[INTERVIEW] Violinist Lim Ji-young says music is her destiny

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[INTERVIEW] Violinist Lim Ji-young says music is her destiny


Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Koo Bon-sook, Music and Art Company

Violinist Lim Ji-young talks about her life after winning the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015, and her upcoming recitals in Korea

By Anna J. Park

Violinist Lim Ji-young surprised the world when she won the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015, one of the most prestigious competitions, when she was only 20. At the time she was studying in Korea at the Korea National University of Arts under the supervision of professor Kim Nam-yun.

Her life changed dramatically after winning the big competition. She said she became a professional musician without much preparation. During a recent interview with The Korea Times, Lim, now 24, said the last four years have been a great learning experience for her. Through trial and error, she said she learned what it is like to live as a professional musician, and now she has realized that music is her life and her destiny.

"Now it is certain for me that making beautiful music is my destiny and my talent. I am grateful of the talent bestowed upon me. It doesn't mean that every moment is happy and joyful. Yet despite hardships, I realized that I love the moments that I am with the music. I relish every moment, trying to make beautiful sounds and perform for people," Lim said with a smile.

"There are moments of pain and suffering, yet music has been there for me all the time. I am consoled by music, and become happiest through music. I was also deeply touched by the power of music, realizing some audiences were consoled by my music. I think this is the life and destiny of a musician, and I have fully accepted it as my life," Lim added.

Since accepting her life and destiny as a musician, she said she has become much more at ease and has a stronger sense of self, finding balance in her life.

"Playing music has become a natural thing for me, like breathing. Realizing that making music is a lifelong process, I found space within me. I have become much more relaxed and at peace. With a broader perspective on my life, I have become less anxious about each performance; I just try to put my sincerity into each performance," she said.

Since 2017, she has moved to Germany, studying at Kronberg Academy, and performed all over the world. She is now based in Berlin. She said she cherishes learning from the senior musicians at the academy.

"As performing is the giving part of my life, I need something else to refill me. I realized that studying music fills me the most. The great curriculum at the academy, which provides precious opportunities to closely meet and converse with renowned musicians, has helped me tremendously. They underwent what I'm experiencing many decades ago, and I learn so much from them." The promising violinist said.

Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Kyutai Shim, Music and Art Company

Lim is now in Korea for a series of concerts; she is set to perform three violin-viola duo recitals in Seoul, Gwangju and in Busan, throughout this week. Her recital in Seoul will be held at Kumho Art Hall Yonsei on Thursday, with American violist Matthew Lipman, 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. The two met at the Kronberg Academy in Germany. Lim said it will be a rare violin-viola duo concert, and the two artists have chosen the pieces themselves.

The two artists will play diverse pieces from Mozart to Martinu. They will play two Mozart pieces, "Duo for Violin and Viola No.1 in G Major," and "Duo for Violin and Viola No.1 in B-flat Major." They will also present Villa-Lobos's "Duo for Violin and Viola, A.463" and Martinu's "3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola," as well as Halvorsen's "Passacaglia for Violin and Cello (after G.F. Handel's Suite No.7 in G minor)."

"I'm really looking forward to the performances with Lipman, who's my close friend. This is my very first duo recital with the viola. We liked each other's playing very much, and that's how we've come to present this performance. It will be a rare opportunity to discover the charms of both the violin and the viola, which are two different, yet very similar instruments," Lim said.

She is also scheduled to present a duo concert with pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami, U.S., on June 28th, and another recital on July 2nd in Miami, with pianist Dang Thai Son, the first Asian to win the International Chopin Competition in 1980. On September 25th, she will perform the Beethoven violin concerto with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, under the baton of maestro Christoph Eschenbach.

Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Kyutai Shim, Music and Art Company

Of all the great composers of the music history, she said Mozart is her all-time favorite, along with Beethoven and Brahms.

"I love all the composers, yet my favorites are always Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. Mozart is so simple and bright to listen to but not easy to play. I find his genius every time I play his music in his strictures and phrases. It feels like finding treasures. His music is so transparent and pure, like a mirror. So there is no place to hide myself. My moods, feelings and techniques are all reflected in his pieces," Lim said. Her first CD recording was on Mozart and Beethoven as well, which was released in 2017.

"If just one person becomes happy with my music, I believe that will make the world more beautiful. That is my duty and mission in the world. As I know being a musician is my life and my destiny, I hope to play the violin and make beautiful music until the end of my life, without ever being complacent. That is my only dream and goal in life," the young virtuoso said with a smile.




Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Koo Bon-sook, Music and Art Company

Violinist Lim Ji-young talks about her life after winning the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015, and her upcoming recitals in Korea

By Anna J. Park

Violinist Lim Ji-young surprised the world when she won the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015, one of the most prestigious competitions, when she was only 20. At the time she was studying in Korea at the Korea National University of Arts under the supervision of professor Kim Nam-yun.

Her life changed dramatically after winning the big competition. She said she became a professional musician without much preparation. During a recent interview with The Korea Times, Lim, now 24, said the last four years have been a great learning experience for her. Through trial and error, she said she learned what it is like to live as a professional musician, and now she has realized that music is her life and her destiny.

"Now it is certain for me that making beautiful music is my destiny and my talent. I am grateful of the talent bestowed upon me. It doesn't mean that every moment is happy and joyful. Yet despite hardships, I realized that I love the moments that I am with the music. I relish every moment, trying to make beautiful sounds and perform for people," Lim said with a smile.

"There are moments of pain and suffering, yet music has been there for me all the time. I am consoled by music, and become happiest through music. I was also deeply touched by the power of music, realizing some audiences were consoled by my music. I think this is the life and destiny of a musician, and I have fully accepted it as my life," Lim added.

Since accepting her life and destiny as a musician, she said she has become much more at ease and has a stronger sense of self, finding balance in her life.

"Playing music has become a natural thing for me, like breathing. Realizing that making music is a lifelong process, I found space within me. I have become much more relaxed and at peace. With a broader perspective on my life, I have become less anxious about each performance; I just try to put my sincerity into each performance," she said.

Since 2017, she has moved to Germany, studying at Kronberg Academy, and performed all over the world. She is now based in Berlin. She said she cherishes learning from the senior musicians at the academy.

"As performing is the giving part of my life, I need something else to refill me. I realized that studying music fills me the most. The great curriculum at the academy, which provides precious opportunities to closely meet and converse with renowned musicians, has helped me tremendously. They underwent what I'm experiencing many decades ago, and I learn so much from them." The promising violinist said.

Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Kyutai Shim, Music and Art Company

Lim is now in Korea for a series of concerts; she is set to perform three violin-viola duo recitals in Seoul, Gwangju and in Busan, throughout this week. Her recital in Seoul will be held at Kumho Art Hall Yonsei on Thursday, with American violist Matthew Lipman, 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. The two met at the Kronberg Academy in Germany. Lim said it will be a rare violin-viola duo concert, and the two artists have chosen the pieces themselves.

The two artists will play diverse pieces from Mozart to Martinu. They will play two Mozart pieces, "Duo for Violin and Viola No.1 in G Major," and "Duo for Violin and Viola No.1 in B-flat Major." They will also present Villa-Lobos's "Duo for Violin and Viola, A.463" and Martinu's "3 Madrigals for Violin and Viola," as well as Halvorsen's "Passacaglia for Violin and Cello (after G.F. Handel's Suite No.7 in G minor)."

"I'm really looking forward to the performances with Lipman, who's my close friend. This is my very first duo recital with the viola. We liked each other's playing very much, and that's how we've come to present this performance. It will be a rare opportunity to discover the charms of both the violin and the viola, which are two different, yet very similar instruments," Lim said.

She is also scheduled to present a duo concert with pianist Kevin Kenner in Miami, U.S., on June 28th, and another recital on July 2nd in Miami, with pianist Dang Thai Son, the first Asian to win the International Chopin Competition in 1980. On September 25th, she will perform the Beethoven violin concerto with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, under the baton of maestro Christoph Eschenbach.

Violinist Lim Ji-young. Courtesy of Kyutai Shim, Music and Art Company

Of all the great composers of the music history, she said Mozart is her all-time favorite, along with Beethoven and Brahms.

"I love all the composers, yet my favorites are always Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. Mozart is so simple and bright to listen to but not easy to play. I find his genius every time I play his music in his strictures and phrases. It feels like finding treasures. His music is so transparent and pure, like a mirror. So there is no place to hide myself. My moods, feelings and techniques are all reflected in his pieces," Lim said. Her first CD recording was on Mozart and Beethoven as well, which was released in 2017.

"If just one person becomes happy with my music, I believe that will make the world more beautiful. That is my duty and mission in the world. As I know being a musician is my life and my destiny, I hope to play the violin and make beautiful music until the end of my life, without ever being complacent. That is my only dream and goal in life," the young virtuoso said with a smile.



Park Ji-won annajpark@koreatimes.co.kr


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