Review: Min-Jin Kym, Violinist
29 November 1999 - Such has been the development of the teaching
of the violin over the past forty years that the world over, there are
scores of violinists who can toss you off a note-perfect performance
of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with all the ease and
superficiality of "Have a nice day". But there lies the
problem. This gem of a piece in the violin repertory convinces only
when the performer is endowed with poetic feeling in addition to all
the essential technical attributes.
On November 24th, the
22-year-old Korean violinist, Min-Jin Kym, treated the audience at the
Hexagon Theatre in Reading, England, to a rare moment of grace and
beauty in her performance of the Mendelssohn Concerto with the
Philharmonia Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Earlier
this year, with the same orchestra and conductor, Min-Jin gave a
much-acclaimed account of the Max Bruch Violin Concerto at the
Chichester Festival and her playing in Reading confirmed all the hopes
aroused on that occasion.
Min-Jin has it in her gift to turn
familiar phrases - and the Mendelssohn Concerto is full of these -
into something heard as though for the first time. Be it in the
passionate and lyrical first movement, the serene slow movement or in
the sparkling finale, she was always there with fresh insight. Her
tone is warm and strong and she has no difficulty in asserting the
violin's presence; moreover, even in the trickiest technical passages,
she remains firm and secure.
Recently, Min-Jin's mentor,
the prestigious violinist Ruggiero Ricci, said the following: "Too
often one hears the cliché that a young artist is a born
violinist. In the case of Min-Jin, however, there is no doubt: she is
that rare species - a born violinist."
to look out for.
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