Jungah Yoon ’19MM, on performing Reinecke’s Flute Concerto

Jungah Yoon

On April 26, flutist and Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition winner Jungah Yoon ’19MM will perform Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D Major, Op. 283, with Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian and the Yale Philharmonia. We spoke with Yoon about the challenges and rewards of performing such an important part of the flute repertoire.

Q: Why did you choose the Reinecke Flute Concerto as your competition piece?

A: The Reinecke Flute Concerto is unique in being the only flute concerto of the Romantic era, and many audience members will get to experience it for the first time. I feel a strong connection to this piece and believe that many aspects of it relate to my own life and personal experiences. When I perform this piece, I hope to share my story. I chose this piece especially because of the second movement, which is extremely nostalgic and heart-wrenching. Throughout the concerto, there are many passages of dialogue between the different voices—for example, between the solo flute, trumpet, and clarinet in the first movement, and a wonderful cantilena with the cello in the slow movement (or with the timpani, which features the same rhythm as the cello’s pizzicato passages). This rhythm sounds like a beating heart, or perhaps recalls a funeral march. The work encompasses a wide expressive scope, and it is an outstanding piece for the flute.

Q: Reinecke was a contemporary of Brahms and conducted several premieres of Brahms’ works. Do you hear the influence of this relationship in Reinecke’s Flute Concerto?

A: The Flute Concerto was written in 1908, and a key element to understanding the music is to consider its Romantic idiom, an old-fashioned style for its day. The work is rooted in the early 19th century language of Mendelssohn and Schumann, with whom Reinecke studied after settling in Leipzig in 1843, in stark contrast to the style and texture of some exemplary works composed during the same period—for example, Stravinsky’s Firebird (1910) and Petrushka (1911) ballets. Reinecke’s concerto shows him at his best and provides a milder taste of the early 20th century.

The work is in three movements, all rather different in character. The opening Allegro molto moderato is the most symphonic of the three and reflects the influence of Brahms. The first measures seem to emerge and join in on an already existing thought. The slow movement, Lento e mesto (“slow and sad”), is in the style of a bel canto aria, recalling Bellini, or the young Donizetti. The orchestra recedes to an accompanimental role, clearly giving front stage to the flute-as-protagonist, who sings mournfully in B minor. The finale is more upbeat than its Moderato marking might suggest. Reinecke’s keyboard influences are apparent in the overall texture, in which melody and accompaniment are clearly delineated yet rhythmically and gesturally interwoven.

Q: What have been the challenges of preparing and performing this concerto?

A: Personally, the most important aspect of my preparation is feeling that I truly know the work inside and out. Although the process is different for every performance of it, and new challenges arise, I always try to place focus on shaping the various lines, feeling comfortable with the technical elements, and, above all, sharing an expressive story with the audience.

The Romantic language of the Reinecke Flute Concerto has a lot to offer in terms of the expressive writing in the strings and the many colors in the winds and brass. The most challenging aspect of performing this piece is to project above and amid these textures, not just in the literal sense of projecting into the concert hall, but also the deeper manner of projecting my story and emotions to the audience. In this spirit, I hope to connect with the audience in a meaningful way.

Q: In what ways does your mindset change when you’re a soloist?

A: I have come to think about my sound more than I used to in the past. Playing with a big ensemble means that I have to project through the texture even in the softest dynamics, and that my sound needs to be clean and focused. Therefore, it requires a lot more energy compared to when I am playing solo, and I need to be aware of the balance and interaction as a soloist with the many textures and instruments of the orchestra.

Q: What are your thoughts on working with Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian, and on performing as a soloist with an orchestra of your peers?

A: I had the experience of working with Maestro Oundjian earlier this year, when we performed selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, as well as Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, for which I was principal flute. I was inspired by his expressive approach and flexibility, always engaging the orchestra to actively listen better. His passion carries through to the vibe of the orchestra and encourages us all to keep an open mind to music-making. I feel grateful for the opportunity to work with Maestro Oundjian again, and to play with the Yale Philharmonia.

This experience is so meaningful to me, especially since it is my first time playing as a soloist with an orchestra. I am so happy to share the stage with my wonderful colleagues and beautiful musicians, who are so supportive and always give me positive energy. Coming to Yale was my first time studying abroad, and this enriching community of peers made me feel comfortable and at home. I look forward to playing with them and am excited for the concert!

Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian leads the Yale Philharmonia in a season-ending performance of Brahms’ First Symphony on a program that also includes Reinecke’s Flute Concerto in D major, with Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition winner Jungah Yoon ’19MM, and Joan Tower’s Made in America, on Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m., in Woolsey Hall.

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Published April 12, 2019
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Alumna Yoobin Son wins position with New York Philharmonic

Yoobin Son ’09MM will soon join the New York Philharmonic as second flute.

Currently a fellow in The Academy/Ensemble ACJW, Yoobin Son teaches at PS 207K in Brooklyn. Yoobin Son earned her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Ransom Wilson. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Jeffrey Khaner, and received the Artist Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. She is a native of Seoul, Korea.

Yoobin Son was principal flutist of the 2010 Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and served as acting principal flutist of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Yoobin participated in Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, led by Maestro Valery Gergiev. In addition to recitals in the U.S. and in Korea, Yoobin has performed as a soloist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, Orchestra at William Paterson University, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a winner of the Olga Koussevitzky International Winds Competition, National Flute Association Soloist Competition, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Auditions, and the Florida Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Published November 15, 2012
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Jihoon Shin ’09MM wins National Flute Association Competition

Flutist Jihoon Shin ’09MM won the 33rd annual Young Artist Competition of the National Flute Association. She also  won the prize for best performance of the newly commissioned work. The competition for outstanding flutists was held on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

A jury selected 25 preliminary round competitors on the basis of their recorded qualifying rounds. The judges selected six semifinalists from the live preliminary auditions to compete at the 2011 convention and then chose three finalists to appear in a convention recital.

The judges awarded cash prizes to the finalists of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000. As the first-prize winner, Ms. Shin will be presented by the NFA in a performance at its 2012 convention.

Flutist Jihoon Shin, from Seoul, South Korea, earned her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Ransom Wilson. Her other principal teachers have included SoYoung Lee, Karl-Heinz Schütz, and Jean-Claude Gerard. She has won first prizes in the Friedrich Kuhlau International Flute Competition and Volos Flute Meeting International Competition” in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and was also an award winner at the Seventh Kobe International Flute Competition (2005) and Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition (2008). As an international solo artist, Ms. Shin has performed with the Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Madrid Chamber Ensemble, and Volgograd Soloists Orchestra. She has also performed numerous recitals throughout South Korea, Europe, and the United States.

Published August 16, 2011
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