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by David Drake

 

Steinway Artist Julian Gargiulo experimented two years ago when he invited musicians from top international conservatories, including student violinists, to compete for a place on stage with him at the Carnegie Recital Hall.

 

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Julian Gargiulo | Photo credit: 2NYC

 

After last year’s sold-out event, organized by Julian and 2NYC, the composer called out to all student cellists to join this year’s competition. Four contestants have been pre-selected from the many that joined the competition:

1. Anita Bálazs, age 24, Hungary, The Franz Liszt Academy
2. Anna Litvinenko, age 22, Russia and Cuba, The Juilliard School
3. Jacques-Pierre Malan, age 28, South Africa, The Peabody Institute
4. Chae won Hong, age 25, South Korea, Michigan State University

 

2016-01-25-1453712726-3842062-julian_4cellists.jpg

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

From left to right: Anna Litvinenko, Chae won Hong, Julian Gargiulo, Jacques-Pierre Malan and Anita Bálazs |  Photo credit: Michael Hull of VictoriaGlobal.co

 

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Carnegie Hall Competition

 

These four cellists joined Julian at the Zankel Hall last Sunday, 17 January 2016 for #GettingtoCarnegie, The Hunger Games Of Classical Music. Each cellist performed a movement of his Cello Sonata premiere.

 

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Anita Balazs  | Photo credit: Mirko Cvjetko

 

Anita Bálazs, age 24, Hungary, The Franz Liszt Academy

Question: What makes you different?
Answer: Music has been the sole focus of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Hungary, I had to face certain challenges that came with being a musician and the lack of opportunities to perform. So when I was 19, I decided to continue my studies, first in Paris, and then in the United States.

Q: If you couldn’t be a cellist, what would you do?
A: I would follow my love for animals and become a veterinarian.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person from the past, who would it be?
A: Zoltán Kodály. I will ask him for the number of his physical therapist because I need one when I finish practicing the 3rd movement of his Solo Sonata.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: On stage playing for people, and making them happy. I hope one day to become the great musician I dreamed to be, when I was five. And also, teaching young cellists and helping them launch their own careers.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: I would make everyone think positive! So many people don’t know the benefits of positive thinking. It has the power to create happiness and success, to help us overcome any difficulty and obstacle in our lives! In my opinion, negative thoughts create most of the problems in the world.

Q: Why should you win?
A: This is my first competition in the US, and I do not know why I should win. I am just thankful for making it this far, and for the opportunity and honor to play in Carnegie Hall.

 

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Anita Balazs and Julian Gargiulo | Photo credit: William Fang of VictorialGlobal.co

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Anna Litvinenko | Photo credit: annalitvinenko.com

 

Anna Litvinenko, age 22, Russia and Cuba, The Juilliard School

Question: What makes you different?
Answer: No comment.

Q: If you couldn’t be a cellist, what would you do?
A: I would definitely be a stage actor. I am fascinated by them – they’re super well-read, they deal with all sorts of states of minds and emotions, they are trained to dance and sing, they know about music and so so many other things… Super well-rounded and inspirational people!

Q: If you could have dinner with one person from the past, who would it be?
A: Leonard Bernstein – he has always been such an inspirational figure for me.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In a vibrant city, possibly playing an orchestra and have a group with which I can explore a variety of musical genres and do serious, but fun innovative projects.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: Violence. I don’t understand how we have come so far in so many ways, and yet still have so much hatred and disgrace in the world.

Q: Why should you win?
A: No comment.

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Julian Gargiulo and Anna Litvinenko | Photo credit: VictoriaGlobal.co

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Jacques-Pierre Malan | Photo credit: i.ytmig.com

 

Jacques-Pierre Malan, age 28, South Africa, The Peabody Institute

Question: What makes you different?
Answer: My Afrikaans/English accent. I’m also probably the first South African cellist to perform in Carnegie Hall!

Q: If you couldn’t be a cellist, what would you do?
A: Farming or driving people on safaris.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person from the past, who would it be?
A: Tarzan from the Disney movie, (if he existed). Otherwise Carl Jung.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In a major orchestra, teaching, and playing chamber music with a good salary on the side. If not this, then I guess I will still be in a practice room.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: Politics.

Q: Why should you win?
A: Because I am playing in Carnegie Hall!

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Jacques-Pierre Malan and Julian Gargiulo | Photo credit: VictoriaGlobal.co

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Chae won Hong | Photo credit: Ja-eun-Koo

 

Chae won Hong, age 25, South Korea, Michigan State University

Question: What makes you different?
Answer: My imagination. It is what makes art come alive for me, in me. Bringing vivid and unique colors, refreshing ideas, and stories behind the music.

Q: If you couldn’t be a cellist, what would you do?
A: Illustration or painting. I am quite good, but have decided to keep this as a professional hobby.

Q: If you could have dinner with one person from the past, who would it be?
A: Nietzsche. He inspires and influences me a lot. But If he didn’t want to meet me (possibly he wouldn’t), I would say me from the past instead.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: Either in Europe or Michigan, where I currently reside. Somewhere that can inspire me, keep me progressing, and at the same time, let me be worthy of my heritage and art.

Q: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A: Indiscriminate genocide, butchery. It has happened and been happening… but I say “stop it.”

Q: Why should you win?
A: This is not only my first competition in U.S but also the first time I premiere a contemporary piece of music. As a cellist living in the 21st century, I strongly believe in the importance of making contemporary music sound as convincing as possible to audiences.

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Chae won Hong and Julian Gargiulo | Photo credit: Julian Gargiulo

 

The four finalists were pre-selected based on the video recording of their performance. They joined Gargiulo on stage to perform a movement of the composer’s Sonata for Violin and Piano.

 

Korean Cellist Emerged Champion at Julian Gargiulo’s Carnegie Hall Competition

Mike Costache of Karma, Jingjing Dong of PwC Asset Management NYC, and David Drake | Photo credit: VictoriaGlobal.co

 

After the successful competition last year, PBS is co-producing a documentary film called “10,000 Hours” of Getting to Carnegie 2016. It will chronicle the activities of the competition finalists. The film will look at the 10,000 hours they put into a competition like this, and what pushes people to search for their personal Carnegie. See the film trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNdquCK87e8

Chae won Hong won the Sunday’s competition. She was chosen by the concert attendees after all four cellists have performed.

The four movements played were chosen by lottery. Should it be done differently next year?

 

 

Note: This article originally appeared on HuffingtonPost with this link  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-drake/korean-cellist-emerged-ch_b_9067218.html on January 27, 2016.

 

David-Drake_2014

 

David Drake is the Chairman of LDJ Capital, a multi-family office; Victoria Partners, a 300 family office network; LDJ Real Estate Group and  Drake Hospitality Group; and The Soho Loft Media Group with divisions Victoria Global Communications,Times Impact Publications, and The Soho Loft Conferences. Reach him directly at David@LDJCapital.com.

 

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