Teenagers play in tune in Moscow contest

By Jong Sun Bok 

Recently the Third Moscow Krainev International Piano Contest took place amid great interest of many music experts and fans.

dprk music
Korean schoolchildren pose for a photograph after winning diplomas.

In the contest, which drew promising young pianists from across the world, the Korean teenagers won international contest winner and special performance awards.

The Korean students fascinated the audience and participants with beautiful and elegant Korean music pieces. Choe Jang Hung, student at Pyongyang Music School No. 1 of Kim Won Gyun University of Music, performed Korean folksong Arirang first in the contest.

"Jury members and contest organizers admired his performance, describing it as fantastic. Alexander Romonovski, foreman of the jury, praised him as the pride of the Kraniev contest and the world music circle, saying more world-renowned musicians like Choe would be produced in the DPRK," said Kim Jae Sil, teacher at Pyongyang Music School No.1.

Kim Ji Won, student at the same school, also attracted the attention of jury members and audience in the second division (12-16 age group).

Pre-contest messag from Kim Ji Won

A debutant in international contest, Kim performed piano solo Three-thousand ri of Taehongdan as his first music in the semifinals. The cheerful music was one of his compulsory pieces and he made a deep impression on the jury members with wonderful performance of the music in the regional preliminaries in December last year.

Performance of Kim Ji Won

"As I faced the keyboard of piano and music, I wanted to show to the world the proud reality in the country which advances by leaps and bounds full of youthful vigour," said Kim.

Referring to the enthusiastic applause of the audience at the time, his teacher Kwon Song Gum said: "As he finished piano solo, a resounding applause burst out in the auditorium. Everyone lavished praise on his performance, saying Korean folksong is really wonderful and fascinating."

He, who flawlessly interpreted world famous songs with refined skills and elaborate musical sense, took to the stage for the final with a renowned Russian orchestra.

Final Stage Performance of Kim Ji Won (1:27:40)

Winning unsparing acclaim of the audience for his refined and skilled performance of a famous music piece, Kim Ji Won obtained the international contest winner award.

The recent contest was more attractive than the previous ones as it planned a new special programme.

In the programme Pae Yon Ju, student at Kim Won Gyun University of Music, played piano solo Ode to Comrade Kim Jong Il in the third division (17-22 age group).

Pre-contest message from Pae Yon Ju

She interpreted the song with her teacher Yun Jin Bok. Their rendition in tears was so impressive that journalists followed Pae to cover her. "It is snowing in Moscow. Looking at the falling snow flakes, I thought of Chairman Kim Jong Il and tears welled up in my eyes," Pae told them.

Highly praising the Korean students for their high playing skills, the general director and jury foreman of the contest said they were very impressed by the sincere loyalty to their leader as they saw them playing songs in praise of their leader on the stage where everyone wants to perform typical songs of their countries.

Pae won the special performance award at the contest.

Performance of Pae Yon Ju (52:10)

(Source: The Pyongyang Times - July 10, 2019)