Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Eun Joo Chung

In Praise of South Korean Pianism

During the course of some correspondence, my Patron Cory-Paul Allen mentioned his love for the piano playing of Yeol Eum Son. For those of you who are not familiar with her, she is a 32 year-old miracle (born 1986) from South Korea. Here’s a link to a live performance of her playing Chopin’s Etudes Op. 25.   Ignore, please, the handful of wrong notes she plays over the course of her 32-minute performance. This is the real world of live performance, a world in which mistakes are made. (Although based on her body language, Ms. Son is not so forgiving of herself.)  The fluffs make no difference. Yeol Eum Son’s artistry is what counts, and her artistry is superb. And in this, she is not alone. For a country of 50 million people, Korean’s presently make up a disproportionate percentage of some of the best young pianists currently plying their trade. I discussed my friend, the wonderful Joyce Yang (born 1986) in my first Dr. Bob Prescribes post. I hired three pianists to perform the piano excerpts for my “23 Greatest Solo Piano Works” course made for The Great Courses. Two of the three are South Korean: Woo Bin Park (born […]

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Recording the Pianists at The Great Courses – Part Two

Today we had the opportunity to meet and hear the third of our three pianists, Eun Joo Chung. She recorded the excerpts for two great and most virtuosic works: Johannes Brahms’ “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel” and Aaron Copland’s “Piano Variations”. She was absolutely stunning. Some logistical info. The studio in which we are recording is a fairly large room, in which the piano is placed dead center in the middle. At any given moment, there are five or six people in the studio. First (and obviously), there is the pianist. Then there are three camera-people, operating, as one might expect, three cameras, which are arrayed around the piano. I am seated at a table to the side, from which I can talk to the pianist and monitor events. Finally, there is my Academic Content Supervisor Cat Lyon, who when called upon leaves the adjacent control room and joins us in the studio in order to turn pages for the pianists I would call your attention to the three camera people. My friends, it is a defining skill that good camera people (and I would tell you that The GREAT Courses employs GREAT camera people) are unflappable: […]

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