The amazing Klara Min gave the following exclusive interview to AsianFusion.

She is truly a talent and an incredible person

by: Joe Meny

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AF: You were born in Seoul, South Korea, and studied music in both your native country and New York City.  Can you share with our readers how your musical journey brought you to New York?

KM: I have always had the desire to broaden my horizons since I was in junior high school, so going abroad, seeing the world, and experiencing various cultures were essential to me in the course of reflecting upon my musical life. A former teacher of mine recommended London; however, my mother was comfortable with the constant rainy weather in London which she thought might negatively affect my mood. Living in New York is fascinating, and I have come to realize that more and more as time goes by.

AF: You’ve performed in many places around the world; is there one place that you would call your favorite, or most memorable?  Do you have somewhere that you’d like to perform that you haven’t yet?

KM: The most memorable performances are always the ones that are connected with the audience and their reactions. Believe it or not, you can sense it in the air what the audience feels from the stage, and it is so memorable when I sense the sincere silence when they are focused and just listening to my performance. I experienced this several times in Germany, and most recently at my Carnegie Hall performance in April. I would love to play in Scandinavia in near future.

AF: What, or who, would you say has had the most influence on your musical life?  If you had the opportunity, would you change anything?

KM: Inspiration comes from so many different places in life, and it is really hard to just pick one. But most strongly, my connection with God puts me into the most sacred place and attitude towards music. Music is not just entertainment, but it also resonates within our soul and spirit, so the inspiration for me always derives from within that realm. My grandmother, who recently passed away, brought me to such realization, and I am endlessly grateful. I wouldn’t change anything, but I would only learn to accept things better and react in optimism.

AF: Please share with us what NYCA is all about.

KM: NYCA is a non-for-profit organization founded in 2008, whose mission it is to promote young musicians and to create a platform for them to exhibit their musical talents to the world.  To help musicians articulate their messages more directly to the world, we at New York Concert Artists & Associates make it a priority to create dynamic partnerships among musicians, managers, and presenters, and to promote young artists internationally through our concert series and collaborations with other organizations.  We believe that we contribute to the ever-evolving music industry and to the society-at-large by living and renewing the ideals of artists, as envisioned by artists.

NYCA holds its annual Worldwide Debut Audition in various cities in the world (Paris, London, Warsaw, Budapest, Cologne, Seoul, L.A., New York), and the selected artists are invited to perform in New York for the final stage. The winner is awarded the opportunity to perform debut recitals at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Berlin Philharmonie Hall and a recording with Steinway & Sons label.

AF: You have taught music at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.  What do you say to your students to motivate and inspire them to continue to practice and become the very best they can be?

KM: I advise them to discover who they are, to go out into the world, to experience as much as they can, and to not be afraid to accept themselves as who they are, and embrace their human nature. The rest comes naturally. They will be where they are meant to be.


AF: For our readers who would love to hear your music, I know that you have released several albums.  Can you tell us a little about them, and what your performance schedule looks like?

KM: I have released three albums so far, and a new one is planned to be released in the Fall by the Steinway & Sons label. I have recorded compositions by Korean composers (first album on Naxos), Chopin Mazurkas (Delos label), and Scriabin preludes (Steinway & Sons label). My personal favorite is the Scriabin album. What’s coming up will be under the title “Evocation”, also Scriabin’s late works, Messiaen and a premiere of a French composer, Jean-Frederic Neuburger. When I make a decision on the program, especially of the album, I contemplate a lot on how the sound travels from the beginning to the end so the whole album is sort of a story. I would suggest closing your eyes and listening through the whole album without jumping around searching for a favorite tracks. In the Fall, I have debuts planned in Paris and Seoul.

AF: When you’re not teaching or performing, what kind of things do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?

KM: I find pleasure in doing the little things. Since I constantly travel, I like to do simple things such as taking a walk, reading books, relaxing in the sun, and trying to communicate with my little

dog, Coco.

AF: What’s next for Klara Min?

KM: A new festival in New York City! I am preparing for the NYCA International Music Festival which will be launched in August 2018. I can’t wait, and the festival will be a platform for many musicians and audience members to meet and to celebrate musical life together!