In preparation of next weekend’s exciting Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar and Festival, Sandy Wilson has a quick interview with Alina Lim of the Allant Piano Trio. The Allant Piano Trio will be one of four exciting young emerging chamber music ensembles performing throughout the festival.
Sandy: Have any of you been to California before and do you have any special wishes or extracurricular agendas while you are visiting?
Alina Lim: All of us have been to California, and San Francisco, at one point or another. In fact, Beth lived in LA before moving to NY about ten years ago. We will definitely do a lot of exploring while we’re in San Francisco, using up as much of the free time that we have – doing some sightseeing – the nature and the city, but more importantly, checking out the restaurants there.
Sandy: In contrast to your situation in New York City, what do you really look forward to accomplishing during your excursion to San Francisco that a momentary change of perspective or circumstances might afford the group?
Alina: We will be auditioning at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music a couple of days before the seminar begins, and we’re glad that it worked out so nicely. Also, we’ve been wanting to perform in the west coast, as we’ve mainly been active around NYC. And since Beth is from LA, we were hoping to give a concert there soon. We are equally thrilled to be performing with Toby Appel, whom we regard as a coach and mentor. We actually got a head start with some rehearsals in NY, and we’ve been having a great time together. Also, I (Alina) found out that some old friends of mine from Toronto – Jamie and Emily Kruspe from the Arkadas String Quartet – will be joining us as well! (We went to the same high school and were in youth orchestra together.)
Sandy: As an ambitious and already demonstrably successful young group, what do you feel are the most challenging hurdles ahead for your ensemble’s success? What do you think that the ASQ and our Guest Artist Faculty can do to help ensure that outcome?
Alina: The most challenging hurdles for our ensemble would be finding and keeping our audiences. In many of the venues that we’ve performed in – the recital halls at Juilliard, or at various libraries, or as part of a chamber music series – the audiences are mostly made up of people of the older generation. Of course, we haven’t been proactive about going out of our way to actually look for and attract younger audiences, but as young musicians, we really have to start playing other roles as well. We realize that there are so many factors that go into play in this issue, whether it’s programming, venues, ticket costs, pre-concert talks… and if it’s difficult enough for the professional musicians today, why would people want to hear younger and lesser-known artists? We would like to partner up with bigger organizations and institutions so that we are able to go to “untraditional” venues and give free performances so that our concerts are more accessible and inviting for the younger generation. This seminar and festival is definitely a great help for us already, especially in being able to collaborate and share the stage with Toby Appel and your quartet.
Based in New York City, the Allant Trio is composed of three young musicians, Hyo Kyoung Beth Nam, piano, Anna Jihyun Park, violin and Alina Lim, cello. At Juilliard, they were coached by faculty members Rohan DeSilva, Nicholas Mann and Vivian Weilerstein. With extensive individual careers in chamber music, these three artists came together at Juilliard in the Fall of 2010. They have already made their mark, with notable performances and significant commitment to community engagement. The trio seeks to share their passion for music with a broad audience. In their inaugural season, they have performed at various venues such as the Juilliard’s recital halls, Rolston Recital Hall in Banff, the James Lenox House for seniors, and the Bailey House, a facility that provides housing and support services to homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. The trio has participated in the distinguished Chamber Music Residency Program at the Banff Centre in 2011. They were one of five semi-finalists at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition 2011 in Norway. In the past season, they have performed at the American Irish Historical Society, Hewlett-Woodmere and Ossining libraries, the St. Paul’s Chapel at the Columbia University, as well as at the Friends of Music Society in Stamford, NY.