With a listing of over 50 works, the South-Korean composer has seen her music carried out by famous orchestras all over the world
Born in 1961 in Seoul, South Korea, Unsuk Chin studied with composers Sukhi Kang and György Ligeti, and has lived in Germany since 1985. The creator of wealthy and vibrant sound-worlds, she is taken into account a major determine within the modern artwork music scene.
With an output of each digital and acoustic scores, Chin’s works have been carried out by orchestras together with the Bavarian State Opera, Berlin Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Radio France Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, amongst others.
Up to date music ensembles which have programmed her works embrace Ensemble Intercontemporain, London Sinfonietta, Klangforum Wien, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Ensemble Trendy, Arditti Quartet, and Kronos Quartet.
Conductors Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle, Markus Stenz, Peter Eötvös, David Robertson, Myung-Whun Chung, George Benjamin, Hannu Lintu, plus violinists Christian Tetzlaff, Viviane Hagner, and Renaud Capuçon, have all championed Chin’s compositions.
Chin, 61, grew up in Seoul because the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and commenced studying music from an early age. Whereas her father taught her the fundamentals of piano, formal tuition for instrumental music was past their means financially.
Regardless of this, Chin continued to hone her ardour for music, setting pencil to paper to put in writing music as an alternative. “South Korea [in the 1960s] was one of many poorest nations on the earth and there was a navy dictatorship in energy,” she instructed The Age in 2018. “It was additionally a extremely patriarchal society; girls have been allowed to enter training however not to be able to turn into impartial…However I used to be all the time a cussed particular person, decided to observe my very own desires.”
Twice refused entry to Seoul Nationwide College — which on the time, was seen as an “existential catastrophe” — Chin was accepted on her third strive. In a while, she utilized to check overseas as her dwelling nation lacked alternatives for composers like herself.
In 1985, she acquired the Gaudeamus Basis grant to check in Germany with Hungarian composer Ligeti — a key determine in Twentieth-century music. Nonetheless, whereas learning there, Chin felt cultural limitations.
“For a feminine Asian composer, there have been some very sturdy glass ceilings again then — no less than in Germany,” Chin continued. “I overcame these obstacles by making an attempt to disregard them, concentrating on my work and consistently making an attempt to enhance its high quality.”
In a latest interview with San Francisco Symphony editorial director, Chin revealed a breakthrough that occurred in her mid-20s. “Once I was youthful, I devoured the entire Western avant-garde music, as if with a time lapse, and wrote prize-winning works that have been indebted to completely different modernist idols.
“[When I studied with Ligeti], he demanded that I discover my very own voice; it was a time when he had himself renounced the avant-garde to look…past traditionalism, modernism, and post-modernism,” she added. “Consequently, I couldn’t compose for 3 years.”
In 2004, she acquired the celebrated Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for her first Violin Concerto, written in 2001, which introduced her to public consideration.
UNSUK CHIN | VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 1 | VIVIANE HAGNER | NEIL THOMSON | SÃO PAULO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | 2017
Chin has written over 50 works for vocals, tape, chamber, quartet, and orchestra, in addition to operas and concertos. They’ve been launched on document labels reminiscent of Deutsche Grammophon, Kairos, and Analekta, and are revealed solely by Boosey & Hawkes. A full checklist of her works might be discovered right here.
Possessing a singular musical fashion, her first opera, “Alice in Wonderland,” written between 2004 and 2007, showcases Chin’s use of references inside one another to create wealthy layers for ironic impact, emulating Baroque kinds to these of Bizet and Schoenberg.
UNSUK CHIN | ALICE IN WONDERLAND | “THE MAD TEA PARTY” | MYUNG WHUN CHUNG | SEOUL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA | 2016
Her Clarinet Concerto written for Finnish clarinetist Kari Kriikku and Violin Concerto No. 2 for Leonidas Kavakos are amongst her solo works with an orchestra which were carried out to nice acclaim.
“I’m attracted by virtuosity,” Chin instructed the New York Occasions on writing for solo devices. “This enthusiasm and virtuosity of a participant making an attempt to transcend [their] boundaries: I like that,” she defined. “It’s a scenario that I expertise on a regular basis as a composer: pushing the boundaries of your prospects, not understanding whether or not you are able to do it — after which by some means succeeding. I ask each bit as a lot from a soloist.”
UNSUK CHIN | VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 2 “SHARDS OF SILENCE” | LEONIDAS KAVAKOS | SIR SIMON RATTLE | LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA | 2021
Amongst Chin’s quite a few accolades embrace the Arnold Schoenberg Prize, Prince Pierre Basis Music Award, Ho-Am Prize, Wihuri Sibelius Prize, Hamburg Bach Prize, Kravis Prize, and the Leonie Sonning Music Prize.
Moreover, she is the Creative Director of South Korea’s Tongyeong Worldwide Competition and has served in the identical position with Taiwan’s Weiwuying Worldwide Music Competition since this 12 months.
A mini-documentary on Chin might be watched beneath.