Visiting South Korean professor of music Changwoo Sohn treated Joeten Kiyu Public Library’s readers and attendees yesterday afternoon to soothing classical music.
Playing on a double bass, Sohn performed several songs, including special keyboard arrangements by JKPL’s technical service librarian Rosalyn Ajoste.
The audience sat down in a row of chairs to listen to Sohn play.
Also called the string bass, the double bass is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument of the viol family.
A member of the audience said that what Sohn was doing for the library is very good.
“It’s a treat to the people here. It’s not too loud and it’s not bothering at all. It’s the type of music where you can read and concentrate while in the library,” he said.
Sohn and Ajoste played at least five songs together, followed by Sohn performing some songs as a soloist.
Some of the songs that Sohn performed were L’ Elephant by Camille Saint-Saens, Tortues by Saint-Saens, and Moon River from Carnival of Animals.
“I chose these top three music and chose to play it with Ajoste for the piano part,” he said.
He has been playing the double bass for over 25 years since he was in junior high. He now teaches at the Kookmin University in Seoul and is a professor at the College of Art/Department of Music.
He is also the principle double bass for the Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra and Kkonggi Philharmonic Orchestra.
“I came to Saipan because my family has a business here for 25 years already, but it is my fourth time to visit Saipan,” Sohn said.
Sohn also studied at Yale University for his master’s degree and is pursuing his doctorate at the Boston University.
“This is kind of ‘giving back’ to Saipan and sharing my talent with them. This is the first time where I will be playing on Saipan and I will be returning in either summer or winter for vacation,” Sohn said.
Sohn will be playing at the Multi-Purpose Center next Tuesday at 6pm and the community is invited. Entrance fee is at $5 for adults and $3 for children.
“Proceeds from my solo recital at the Multi-Purpose [Center] will be donated to the Saipan Community Church and for the rental of keyboards from Saipan Southern High School,” Sohn said.
Sohn played during the orchestral concert held at the American Memorial Park last week and also played at JKPL on Jan. 10.
Ajoste said that JKPL is honored to have such a talented musician play for their readers.
“It is a great honor to have him here and play twice for the library and we are thankful for him showing his talents to the patrons here,” Ajoste said.