Cameron University’s Dr. Hyunsoon Whang, Professor of Music and Louise D. McMahon Endowed Chair in Music, has released her first solo album, “Chopin Nocturnes,” on sonaBLAST! Records. The album, a collection on nine nocturnes by Frederic Chopin, can be purchased on numerous digital streaming services, which can be accessed at https://ONErpm.lnk.to/ChopinNocturnes. CDs will also be available online at Amazon.com.
“I have a special affinity for Chopin's music and feel very much at home playing his music,” Whang says. “His music is like great poetry. It is filled with heart-felt emotions while maintaining balance and serenity. And unlike other composers from the romantic era, he is never long-winded or overly dramatic. His music, to me, is heart-achingly beautiful and breathtakingly gorgeous.”
Whang explains that she has been learning a few new nocturnes each season during the last few years, giving rise to the idea of recording them.
“There are 21 nocturnes, each one so uniquely different; from melancholy to effervescent, and from ethereal to tragic,” she says. “Given the fact we only had one and half days to record, I knew that doing all 21 would not be a possibility. I chose the ones I love the most.”
Whang says she is drawn to Chopin, who she refers to as a “superb pianist,” because “Also, his writing is very pianistic and he knew how to make the instrument ‘sing’ expressively.”
Whang has delighted audiences in hundreds of concerts across North America, Europe and Asia. Critics have praised her as "the kind of player who appears to immerse her entire being in the music," and as one who has "always delivered with grace and beauty."
She has appeared as a soloist with Leonard Slatkin, Joel Revzen, Miriam Burns, Jon Kalbfleisch and Nicholas Harsanyi. Her recent engagements have included solo and chamber music appearances and master classes in California, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Toronto and Reykjavik. Her live videos have been airing on PBS television stations throughout the Midwest. Whang serves on the Touring Artists Roster of the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artist Roster.
A passionate educator, Whang has taught and nurtured generations of students. Her students have won competitions on a state and national level and received scholarships and fellowships from prestigious graduate schools. She presents mini-recitals for public school children each year, introducing and fostering the love of music to young people. She received the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts in Education Award in 2010.
Whang studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the St. Louis Conservatory, The Juilliard School, and earned a doctorate from Indiana University.
March 6, 2018