. He changes from a charismatic conductor to a nice, good natured “ajoshi” (no offense) who serves pasta for the people at the table. . More than anything, he has been passionate about helping the artists of the next generation for some time now, and although he is very busy with his own career, he is constantly thinking about volunteering his services and carries them out energetically.

When I met the maestro for the first time, it was in the presence of HIH the Crown Prince of Japan, and both of them talked about Bae Yong Joon and “Winter Sonata”. They said Bae Yong Joon-san was really something. I guess a man who is really great receives the recognition he deserves.
Now, it wasn’t ME they were praising, and “Winter Sonata” is not even my own work, but I have a feeling I said “thank you” at the time. How foolish of me…

(Sohn-san goes on to recommend the upcoming concert that will sponsored IMX. Maestro Chung will be conducting the world renowned orchestra,Dresden Staatskapelle this month in Tokyo and Osaka.

Incidentally, Sohn-san complained of jet lag in his previous post, and had written the above early in the morning before he came back to Japan.
Turns out that he has just come back from a business trip to LA!)


bb said...

sohn seems like a nice guy with nice ideals. i like how he has a heart to reach out and help new talents.

sohn seems to enjoy interacting and communicating with people :)

thanks flowerbossa!

p.s. the wls thank you part is so cute!

jaime said...

How true, how sincere for Sohn-san to talk about his childhood experience with music. He is the most noble thing to promote classical music. I heard some child psychologists talked about most parents are so adamant about their kids completing all piano exams and level. At the end, eventhough the children have the technical ability to play piano, but they lack the artistic element and true feelings in their music. They encourage parents should take their children to the Symphony to purely appreciate music.

Wow, even the Crown Prince of Japan talked about our BYJ! Oh, how proud we are, just like Sohn-san!

Thanks for your great translation, flowerbossa.

Anonymous said...

It's very interesting to know that IMX even sponsors classical concerts.

Yes... the Chung family is very famous. I read from a Korean magazine about Mr. Chung's concert he had in Japan last(?) year. He is a marvelous man.

Thanks for sharing..


flowerbossa said...


Sohn-san used to show up on JOB once in awhile, too.

I think you will enjoy his next posting.

I hope to share it with you soon, but work is piling up...

flowerbossa said...


The piano has always been a good friend to me. I didn't necessarily like to practice everyday, but I always liked to explore new pieces. My son doesn't take lessons any more, but he still seems to have some interest in playing.

It was really good of Sohn-san to share the Prince's comment on wuri prince! I wish YJ had the freedom to attend Maestro Chung's concerts!

bb said...

i'll be waiting patiently for the next piece :p

flowerbossa said...


I'm so sorry, the response I made last night somehow didn't show up here.

I'll try again:

I actually attended a recital sponsored by IMX this spring in which the maestro accompanied an Italian singer called Cecilia Barotoli on the piano.

It was fabulous♪

BTW, have you read the book written by the maestro's mother on the history of their family?
WOW, she is one determined woman.
It was fascinating!

flowerbossa said...


Yes, I will try♪

The photo exhibit starts today,
but unfortunately it is raining...

I am hoping to make some time next week to see it^^

bb said...

oh? how coincidental... it's raining cats and dogs here in singapore too :p

liezle said...

thanks again flowerbossa!

with mr sohn's busy schedule, i'm so amazed that he can still find time to write in his blog. hee, i wonder if yong joon visits his blog?

btw, i'm so glad that mr sohn mentioned that the prince talked about our yong joon. it gave me a big big smile :D

take care ^^