"Korean Virtuosity, Immortal Dances"
Christian Baldini, music director and
UC Davis Professor of Music
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte
The haegeum is a two-stringed fiddle of Korea. The physical nature of the haegeum allows it to produce a diverse variety of timbres making it a popular instrument for court, folk, and contemporary music. It is even being used in Korean pop music.
Jean Ahn: The Woven Silk for
Haegeum and Orchestra
with Soo Yeon Lyuh
Christian Baldini: Unequal
Freedom, an Exploratory Concerto for Haegeum,
Electronics, and Orchestra
with Soo Yeon Lyuh
Ravel: La Valse
Soo-Yeon Lyuh is a master of the haegeum, a two-stringed Korean bowed instrument. She possesses not only flawless technique and a full command of the haegeum’s traditional repertoire, but is also widely recognized for promoting the creation of new pieces for haegeum. For twelve years, Lyuh was a member of South Korea’s National Gugak Center, the foremost institution for the preservation of Korean traditional music. Since then, Lyuh has endeavored to weave authentic styles into new musical domains, relocating to the Bay Area and drawing inspiration from its dynamic improvised music scene. Her contributions have sparked the creation of new repertoire for haegeum—the lifeblood of any instrument. She has premiered dozens of new works and recently made her debut as a composer with the Kronos Quartet. A distinguished scholar, Lyuh earned her PhD in Korean Traditional Music from Seoul National University. She is currently a scholar-in-residence at Mills College. As a lecturer, she is sought after for her ability to impart valuable insight and intercultural understanding to those unfamiliar with gugak; her dissertation researched the changing role of haegeum in Korean orchestras beginning with early court traditions. Lyuh has also been a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley (2015−16) and University of Hawai’i at Manoa (2011−12).