|Pianist Choue Hee-youn / Courtesy of Choue Hee-youn|
By Kwon Mee-yoo
Pianist Choue Hee-youn will present a solo recital at the Youngsan Art Hall on Yeouido in Seoul, Nov. 25.
It will include works by Bach, Mozart, Debussy and Albeniz.
Choue will start with Bach's "Partita in B-flat Major, BWV 825," followed by Mozart's "Piano Sonata No.13 in B-flat Major, K.333." After an intermission, she will play Debussy's "La Serenade interromapue" and "La Puerta del Vino," and Albeniz's "Iberia Book II."
The first half showcases the purity of absolute music, emphasizing the beauty of combinations of notes, while the second half presents program music, specifically Spain portrayed by French Impressionist composer Debussy and Spanish Nationalist musician Albeniz.
"As many of my concerts this year were postponed or canceled, I had to come up with a new program. Albeniz is a Spanish composer who used Spanish folk music elements in classical music, combined with influences from Impressionism and Romanticism," Choue told The Korea Times via a phone interview.
"Debussy was his contemporary and he also wrote music influenced by Spain, fascinated by the country's exotic atmosphere. It would be an interesting contrast between two composers who portrayed the same country in music but in different styles."
Choue said she tried to turn the pandemic into a warm up for the future.
"People might think that art is far from their life, but art is an important component of a society. I play at the concerts, but I also teach students to make a living. I try to keep my composure while preparing for my next run of concerts and doing my best with teaching my students."
Choue had an early debut, performing with the Korean Symphony Orchestra at the age of 13.
She attended Seoul Arts High School and studied under Kim Young-ho at Yonsei University School of Music where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees.
Choue went to the United States and studied with Alexander Shtarkman at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, receiving her Graduate Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma there. In 2016, she received her doctorate from the same graduate school.
Choue has won top prizes in the Yale Gordon and Harrison Winter competitions. Her performance of Chopin's "Piano Concerto No.2, Op. 21," with the Peabody Concert Orchestra featured in New York's classical music radio station WQXR's McGraw-Hill Companies Young Artist Showcase.
Choue made her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Emerging Artists Recital series, hosted by New York Concert Artists & Associates.
She also performed in concerts at the William Margaret Theater, sponsored by the Korean-American Education Foundation, the Mariam A. Friedberg Concert Hall, the Goodwin Hall, the Merrick Recital Hall and the Kaufman Center Merkin Hall in New York.
Rorianne Schrade said in her review of the Merkin Hall recital for the New York Concert Review that "Choue has just about everything ― technical brilliance, intelligence, poetry, poise, artful programming and a beautiful stage presence."
Choue has also performed in other places around the world, including at the Courchevel Music Alp Festival of France, the International Music Festival at Vila-Seca and the Gabala International Music Festival of Azerbaijan.
She returned to Korea in 2016 for a concert accompanied by the Soliall Philharmonic Orchestra, and won the New Musician of the Year Award from the Journal of Music for her return solo recital.
Choue teaches at Yonsei University, Sookmyung Women's University and Chung-Ang University while continuing her various performances.