04. April 2011 · Comments Off on Alpin Hong · Categories: Read Online, Videos

“Once I had a totally gothed-out death-metal fan with tattoos and piercings come to me after a concert for advice. He was a singer, and I told him, ‘I know you can scream, but do you know how to sing? If you want to effectively scream, you have to learn how to sing first.’ He appreciated that.”

Hong draws on the history of classical music to show kids that rebellion isn’t anything new.

“Classical composers were the first rebels,” he said. “These were dark, disturbed, romantic individuals who were crossing the line. Chopin’s girlfriend wore men’s clothes and smoked a cigar. Even now George Sand would be stared at.”

For his Lied Center recital, Hong has chosen an audience-friendly program, including music by Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Felix Mendelssohn, George Gershwin and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

“I’ll be doing some of Rachmaninoff’s preludes,” Hong said. “They’re such exquisite miniatures. I tell kids when they listen to the C-Sharp Minor prelude to imagine trick-or-treating on Halloween. Another prelude sounds like you’re chasing a butterfly and another one sounds like something Darth Vader would play on the piano in his living room.”

Unlike many doom-and-gloom types, Hong is hopeful for the future of classical music.

“I’m far from being cynical. I’m actually very excited about what’s around the corner. The whole notion of separate musical categories is falling apart. Classical, pop, R&B, country and, the most ridiculous of all, world music. What is that? Anything that isn’t written in America? I’m glad this stratification is coming down.”


I like this guy!

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