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    Kwak, Byung-Kook

    Violinist from Seoul, Korea, who debuted with the Seoul Philharmonic when he was only seven years old.  At twelve years of age, he was already studying with Jascha Heifetz.  He attended Juilliard and continued his studies with Dorothy DeLay, Ivan Galamian, and Felix Galimir.

     

    Groups with whom he has worked include the Bronx Arts Ensemble, the Carnegie Ensemble, the Manhattan School of Music Summer Festival Orchestra, the Merrick Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the New York Pops, the New York Virtuosi, the Orchestra of the Westchester Conservatory of Music, the Riverside Orchestra, the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, the Solisti Ensemble, the Westchester Symphony, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra.

     

    From 16th November 1989 through 28th July 1991, he was in the orchestra pit for a Broadway revival of Gypsy.

     

    He and his daughter Christine performed Moritz Moszkowski’s “Suite for Two Violins and Orchestra” with the Riverside Orchestra on 14th December 1996.

     

    On 11th January 1997, Byung-Kook was the concertmaster and Christine was the featured soloist on Niccolo Paganini’s “Concerto in D major” with the Westchester Symphony Orchestra at the Performing Arts Center of Purchase College.

     

    Byung-Kook was the soloist on 27th March 1999 when the Westchester Symphony Orchestra offered up Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Farewell Symphony”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Symphony No. 25” and “Violin Concerto No. 5”, and Antonio Salieri’sSinfonia”.

     

    On 12th November 2006, the Bronx Arts Ensemble gave the world premiere of Oliver Caplan’s “Laugh/Stay/Dance”.

     

    Byung-Kook was the guest soloist of the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra at Untermeyer Park on 26th July 2008 in a performance of “Introduction and Rondo capriccioso in A minor, Op. 28” by Camille Saint-Saens.

     

    On 24th October 2010, he and Christine teamed up with the Merrick Symphony Chamber Orchestra at the Freeport Public Library where they performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Double Violin Concerto in D minor”.

     

    He and pianist Joanne Polk joined forces with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra on 30th January 2011 when they gave an airing to the seldom heard “Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Orchestra in D minor” by Felix Mendelssohn.

     

    On 28th July 2011, he switched to viola as he and Christine performed Johan Halvorsen’s arrangement of George Frideric Handel’s “Harpsichord Suite in G minor” with the Carnegie Ensemble at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove. 

     

    Similarly, he played viola and Christine played violin with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra on 1st April 2012 when they performed Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola & Orchestra in E flat major, K. 364”.

     

    Recordings on which he appears include Love is Good by Christine Andreas, My Inspiration by Kenny Davern, Roseland NYC Live by Portishead, and So Damn Happy by Aretha Franklin.

     

    In the field of music education, he has taught at Lehman College, the Jewish Academy of Fine Arts, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music, Queens College, and the Westchester Conservatory of Music.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.solistiensemble.org/byung-kook-kwak-violin--artistic-director.html
    2. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2011/07/not_too_big_not_too_small_11-p.html
    3. http://rftsymphony.org/id6.html
    4. http://www.solistiensemble.org/uploads/9/7/4/2/9742240/zankel_-_about_se.docx.pdf
    5. http://westfieldsymphony.org/about_musicians.php
    6. http://www.riversideorchestra.org/concert4.htm
    7. http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=395809
    8. http://www.newyorkpops.org/musicians
    9. http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=1999&country=1
    10. http://www.olivercaplan.com/works/all/laughstaydance/index.htm
    11. http://www.instantencore.com/concert/details.aspx?PId=5021926
    12. http://www.liherald.com/stories/Merrick-Symphony-to-host-annual-concert,28044
    13. http://www.facebook.com/events/187406587954463/
    14. http://www.yonkersphilharmonic.org/index.htm
    15. http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=205266196247823&id=115599058524525
    16. http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=Joanna+Barratt
    17. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/byung-kook-kwak-mn0001288279

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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