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Isang Yun Remembered
Isang Yun Remembered

Tuesday 06 June | 7:30pm
Isang Yun Remembered
£8 (£3)
Pre-concert talk 6pm

Ana Beard Fernandez  soprano
Ching-Han Lin  viola
Jin Hyung Lim  piano

Isang Yun  Fünf Stücke für Klavier (1958)
John Cage  Dream (1948)
Isang Yun  Duo for viola and piano (1976)
John Stringer  New work for viola and piano (World première)
Roger Marsh  But Still for soprano, piano and viola (World première)

Isang Yun (1917-95) was a Korean-German composer whose work combined Eastern and Western musical elements. He experienced an enormously dramatic life in both the East and the West, which included surviving two wars, as well as a kidnapping by South Korean agents and a death sentence under South-Korean Anti-Communist Laws due to his contact with North Korea. International pressure brought about his release, and Yun left South Korea to live as an exile in Germany. According to Christian Martin Schmidt, Yun’s works were thus born as ‘Musik im Exil’. With this experience, social and political phenomena inevitably influenced Yun’s music, and many of his works display political overtones. Yun commented: “through my humanistic and political experience of ‘kidnapping’ [to Korea] and the social-political development in the West, I aim to express my social stance with more distinct musical language”.

Encountering the new ideas and experimental sounds of the European Avant-garde at the Darmstadt Festival in 1958 led Yun to develop a complex musical identity that combines this influence with other cultural aesthetics, including Korean musical heritage and Eastern philosophy.

While Yun is relatively famous in parts of Asia and Europe, with several works commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, many opera houses and major soloists, elsewhere he is virtually unknown. The centenary of Yun’s birth (2017) provides a good opportunity to introduce his music to the York community. The program includes two new works in remembrance of Isang Yun by John Stringer and Roger Marsh.

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