KU News Release
Feb. 24, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, 785-864-2722
Pianist Alpin Hong to perform April 8 at Lied Center
LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas and Black Hills Energy will present Alpin Hong performing classical and contemporary works for piano at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8.
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., Hong began taking piano lessons at the age of 3 and made his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at 10 years old. As a teenager, Hong won several prestigious competitions including the Stravinsky Piano Competition in 1989, the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition in 1993 and the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards Competition in 1994. Hong also won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2001.
“I made my debut in Miller Auditorium in Michigan when I was 10,” said Hong in a webcam interview with the Lied Center, viewable at lied.ku.edu. “It was just terrifying, but also exhilarating. Even at that age, I remember thinking how awesome it was to do this thing I do in my house, but I get to play in this massive room with an 80-piece band backing me up. It was a feeling I think I’ll never forget.”
Before pursuing music professionally, Hong studied medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles. Unsatisfied with his career path, Hong changed course and attended the Juilliard School to earn his master’s degree. He released his first album, “Alpin Hong,” in July 2005 featuring works by Scarlatti, Brahms, Debussy and Stravinsky. His second album, “Friend Taskmaster Teacher,” was released in 2007 and sold out of its first run in just a few weeks.
Hong is a standout among classical musicians bringing humor, audience engagement and passionate energy to each of his performances. He is a classically trained pianist, but Hong also snowboards, skateboards, practices martial arts and plays video games, all of which influence his youthful performance style.
Hong performs and conducts music outreach programs for children across the country. The McGraw-Hill Companies honored him with the Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach in 2005 to recognize his dedication to music for audiences of all ages. One of his recent outreach programs in Steamboat Springs, Colo., culminated in a concert featuring 225 area band and choir students who performed a variety of works including Latin jazz, the score for the Harry Potter films and renditions of video game theme songs.
At the Lied Center, Hong will perform Variations Seriuses Op. 54 by Felix Mendelssohn; Prelude in C# Minor, Prelude in G# Minor and Prelude in G Minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff; Concert Etude No. 3 by Franz Liszt; Ballade No. 4 by Frederic Chopin; La Vega (from the Alhambra Suite No. 1) by Isaac Albeniz; Nocturne for the Left Hand Alone by Alexander Scriabin; and Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.
While in Lawrence, Hong will present his lecture/demonstration, Movies to Games, Classically Trained, to local public and parochial schools. This workshop investigates how popular movie, television and video game music affect the listener through demonstrating how classical composers used rhythm, harmony and melody to emotionally influence their audiences. The workshop introduces musical elements such as intervals, keys (major vs. minor, Western vs. Eastern) and timing (tempo, rubato) to show how modern music has its roots in classical compositional traditions. The piano is a natural tool for this workshop because of its familiarity, polyphony and ability to cover almost every genre of music, from the simplest electronic music to orchestral literature. Hong will also conduct master classes for students from Americana Music Academy, as well as present a special performance for pre-kindergarten students at the Lawrence Arts Center at 10 a.m. April 7. Invited schools include Lawrence Art Center Preschool, Head Start, Little Nations Preschool and USD 497 Early Education Program.
The presentation is supported by Mid-America Arts Alliance with underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts, Kansas Arts Commission and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. The program is also presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
Tickets are on sale at the Lied Center ticket office, (785) 864-2787 or (785) 864-2777 TDD; Murphy Hall box office, (785) 864-3982; and online at lied.ku.edu. Tickets are $24 for the public and $5 for students and youth. All seats are reserved. Discounts may apply.
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