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Chun to join with guest pianist for joint recital

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Soyoun Chun, soprano, assistant professor of music at Bethel College, will give a recital at the college, along with guest pianist Jayoung Hong.

The two will perform Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel on the Bethel campus. The concert is free and open to the public. Before that, they will play at the Spencer Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Saturday, April 25.

The program includes “important and well-known works in both the piano and soprano repertoires,” Chun said. Interspersed with Chun’s pieces, Hong will play sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven and Edvard Grieg.

Chun will sing Vincenzo Bellini’s “Vaga luna che inargenti” (“Roaming moon that silvers”) and “Il fervido desiderio” (“The fervent wish”); Hugo Wolf’s “Auch keine dinge” (“Even small things”), “In dem Schatten meine Locken” (“In the shade of my tresses”) and “Er ist’s” (“It is spring”); selections from Fernando Obradors’ Canciones clasicas espanolas; and Gustav Charpentier’s “Depuis le jour” (“Since the day”).

Hong will play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 24 in F sharp minor, Op. 78 and Grieg’s Piano Sonata in E minor, Op. 7.

“I try to come up with a program that will be both interesting for the audience and myself,” said Chun. “I also try to learn new repertoire each time, and give a recital regularly.”

Chun began planning the recital in the fall semester, but had to alter her original plan to perform with a tenor from Fort Hays State University. Then when Chun discovered that Hong was planning to give a concert near the same time as Chun’s spring recital, the two decided to combine performances.

“The variety of having both solo piano pieces, as well as delightful songs for soprano, will be very enjoyable for the audience, we hope,” said Chun.

Soyoun Lim Chun is assistant professor of music and instructor of voice at Bethel College, where she has taught since 2006. She has performed in a variety of settings, from opera to solo recitals, with orchestras and in chamber music settings. She earned a D.M.A. with honors at the University of Kansas and has her Master’s of Music from the New England Conservatory and her B.A. from Seoul National University. She has also participated in master classes at the famed Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

Some of Chun’s past performances have been with Piu & Piu Opera in Seoul and with the Wichita Grand Opera. Recital appearances include a series at the French Cultural Institute in Seoul, a tour of Guatemala and performances on the renowned Cantata Singers Recital Series in Boston.

A cornerstone of Chun’s repertoire is a little-known single-act monodrama by Francis Poulenc, La voix humaine – requiring a singer to be on stage, non-stop, for 45 minutes – which she has sung to critical acclaim. In addition, she has performed works in diverse genres and styles, ranging from early music (such as Carissimi’s opera Jephte and Pergolesi’s oratorio Stabat Mater) to Romantic-era and contemporary (such as Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Ned Rorem’s song cycle Nantucket Songs).

Jayoung Hong began her performing career at the early age of six when she won second prize in the Korea Daily News Choon-choo Piano Competitions and first prize at the Yewon Arts School Piano Competition in Seoul. Hong is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Chancellor’s Award at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, from which she holds a degree. She has taught at Korean National University and Dongduck University in Seoul and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at University of Kansas. She has performed as a soloist and with chamber groups in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lyric Theatre of Kansas City and the Seoul Arts Center.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in Forbes.com’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at www.bethelks.edu.

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