Renowned violinist Chee-Yun returns to Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK – Chee-Yun is one of the world’s most beloved musical artists, and Friday she’s bringing that world to Beaver Creek.
Chee-Yun headlines the third annual June S. Kang Love of the Arts Scholarship benefit concert.
She’s so great you’ve enjoyed her music perhaps without even realizing it.
Chee-Yun gave arguably the best performance in X Games history when she performed the theme on ESPN.
She appeared on PBS as a special guest on Victor Borge’s “Then and Now 3,” in a live broadcast at Spivey Hall in Atlanta during the Olympic Games, there’s that X Games performance and she appeared in HBO’s hit series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
So now you know.
On Friday, Chee-Yun will be accompanied by world renowned classical guitarist Zaira Meneses. Jing Want will join Chee-Yun on violin, Conor Hanick on piano, Jeremy Turner on cello, along with soprano and vocalist Courtenay Budd.
About the scholarship
Local Edwards resident Han Kang established the benefit concert in 2010 in memory of his late wife, June. Chee-Yun is a family friend, and again included the Beaver Creek benefit concert on her winter tour.
The June S. Kang Love of Arts Scholarship goes to an Eagle County high school senior with plans to pursue a degree in the performing arts.
Last spring it was Vail’s Nathan Ball, a graduate of Boston College, the New England Conservatory of Music and the Brevard Music Institute. Ball is using the two-year scholarship to pursue his doctorate at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
Ball composed a piece that will be performed at Friday’s concert.
“I wrote a piece that tried to convey an archetypical response to the loss of a friend, or family member,” Ball said. “More specifically, I wished to capture the beauty and hope that can arise amidst times of trial and loss.”
“I hope that all those who did know June Kang, might also find comfort in the music itself; because without her love of the arts, the piece would never have been written,” Ball said.
Ball has been commissioned by both the Boston College Bands program and the Wenham Street Brass Trio. He was awarded the New England Conservatory of Music Merit Scholarship and the Boston College Bands Program Scholarship, while also being nominated for the Order of the Cross and Crown Honor Society at Boston College.
“Nathan’s academic and musical accomplishments are truly impressive,” said Lindsey Myers, The Youth Foundation’s academic coordinator. “It is exciting to think of someone from our valley making such a name for himself through education. We are proud to be able to help with advancing his very promising career in music.”
The Korean-born phenom’s first public performance was at age 8 took place in her native Seoul, after she won the Grand Prize of the Korean Times Competition. At 13, she came to the United States and was invited to perform the Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5 in a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic.
Two years later, she performed in Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra.
She’s also an educator, teaching master classes around the world and holding teaching posts at music schools and universities. These days, she’s Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Violin at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
“Teaching has helped me become a better musician,” she said. “When I was a student I took every word that my teacher said very seriously. Now as a teacher, knowing that whatever I say to my students is going to remembered for the rest of their lives, I’d better say something that is going to be inspiring to them.”
And like the masterpiece she is, Chee-Yun plays the Stradivarius “Ex-Strauss” (Cremona, 1708), on loan through the Samsung Foundation of Culture of Korea and the Stradivari Society of Chicago.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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