24 August 2010

Internationally renowned cellist and teacher Georg Pedersen has seen many gifted young musicians over the past three decades, but not too many better than Sydney teenager and Con student Hyung Suk Bae.

And Pedersen, who has performed in more than 3,000 concerts in the past 24 years and established Australia's only permanent cello ensemble in 1990, is not alone in his praise. The revered Juilliard School in New York has now invited the 18-year-old to study there.

"Hyung Suk is truly a magnificent young musician - one of the most talented I have come into contact with in 35 years teaching at university level," comments Pedersen, who took the youngster under his wing after the Bae family emigrated to Australia from South Korea in 2007.

"He has a magical touch and feel and seems to be one with his cello at all times. It is a joy to hear and see him play and, of course, to know that a brilliant career path is before him."

The stint at Juilliard is fortuitous for The Con as well - the institution's Chamber Orchestra, made up of 34 students, will be a guest of Juilliard in October, and will play an historical joint concert at the esteemed Lincoln Center.

"It is a wonderful tribute to Hyung Suk to be invited to join the ranks at Juilliard. He was a standout in 2008 and has only grownfurther. This is a great acknowledgement to Georg," commented Dean and Principal, Professor Kim Walker.

"His presence in New York will add to the wow factor for the members of the Ensemble Orchestra when they visit American in a few months. Certainly his farewell recital last week in the Recital Hall was a full house and impressed everyone."

The depth of Hyung Suk's talent was spotlighted when he won the 2008 NSW Secondary Schools Concerto Competition, earning him a full concerto performance with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra (KPO).

He went on to claim winning awards at the McDonald's Performing Arts Challenge and the Prize-Winners' Concert, and later earned a performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for winning the Gisborne International Music Competition in New Zealand.

Last year Hyung Suk was awarded a CHAOS Special Purpose Grant to assist his study in the US.

Commenting on his decision to perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic, he disclosed the personal nature of his approach to playing the instrument:

"The concerto is regarded as one of the seven greatest cello pieces. It was written when (19th century Czech-born composer Antonin) Dvorak was in America, and describes his feelings towards a new world.

"Also, Dvorak's sister-in-law whom he once loved died while he was writing this piece.

"When I play a piece, I always make a story in mind to go with the piece, but for Dvorak's Cello Concerto it was hard for me to feel and express the hidden sentiments.

"But when I moved to Australia, I felt as if I was drawn completely into the Concerto, moving to another country and experiencing such strong emotions myself."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

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