Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 | Last Update : 01:10 AM IST

Joanne Kong’s soulful journey

THE ASIAN AGE. | SEONA SHAJI
Published : Aug 8, 2018, 12:24 am IST
Updated : Aug 8, 2018, 12:24 am IST

This pianist of international repute, who is also a recipient of the Irl Allison Grand Prize is all set to perform in Bengaluru.

My parents raised us to see music as an important part of our education — Joanne kong
 My parents raised us to see music as an important part of our education — Joanne kong

Music folks in town have enough reason to be excited about as award winning pianist, Joanne Kong, is ready to take the stage by storm with a soulful rendition for the first time ever.

Thrilled to be in the city, performing on August 10 at The Bangalore School of Music, the artist opens up about her musical journey to us.

She says, “I have heard wonderful things about the Bangalore School of Music as it offers an extraordinary range of musical activities for the community.  I know they instil a high level of musical passion in the students at the school, so I look forward to sharing the beauty of music with them.

My concert repertoire will include traditional Western Classical music from different European traditions, but also some American modern and New Age music as well.”

American pianist and harpsichordist, Dr Joanne Kong, is the recipient of national and international honours including Irl Allison Grand Prize in the 1985 International Piano Recording Competition. “American pianist, Lorin Hollander, is my inspiration. I admires him for his ability to communicate so much of the deep spirituality of music,” she says.

Her versatility includes the distinction of being the first artist to release a harpsichord-piano recording of the Goldberg and Diabelli Variation.

When asked how her experience has been and what are the hurdles she faced, she recalls, “It is somewhat unusual for a keyboard artist to perform on both these instruments, so the challenge for me in this recording project was consistently bringing out the unique expressive qualities of each instrument at the highest level.  

In terms of recording technology, each instrument has specific needs in order to capture the best sound acoustically.  These two sets of variations (the Goldberg Variations are by Bach, and the Diabelli Variations are by Beethoven) are the supreme examples of variation form, so this was a wonderful project to work on!”

When asked how her upbringing has been and what inspired her to be a musician, she signs off stating, “I grew up in a very musical family! Both of my sisters and my brother are also pianists, so I grew up in a joyful house that was always filled with music.  My parents raised us to see music as an important part of our education, whether or not we would choose it as a profession.”

She is currently working on a set of Chopin Nocturnes that she will perform with the critically-acclaimed Richmond Ballet in the Fall.

MT30

Tags: joanne kong, western classical music, music