March 19, 2016 08:02
German-born Korean violinist Clara-Jumi Kang took a big risk when she decided to participate in the International Tchaikovsky Competition last year. With victories at the Sendai International Music Competition in Japan and the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, she had little reason to risk her reputation.
But even a disappointing fourth-place finish did wonders for her career as she was spotted by the influential Russian conductor Valery Gergiev and courted by European management agencies.
"I wasn't envious of the winner. I've been there many times already. I just wanted to broaden my chances in Europe, and the only way I knew was through competition," Kang said.
"Before, I had more concerts scheduled in the U.S. than in Europe. Now, a majority of the concerts scheduled are in Europe. This year I'm going to almost all countries in Europe.”
Kang is also planning to record an album with pianist Son Yeol-eum at Beethoven Hall in Hannover, Germany at the end of the month. It will include violin sonatas by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms as well as Clara Schumann's romances for violin and piano. When the album is released in September, Kang plans to tour Korea.
"I just love music. I think violin is the tool that was given to me so that I can play music for my entire life," she said.
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