|Classical pianist and organist Cho Jae-hyuck, right, speaks during a press conference at Ode Port in southern Seoul, last Wednesday, for his upcoming piano and organ recital to be held at Lotte Concert Hall on July 13. / Courtesy of Classic &|
By Park Ji-won
Classical pianist and organist Cho Jae-hyuck will hold a recital where he will play both piano and organ.
"To me, the piano is a good friend, whereas the organ is a mysterious one because the former can only sound like piano but the latter has sounds like a variety of woodwind and reed instruments," Cho said during a recent news conference in Seoul.
He said he was excited for the upcoming recital because he can play both musical instruments for Korean audiences, who have only seen him playing piano before.
Cho, who was educated in the U.S. since he was high school and continued an international career as a pianist and organist, will play pieces by Beethoven on piano, and pieces by Bach and "Pahdo," or wave in English, an original piece composed by Kim Texu, with organ at the Lotte Concert Hall on July 13.
The recital is to commemorate the release of his recent organ album which was recorded in La Madeleine Catholic church in Paris with a pipe organ dating back to 1845.
He said it was a privilege for him to play the organ there. "European musicians, particularly organists and those who are involved in the musical instrument, are exclusive. I mean they are not open-minded and usually don't allow just anybody to play the centuries-old organ there because it could hurt the musical instrument," he said. "So I was surprised when I heard I was allowed to play the organ there."
Cho is one of the most active performers in the scene who gives easy commentaries during his concerts and broadcasts. He started practicing the organ at age 16 at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College out of curiosity to know more about the complex instrument.
"I love complex machines. When I was little, I disassembled most machines like the refrigerator in my home. I was also curious about how the organ works and fascinated with the complexity of the instrument. The more I understood its mechanism, the more I thought that I could get better at it," Cho said.
But he said it was still difficult for him to learn both piano and organ because they are fundamentally different instruments in terms of technique.
"I knew how to use my fingers because I practiced piano. But fingering is not the same with organ. The most difficult part was pedaling. At that time I thought it was almost impossible to do so… And it was also difficult to hit the keys…. But as time goes by I learned how to separate the two as if we learn different languages."
Thanks to those efforts, he stressed that playing two instruments became part of his unique career as a performer.
He said he introduced "Pahdo" in the album and will play it during the recital to give audiences a rare chance to hear the Korean melody and techniques, which are rooted in Korean wind instruments like daegeum.
"The organ and daegeum have a lot in common in terms of using wind to create sound. In some parts, I intentionally played the organ to sound like the Korean instrument which would never be realized with piano. I also tried to express Korean instruments such as taepyeongso, a wind instrument, as well to show the music's characteristics that highlight the variations of wave shapes including calm and stormy sounds."
He is poised to present more music in the near future. He will be releasing albums in the second half of this year, playing Chopin's music on one and covering Rachmaninoff's piano concerto played with the Russia National Orchestra on another. Visit ticketlink.co.kr or ticket.interpark.com or call 070-7576-0612 for more details about the recital or to make reservations.