I invited Glen Kwok, the executive director of the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis, to be a guest blogger today to talk about what Clara-Jumi Kang (our soloist in this weekend’s performances) has been up to since winning the IVCI’s Gold Medal in 2010.
Ever wonder what life as a concert artist is like? If we take a quick glimpse at just one three-week period in the life of 2010 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Gold Medalist Clara-Jumi Kang, it will give you a good idea.
In this current three-week period (which culminates with this weekend’s concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), she will have traveled from Munich to Hiroshima to Newark to Indianapolis and then finally back home to Munich (that's 20,637 miles to be exact). Her travel schedule alone is enough to tire out even the most seasoned traveler. Can you imagine on top of dealing with all the flights and multiple time zones, actually having to prepare and perform three different concertos at the same time? In Clara’s case, this trip involved performing three major warhorses of the violin repertoire: Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn concertos as well as Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole – no easy feat even if she stayed put in one city!
The life of a concert artist is exhilarating and rewarding in so many ways but as you can see, it is definitely not an easy one. On top of the concerts, Clara must juggle several projects including the release of her new CD. For those attending this weekend’s concert, you will get a chance to see Clara’s CD, hot off the press from Decca. Stop by the lobby of Hilbert Circle Theatre at intermission to say hi to Clara as she will be signing CDs. Entitled “Modern Solo,” it features some of the solo violin repertoire’s most fiendishly difficult virtuoso pieces such as Ernst’s Last Rose of Summer and Der Erlkönig, Milstein’s Paganiniana and Ysaÿe Sonatas No. 3, 5 and 6.
As if all that I described above was not enough to think about, add a Carnegie Hall debut on May 4 and I think you get just enough of a taste of what life is like in the life of Clara-Jumi Kang!