Hyeyung Yoon and Soyeon Kate Lee Give NY Debut of Sirota Violin Sonata at SubCulture Tonight
Tonight, March 26, 2014, two longtime friends - violinist Hyeyung Julie Yoon and pianist Soyeon Kate Lee - will present an unforgettable evening of chamber music at the new downtown venue SubCulture (45 Bleecker Street, downstairs). The concert features the New York premiere of composer Robert Sirota's Pange Lingua Sonata, written for Yoon and Lee in 2012, and Bach's Sonata in C Minor. Cellist Gregory Beaver joins the ensemble for Brahms' Piano Trio in C Major; Soyeon Kate Lee will also perform "Agitato/Calmo" and "Tender Rage" from Robert Sirota's Mixed Emotions for solo piano.
Robert Sirota's Pange Lingua Sonata for violin and piano was commissioned by Hyeyung Julie Yoon in memory of her grandfather, Myung Il Paek. "I have used the Pange Lingua, an epic hymn with text by St. Thomas Aquinas, as the generative material for this three-movement work," Sirota said. "The first movement, 'Apologia,' marked with intensity, explores fragments of ideas that ebb and flow as if searching for an anchoring statement of faith. The hymn melody finally appears towards the very end of the movement. The second movement, 'Ballade,' marked Adagio, poco rubato, offers more full-throated melodic writing for the violin, with the Pange Lingua theme appearing in the piano about halfway through the movement. The final 'Variations' movement is marked Allegro Molto. In it, the Pange Lingua theme is taken through eight variations, followed by a fairly extended and brilliant finale."
Hyeyung Julie Yoon is the second violinist of the acclaimed Chiara String Quartet, and has performed in the U.S. and abroad along with her quartet to critical acclaim. Her solo work includes performing Beethoven's Triple Concerto with pianist Stewart Goodyear and cellist Gregory Beaver with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony and Beethoven's Violin Concerto with The University of Nebraska Orchestra. She has also soloed with the Charlotte Symphony, the Mannes Orchestra, and has performed at the prime minister's residence in Seoul, South Korea for the first-woman prime minister and other government officials. As a devoted teacher, she currently teaches at Harvard University and is an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has taught at The Juilliard School, Greenwood Music Camp, and The Chamber Music Institute at the University of Nebraska. She graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma Degree in String Quartet Studies. Her teachers and mentors include Sally Thomas, Ernest Pereira, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. Yoon plays on a Roman violin from 1790 made by Giulio Cesare Gigli.
First prize winner of the prestigious 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with "a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style," while The Washington Post has lauded her for her "stunning command of the keyboard." Recent recital appearances include New York City programs at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Art's Alice Tully Hall, Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland's Severance Hall, the Ravinia Festival's Rising Stars series, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid as part of a 13-city tour of Spain, a tour of the Hawaiian Islands, and Finland's Maanta Music Festival. She has been rapturously received as guest soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as many other orchestras across the country. Lee earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees, and Artist Diploma from The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, she won every award granted to a pianist including the Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition and Arthur Rubinstein Prize. Lee is a Steinway Artist.
Gregory Beaver, cellist of the Chiara String Quartet, won the Corpus Christi Young Artist's Competition and was selected as one of the two quarterfinalists from the United States for the Australasian International Cello Competition in Christchurch, New Zealand. His solo performances include a recital program with Soyeon Kate Lee and a New York recital event where he presented the complete cycle of Beethoven's cello and piano music. He has worked with great artists such as Pierre Boulez in a special Carnegie Hall performance of Messagesquisse, and as principal cellist of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra he has worked with conductors including Claudio Abbado and Robert Spano. Beaver graduated cum laude with a BM in cello performance from Rice University, and with an MM in cello performance and Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies from The Juilliard School. Beaver's principal teachers include Louis Potter, Jr., Norman Fischer, and Joel Krosnick. Beaver is also an internationally recognized expert in the PHP computer programming language, and his book The PEAR Installer Manifesto: Revolutionizing PHP Application Development and Deployment was released by Packt Publishing in October of 2006. Gregory Beaver is married to Hyeyung Julie Yoon, and plays a Parisian cello from the 1720s attributed to Jacques Bocquay.
About Robert Sirota: Over the last four decades as a composer, Robert Sirota has developed a distinctive voice, clearly discernable in all of his work - whether symphonic, choral, stage, or chamber music. The New York Times has described his style as, "fashioned with the clean, angular melodies, tart harmonies, lively syncopations and punchy accents of American Neo-Classicism," and writes, "Thick, astringent chromatic harmonies come in tightly bound chords to create nervous sonorities. Yet the textures are always lucid; details come through."
Robert Sirota's work has garnered praise from audiences and critics alike throughout the United States and abroad, at venues including Carnegie Hall's Zankel and Weill Recital Halls, Merkin Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music, Peabody, Oberlin Conservatory, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. His commissions include works for the Empire Brass, the American Guild of Organists, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Fischer Duo, the Peabody Trio, the Webster Trio, and the Chiara String Quartet.
Recent performances of Sirota's music include the New York premieres of his latest two orchestral works, A Rush of Wings and 212: Symphony No. 1; Holy Women, a cantata for nine singers and chamber ensemble, with a libretto by Victoria Sirota; and his chamber opera The Clever Mistress as part of The Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival at Symphony Space. Recent world premieres include holy ghosts, commissioned to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the installation of the historic Appleton Organ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in May 2012, as well as two violin sonatas written for Hyeyung Julie Yoon and Laurie Carney, and a fanfare written for the string quaret ETHEL. For more information, visit www.robertsirota.com.