“I could not be more thrilled to celebrate the launch of my new CD this summer,” says Min. “The selections on the new recording – and to be performed in concert – are particularly special to me. I’ve always found Scriabin’s music to be complex and multi-dimensional in its expression. Mozart’s ‘Fantasy’ and Messiaen’s ‘Oiseaux Exotiques (The Bird Songs)’ contains the element of musical ying and yang, light and shadow, which compliments Scriabin’s music beautifully. This is a program that stirs my soul. I am very grateful to Steinway & Sons’ for their support, and to David Dubal for giving me the opportunity to discuss this deeply personal music on stage at Symphony Space.”
World-renowned concert pianist Klara Min is a Steinway Artist who makes her home in Berlin and New York. A native of South Korea, Ms. Min has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe as well as in her home country of South Korea. She has performed in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Munich’s Gasteig, the BerlinPhilharmonie, Berlin’s Konzerthhaus, Laeiszhalle, Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and South Korea’s KBS Broadcast Hall. She has also performed with several prestigious orchestras and her albums make critics rave putting her on their top lists. In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Min had her debut recital in Paris at Salle Cortot and in Seoul at Lotte Concert Hall as well as her second Scriabin record release with Steinway & Sons label. Klara Min was the recipient of a Samsung scholarship.
T2C had a chance to ask this talented artist questions.
T2C: How did you get started playing the piano?
Klara Min: The sound of the instrument was always there at home since my mother was a piano teacher. I just loved being in front of the piano making music since I was very small.
T2C: Musically what songs describe who you are?
Klara Min: It is hard to choose one, but these few years, I feel closest to Scriabin. Chopin has been my all time love of life.
T2C: What is your go to piece of music?
Klara Min: Schumann, Chopin and Scriabin, and J.S. Bach always.
T2C: Your new album features work by Scriabin, Mozart and Messiaen these are not well known composers, except Mozart. What made you choose them?
Klara Min: I think that the pieces I have chosen from these composers have something in common in terms of its descriptive nature, showing rather both sides of light and shadow and between. I intend to choose repertoire for recordings with some sort of consistency, and that is usually nothing much to do with the chronological order of composition, but more to do with musical intention of each piece.
T2C: You state “Mozart’s ‘Fantasy’ and Messiaen’s ‘Oiseaux Exotiques (The Bird Songs)’ contains the element of musical ying and yang, light and shadow, which compliments Scriabin’s music beautifully.” It seems that you are spiritually incline. Can you talk about that?
Klara Min: Scriabin is an extremely spiritual composer. Some even fear to play “Black Mass” for example as the piece is a mass for the darkness, and Scriabin’s compositional techniques combined with his synesthesia bring multi- layers of waves in music, and when they are played in right tune, it becomes a very powerful source. I chose two songs from Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques, which are La Chouette Hulotte (the owl) and L’Alouette Lulu (the lark): the owl at night, and the lark sings in the morning, and Mozart Fantasy in D minor interplays between the major and minor keys with lamenting area ending with rather delightful coda. I think that the expressions we often use in our daily life are rather simplified such as sad, happy, blue, angry, etc, but human emotions are much more complicated, and we only bring some to our conscious reality. I wanted to go deeper into the subconscious world through the chosen compositions of these composers.
T2C: Steinway & Sons is supporting you. Can you tell us more about that.
Klara Min: I am very grateful that Steinway & Sons is producing my second album. It has been a great journey with them since I became a Steinway Artist. They are very supportive of their artists.
T2C: Do you play in Steinway Hall?
Klara Min: I have, yes.
T2C: Did they loan you a piano?
Klara Min: I have a Steinway which I have purchased many years ago from them. If I travel to have concerts, and in need of Steinway concert grand, yes, they would load the piano for my concerts.
T2C: You are the founder and artistic director of New York Concert Artists and Associates. Can you tell us more about that?
Klara Min: It has been already ten years since NYCA is founded, and I am very happy what has been done through this organization, helping many young musicians by providing them opportunities to perform and connect with the world. It is a big commitment on my end as a founder and an artistic director to lead the organization, and to combine the works with my own performance takes a great deal of dedication and time managing, but I am very grateful for where I am and for where NYCA is. Looking forward to more to come!
T2C: What advice would you give young artists?
Klara Min: I would advise them to have faith in themselves, to view life and career in a long run. Some things you plan would happen, but most of things will not go according to the plan. Nevertheless never to give up. Give up giving up. If you are dedicated and put your integrity in daily life, one day you would be surprised where you are.
T2C: What would you like our audience to know about you?
Klara Min: Music is a reflection of life. Music does not stand alone. I would like to share life in music with the audience.
You can see Ms. Min perform at New York’s Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC 10025) in the Thalia Theater June 26th at 7:30. Tickets, priced at $30 ($20 for students & seniors), are available at the Symphony Space box office, by calling (212) 864-5400, or online at www.SymphonySpace.org.