Music Guild Season Finale to Feature YuEun Gemma Kim

YuEun Gemma Kim is St. Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra concertmaster.

Saint Matthew’s Music Guild will conclude its 39th season of concerts at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 31, with the music of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Copland. This concert will be the perfect way to musically kick off the summer.

Conducted by Dwayne Milburn, the concert will feature the orchestra’s concertmaster, YuEun Gemma Kim in in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor along with Copland’s Music for Movies and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, with the Choir and Soloists of St. Matthew’s Parish.

Kim has been the Concertmaster of The Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s since 2022 and performs in the U.S., Asia, and Europe with ensembles including Delirium Musicum, American Bach Soloists, Boulder Bach Festival, Voices of Music, Noree Chamber Soloists and Kumho Chamber Music Society.

The talented musician moved to the United States in 2013 to attend the University of Southern California where she studied with famed violinist and teacher Midori Goto. She plays internationally as soloist and chamber musician in a wide variety of repertoire on modern and Baroque instruments.

The May program will open with Aaron Copland’s Music for Movies. In 1942 Aaron Copland gathered music from three of his film scores The City, Our Town and Of Mice and Men and created a five-movement suite for small orchestra Music for Movies. The suite is quintessential Copland and was dedicated to French composer and American transplant Darius Milhaud, whom Copland considered a pioneer in the field of film music.

Kim’s stellar musicianship will make Mendelssohn’s D Minor Concerto a crowd favorite. Felix Mendelssohn composed the Violin Concerto in D minor in 1822 but, along with many other youthful works, the concerto was not published until long after his death.

In 1951 a member of the Mendelssohn family presented the manuscript to violinist Yehudi Menhuin who presented the work at Carnegie Hall in 1952 and many times thereafter. It is a tour-de-force for the violinist and full of the youthful vivacity and charm of other works from the composer’s youth, such as the Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture.

The last piece on the program is Mozart’s Solemn Vespers which he composed in 1780 for use in the Salzburg Cathedral. Far from a solemn work, the Vespers features some of Mozart’s most beautiful and engaging choral music. The texts are all from the Book of Psalms with some movements bold and exuberant, others lyrical and quiet, and others in a strict contrapuntal style.

The famous Laudate Dominum is an extended solo for soprano that is often compared to Mozart’s operatic arias from around the same time, including those for the character Constanze in his The Abduction from the Seraglio.

Concerts take place at St. Matthew’s Church, 1031 Bienveneda Avenue. Tickets are $45 or Music Guild Season pass. A free pre-concert lecture “Liner Notes with Tom Neenan” is offered at 7:10 p.m. For complete information, visit MusicGuildOnline.org or call (310) 573-7422.

 

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