Pianist Min Kwon performs at School of Music

Min Kwon performs pieces by three classical giants Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.
Pianist Min Kwon performed on Feb. 29 at Whitmore Recital Hall at the University of Missouri. | Photo courtesy of MU School of Music.

Korea-born American pianist Min Kwon visited the MU School of Music to perform classical pieces by Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. The composers of these pieces have all drawn inspiration from each other, however, one cannot compare these pieces to one another as they are so different.

“It’s like when you go have a nice dinner out and you have a wonderful appetizer, shrimp cocktail or something, and then you have a wonderful entree of nice steak, then you have chocolate mousse,” Kwon said. “I mean, they are different so you can’t pick one over another because you kind of need them all and they fill such purposes in the program.”

Kwon was happy to have the opportunity to visit the School of Music and perform these pieces. For her program on Feb. 29, she decided to go back to the classics of the 18th century rather than the romantics of the 20th century. Kwon wished to give the audience a chance to see the differences between the three composers.

“I wanted to kind of compare these three works because Beethoven was a student of Haydn, but he’s really someone that took classical music to a tight,” Kwon said. “Then Schubert lived a little later than Beethoven but was a great admirer of him, and his music is so different than Beethoven. This is all so very interesting for a performer to compare and contrast and for the audience, too.”

There were many people in the audience who had never attended a piano recital before, such as audience member Alicia Esquivel. She attended the recital with her friend who asked her to come. She was confused with the layout of the program as she had never attended, but she enjoyed the recital and liked the pieces that were played.

“I liked [Haydn’s] song better because the second one was kind of sad,” Esquivel said.

Kwon’s playing amazed the audience with her skill and technique while playing her pieces. MU School of Music professor Emma Wohlgemuth liked the flow and artful style Kwon used.

“My favorite moment would be watching how masterfully and artfully Dr. Kwon expressed herself through the pieces she played,” Wohlgemuth said in an email. “She was consistently in full control of every single moment and that is what made it amazing to watch.”

The recital ended with a standing ovation from the audience as Kwon finished the program with a piece by Schubert. The show was a great opportunity for students of the school of music along with members of the community to listen to beautiful pieces from the classical repertoire and to find an appreciation for such music and to discover a performer like Kwon.

Edited by Sophie Stephens | sstephens@themaneater.com

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