Minsoo Sohn, piano virtuoso and recording artist, was the 2006 Honens International Piano Competition First Laureate. Praised as “an artist of Olympian magnitude”, Sohn performs around the world to great acclaim. The New York Times has named his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations a top classical recording of 2011. Minsoo compares his fifteen years of studying the Goldbergs to reach his musical triumph “like a climber’s dream for Mount Everest.” High River is privileged to be on Sohn’s summit. Enjoy!
It was a cold and snowy night, but the almost 200 concert goers who braved the elements in High River didn’t mind a bit. In fact, when Minsoo Sohn rewarded with his sensitive and imaginative playing of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, they knew the treacherous driving – and boots and scarves and mittens – had been worth it.
Minsoo was as enthusiastic as his audience. “This is better acoustics than Carnegie Hall. And you take good care of your piano,” he said. Sohn returned his bravos with kudos to the High River Gift of Music Society for staging an engaging concert in a professional-like venue.
Bringing classical music to the local population is the essence of the Gift of Music Society and securing the calibre of world renown musicians like Sohn proves it can be done. Minsoo enjoyed performing the concert as much as the music revellers in the audience appreciated their star performer. Bravo to one and all!
The Pre-concert Chat by Akiko Tominaga introduced The Goldbergs with a relaxed interpretation of this rather serious work. As Akiko unravelled Bach’s mathematical intricacies, the piano became an instrument for playful dances switching to sombre interludes with hands crossing in bewildering progressions, even several bars of one hand simultaneously playing different timing from the other – a next to impossible feat. For Akiko the night was special, too, as she had never before seen The Goldbergs performed live.
Minsoo concluded the evening with a soothing encore, playing Franz Liszt’s transcription of a song from Franz Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin – a lullaby to send everyone into the chilly night.