by Nadya Kelly
On November 17th in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall, members of the Boston community gathered to see violinist Inmo Yang, along with pianist Sahun Hong, perform selections by Beethoven, Schubert, and Boulanger in addition to works by Afro-Cuban composer José White Lafitte and Elena Rykova, a doctoral student currently attending Harvard University.
When going to see the performance of a classical musician of such high calibre, I find there are already high levels of expectations for the performer to meet. In this case Inmo Yang, who at only 24, has won first prize at the 54th Paganini International Violin Competition, 2014 Concert Artists Guild Competition, has made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall, and has been invited to play around the world - such as in Switzerland with the Orchestre Nationale de France and in Korea as the Kumho Art Hall Artist-in-Residence. As an audience member, one expects to see technique that is virtuosic, hear a tone that is clear, rich and resonant, and hear multiple types of articulations played with precision and accuracy.
As an audience member, you expect to witness nothing short of perfection.
It is undeniable that this young violinist shows an impressive mastery of his instrument, but moreover, it is undeniable that Yang possesses an intuitive ability to channel the dynamic range of human expression through the art of music and performance.
As the concert progressed, audience members couldn’t help but be captivated by Yang’s passionate recital, leaning over the hall’s balconies to embrace every second of Yang’s performance. He passed through different moods and emotions seemingly on a whim while also displaying jaw-dropping feats of technical excellence. These garnered chuckles of bewilderment, audible gasps of disbelief, and several standing ovations from the crowd throughout the duration of Yang’s performance.
Apart from witnessing Yang’s incredible devotion to his craft, this performance was even more memorable due to his direct address to his audience before playing two of the lesser-known pieces in his program. He took the opportunity to give the audience some insight into the difficulty level and context of these pieces. Yet he also shared how he felt it was important to include these “non-traditional” pieces into his program as he feels he has an obligation to play music that is relevant to as many people as possible, asking the audience to listen to the following two pieces with an open mind.
Overall, especially after seeing Yang’s message of inclusivity and acceptance resonate so strongly with today’s audience, I left Calderwood Hall feeling inspired, energized, and motivated to perfect my own craft. It is evident to see that Yang already has had a significantly positive impact in the world of classical music. I look forward to seeing what more he has to offer in today’s music industry.
Follow Yang HERE