As I am now moving forward in my teaching and performing career as a full-time professional, I hope to have my students experience this amazing opportunity at Vianden in the years to come.–Ji Hyun Kim, D.M.A.Assistant Professor of Violin and ViolaSpring Arbor UniversityArtist-Teacher in ResidenceJackson Symphony Orchestra
What an experience! When Dr. Caroline Hartig suggested this festival to me early this year, a lot of the aspects of this particular festival seemed like it was what I would benefit the most from. As I was then finishing my doctorate degree in music performance with a specialization in contemporary music, spending my two weeks of summer at this non-competitive solo and chamber music festival held in Luxembourg sounded too good to be true. In my past years of studying violin, I have attended (and also taught at) numerous music festivals and camps in countries such as South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. In majority of the cases, these musical activities were set in competitive settings, concentrating more on solo and orchestral performances than in chamber music (unless the festival itself is specifically designed for “ONLY” chamber music). With the Vianden Music Festival, what fancied me the most was the “flexibility” in the choice of repertoire, number of ensembles, choice of “floating” between faculty members, and working out the daily schedule around the given rehearsal times. The only issue I had with attending this festival was the financial portion as I was scheduled to teach summer classes. However, after sending in my CV and audition recording, the director Mr. Semyon Rozin has helped me tremendously in finding every possible way to provide the financial support to have me attend the festival. Through receiving this help, we have worked out a slightly different schedule from other participants, performing 7 different chamber repertoire in 12 days! Also, Mr. Andrew Campbell, the chamber music director, was very supportive in the idea of premiering some 21st-Century American music as well as other more traditional repertoire. Working with Mr. Rozin as the concertmistress of his orchestra was another really enjoyable experience in addition to my rather “full” schedule of chamber rehearsals.
I believe that all of the participants would agree with me on the fact that the musical aspects were not the “only” thing that made this festival such a wonderful experience. The quality of the accommodation and rehearsal/concert facilities have exceeded my expectations by far, and the food was absolutely delicious. The local people as well as the important guests we met at the special reception were very kind and generous (who would’ve guessed that we would have the assistant mayor as our chauffeur!). The local audience I have encountered on the Klezmer Evening were very easy-going and welcoming, which made my first Klezmer debut more enjoyable than stressful. The very last night of the festival was a true blast! After the final concert, all participants and faculties were invited to the Ancien Cinema Cafe by Mr. Rozin, and had a great farewell evening. I have made numerous new friends among participants, but what I think I would treasure the most would be the new positive connections I have made with the faculty members. The fact that I just began teaching in college level may have influenced this also, but it couldn’t have been possible without the “openness” of those faculty members. As I am now moving forward in my teaching and performing career as a full-time professional, I hope to have my students experience this amazing opportunity at Vianden in the years to come.
Ji Hyun Kim, D.M.A.
Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola
Spring Arbor University
Artist-Teacher in Residence
Jackson Symphony Orchestra