Masterclass Review: Ick Choo Moon
by Moon Kyoung Kim
Professor Ick Choo Moon, one of the famous pianists and piano teachers in South Korea, gave a very insightful master class for three talented young pianists on July 4th at the Reginna Auditorium in Maiori, Italy. He engaged all in attendance with his mature musicianship and delicate lyricism. The first student, Monica Han, performed Haydn Sonata C major Hob. XVI 50 1st movement with a clear sense of tone and impressive dexterity. Prof. Moon suggested to Han, “Free your mind and don’t be afraid of making music come alive by doing different things.” Encouraging her to meaningfully vary the music as it repeated, he said, “If something is alive, nothing is ever exactly the same.” He reminded us, “Be aware of what you hear from the instrument, respond to it, and build something different from it.” It was the most fundamental thing we all know, but often forget. The Symphonic Etudes Op. 13 of Schumann, one the most virtuosic piano works, was performed by Hyun Jeong Hwang. The audience enjoyed her colorful texture and strong enthusiasm for the music. Prof. Moon praised Hwang’s passion and deep intensity in her performance. Stressing the importance of keeping a pulse throughout the music, Dr. Moon said that freedom is conveyed effectively only within a consistent pulse. The music came alive even though the changes of musical ideas were subtle. The last piece of the program, Chopin Scherzo B-flat minor No. 3, was introduced by the sparkling performance of Carissa Kim. Her dazzling technique in playing fast and embellished passagework amazed the audience. One of the main ideas Prof. Moon put forth as a challenge was to make the music more flowing by naturally responding to the sound, not in an artificial way. He said, “Bel canto is not only singing, but breathing.” The descriptive images given by Prof. Moon brought a virile and noble energy to the Scherzo without any harshness.