Concert to feature winners of youth competition
Livermore-Amador Symphony continues to celebrate 50th season
The Livermore-Amador Symphony's 50th Season celebration continues with its second concert of the season, "Vienna Bonbon and Russian Drama," on Feb. 23 at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. Featured will be the winners of the symphony's Competition for Young Musicians: violinist Young Sun (Angel) Kim of Pleasanton and pianist Vivian Sung of Dublin.
The program includes Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich; Schumann's Concerto in A Minor (1st movement); Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate; and, to honor the Symphony's 50th Season, Lehar's Gold and Silver Waltz. Dr. Arthur Barnes is conducting.
Kim, 17, will solo in Pablo Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen (Gypsy Airs), a composition with themes of sad lament and bright dance based loosely on the czardas, a Hungarian folk dance.
She began playing the violin at the age of 8, and first performed as a soloist at the Livermore Solo and Ensemble Festival in the fifth grade.
"I like to play the violin because it helps me relieve my stress when I have many things on my mind," said Kim, the daughter of Chunsun Kyung and Wan Ho Kim, who is a senior at Amador Valley High.
Kim currently studies with Davis Law at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has been a member of the LAS Youth Orchestra for three years, and is the concertmaster and student representative of the Oakland Youth Orchestra (OYO). She also serves as concertmaster and vice president of the Livermore-Pleasanton Youth Outreach Symphony (LPYOS).
Kim won first place in the most recent OYO Concerto Competition and the honorable mention award as a sophomore. Last year, at the Korea Times Youth Music Competition she won third place; in the sixth grade she won second place.
She received a scholarship award from the Korean American Music Supporters Association and the Contra Costa County scholarship award for leadership and volunteer work. In addition to violin she has served as a math tutor since eighth grade. She became a book club leader in the Korean Parents Association when she was in ninth grade.
"Besides solo violin, orchestra has been a huge part of my life, and I plan to continue to be in a orchestra even when I grow up," Kim said.
The first movement of the Schumann concerto features pianist Vivian Sung, who remembers that she was first enchanted by the piano at age 5, when she laid her eyes on her cousin's fingers dancing across the keys.
Sung, the daughter of I-Ping Liu and Michael Sung, is now 16 and a junior at Dublin High School. She has studied the piano for the past 10 years.
"Music has always been an entanglement of my emotions; there is passion, hatred, and frustration -- but above all, love," Sung said. "Music is the only world in which I can truly be myself, express my emotions, and expose my soul."
Sung's current teacher, whom she says has instilled in her "a wild passion for music," is Dr. Jed Galant. At Wells Middle School, she was the keyboardist for the jazz band.
She also has excelled in the Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) Certificate of Merit (CM) exams, which qualified her to perform in numerous MTAC CM Branch Honors Recitals and Convention Festival Recitals. In 2012 she was selected as an Advanced Panel winner. Vivian has also participated in music festivals and won various competitions, including the Schumann Festival in Pleasanton and the U.S. Open Music Competition.
Music of the romantic period is most intriguing to Vivian. Aside from classical music, she enjoys listening to modern music -- the latest pop music of both American and Asian cultures, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
Sung shared her knowledge of music with young children in a summer program at the Dublin Library, telling anecdotes of composers with music recordings to demonstrate their unique personalities, turning several Lady Gaga fans into Beethoven fanatics.
"I have always regarded music as my own little 'happy place,' where no one can disturb me in my reveries of melodies and harmonies," Sung said.
Future concerts of the season will take place on April 6 with guest conductor Dawn Harms and on May 18, featuring Beethoven' s Ninth Symphony with Valley Concert Choral and Pacific Masterworks Chorus.
The Feb. 23 concert begins at 8 p.m., preceded by a prelude talk from 7-7:30 p.m., at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., Livermore. For tickets, visit www.mylvpac.com or call 373-6800.
The symphony's 50th season celebrations include a retreat at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Monterey from April 19-21. Guild members, donors and their families are invited to join orchestra members for this stimulating weekend event.