by Daniel Hathaway
The last hurdle on the way to Severance Hall for competitors in the Oberlin Cooper International Violin Competition is the recital round, where six performers revisit their solo repertoire in 30-minute recitals chosen by the jury from the semi-final round. A large crowd turned out to hear the three-and-a-half hour program in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory on Wednesday evening, a highly-structured event carried live on WCLV, 104.9 FM and hosted by Robert Conrad.
A second hearing confirmed a lot that these ears noted in the concerto round the day before, but there were also some pleasant surprises.
Kyumin Park (16, Seoul, South Korea) maintained his rather cautious approach in pieces by Beethoven, Paganini and Chausson. His Beethoven (Op. 12, No. 1, Allegro) was strong and clean, his Paganini (Caprice No. 24) brilliant enough, his Chausson (Poème) perhaps more calculated than spontaneous despite expansive collaborative playing from Elizabeth DeMio. Here’s a talented player who just needs to be fearless and go for it. [Read more…]