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‘I went to those live shows after I was a child’: Summit Chamber Music Sequence founder needs live shows to be a household custom

Sunmi Chang is aware of the rating.

The music carried out by Chang, the creative director of the Summit Chamber Music Sequence in Morgantown, isn’t nearly listening.  

It’s about dwelling, too, with a pulse of historical past and narrative going well beyond these scratchy vinyl recordings from the Music Appreciation class you took in your freshman yr.  

Instance: Bela Bartok, the Hungarian composer, knew he was saying goodbye to his homeland when he accomplished his famed Violin Concerto No. 2, in 1938.

Adolf Hitler made the choice for him.

The Third Reich was casting a big, ominous shadow over a lot of Europe by then, and Bartok’s piece mirrored each emotion he was feeling — each for his fellow Hungarians and himself.

Violin Concerto No. 2 was cinematic, sweeping, melancholy and celebratory.

It was life-affirming, defiant and downright offended, .

A virtually 40-minute soundtrack of the psyche, reflecting all of the stuff you’d really feel, for those who had been pressured right into a circumstance the place you needed to depart — or else — the bodily and figurative landscapes that had outlined you to that time.

Go to to look at how Chang, a violinist who left her native South Korea on the age of 14 to review music in the UK, leans into Bartok’s sonic break-up letter.

Watch Chang’s virtuoso bowing method and the way her fingers search the notes on the neck of her 120-year-old Guilio Degani violin.

Watch her facial expressions. Making stunning, dramatic music isn’t straightforward; it’s a exercise.

In the event you’d been watching when she and her husband and younger son relocated to the north-central West Virginia space proper earlier than the pandemic 4 years in the past, you’d have seen her driving round Morgantown, on the lookout for locations to play.

Chasing acoustics, because it had been.

Listening to — and seeing

“It was the very very first thing I did,” stated Chang, who’s launching Summit’s third season within the College Metropolis this week.

That occurs 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Suncrest United Methodist Church when the sequence presents “Works by Mozart, Moszkowski & Dohnányi” — that includes Chang as one in all its principal performers.

She’ll be joined by flutist Tara O’Connor, fellow violinist Daniel Phillips, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, cellist Angela Park and pianist David Fung.

All have carried out internationally, with their resumes reflecting their coaching at Yale, the Julliard Faculty and marquee establishments on the earth of classical music and chamber music, together with their performances in live performance halls throughout the globe.

Chang enjoys the intimacy of chamber music, she stated.

The smaller ensembles, she stated, aren’t as formidable to folks experiencing such music stay for the primary time.

Audiences are seated nearer to the performers, too, she stated, which makes for a sonic plus.

In the event you “see” the music being crafted on the spot, you’ll be able to hear it higher, as nicely.

Click on on the “Summit CMS” hyperlink on her web site for the complete rundown of ticket costs, plus the entire schedule of the opposite performances, together with a kid-friendly live performance — which will likely be 6 p.m. Sept. 22 within the Lyell B. Clay Live performance Theatre, at WVU’s Canady Inventive Arts Middle.

Whereas admission to “Carnival of the Animals: A Household Live performance Celebration” is free, tickets are nonetheless required. Go to the Summit web site for particulars.

The night will even characteristic an impressed contact: an “Instrument Petting Zoo,” the place youngsters can truly check out the devices performed through the efficiency, Chang stated.

“That manner, they’ll actually expertise it,” the violinist stated. “It simply provides to it.”

Which is what bought her into all this, she stated.

Musical passport

As a teen, she was a musical prodigy with out even realizing it.

She scratched out her first notes on the age of seven. A yr later, she was enjoying full items. She simply knew she appreciated it.

Her mother and father knew their child had expertise.

So, off she went to England. A 14-year-old turned a citizen of the world, by way of her violin.

From there, she carried out in London (The Royal Albert Corridor) and Paris earlier than shifting on to Berlin for extra examine.

Yale introduced her to the U.S. in 2006, the place she earned a grasp’s in music and was rapidly employed by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, the one full-time chamber orchestra within the nation.

Chang accomplished her doctorate of musical arts in violin efficiency from the College of Michigan in 2020, the place she found she loved educating simply as a lot.

She loved introducing metallic children and electronica children and dubstep children to chamber music. She did music remedy outreach, lending her violin to hospital sufferers and frontline employees in Michigan.

When a job alternative introduced her household to the Mountain State — the place a “violin” and a “fiddle” might be two distinctly totally different devices — she needed to do the identical.

“I had truly been fascinated with a chamber music sequence for about 10 years,” she stated. “I even had the picture of the emblem in my thoughts.”

Then, she laughed.

“I simply didn’t know what I used to be doing. I didn’t know a factor about advertising and marketing.”

‘I went to those live shows after I was a child …’

What Chang did know, after all, was find out how to play.

And, she knew folks, world-class musicians like her, who knew find out how to play.

So, she bought behind the wheel and scoped out these venues.

Together with Suncrest United Methodist and WVU, performances this season will even be at St. Thomas à Becket Episcopal Church and on the Terrace at West Virginia Botanical Backyard.

“The Botanical Backyard is a brand new venue for us this yr,” she stated. “It’s a fully stunning place to play.”

Apart from the aforementioned performers, the sequence can be lined with different chamber luminaries, together with the Brentono String Quartet, Paul Watkins and Hyobi Sim.

In the event you don’t know them, that’s okay, Chang stated.

That’s the purpose.

“I simply need to have the ability to introduce folks to the music,” Chang stated.

Younger folks, particularly.

“I need folks to say years from now, ‘I went to those live shows after I was a child, and now I’m taking my children.’”

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