Violinist Suliman Tekalli '16 A.D., who recently won second prize in the 2015 Seoul International Music Competition, was invited to perform as a soloist for the South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Washington D.C.
The performance took place at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium last Wednesday night with the International Sejong Soloists during President Park's visit with President Obama.
"To come on stage as a soloist in front of this world class group of musicians to face a whole audience of world leaders was certainly a singular rush and a great honor," Tekalli said.
In addition to performing Summer as a soloist, Tekalli was engaged to write a special arrangement of Piazzolla's Libertango for the International Sejong Soloists to perform with violist Richard O'Neill that night. This came about after Hyo Kang, the artistic director of Sejong Soloists, heard Suliman's arrangements., including the first-ever transcription of Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin for violin and piano and his orchestration of Ravel's second Violin Sonata as a concertino for violin and orchestra.
Tekalli performed on an Antonio Stradivarius violin, Cremona, 1683, ex-Cobbett, which is on loan to him from Mr. Higgin Kim, Chairman of Byuckaan Engineering Co. Ltd through the Stradivari Society of Chicago and Sejong Soloists.
Dignitaries present at the event included Secretary of State John Kerry, congressman Charles Rangel, and U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert.
At the conclusion of the event, Suliman Tekalli was formally received among the other performers present that night by President Park Geun-hye.