Piano Concerto by Jungyoon Wie Wins First Prize in OFMC Contest
Winning work premiered by College of Wooster senior with Wooster Symphony Orchestra
WOOSTER, Ohio — Jungyoon Wie, a senior music composition major at The College of Wooster, has been awarded first prize at the 2014 Ohio Federation of Music Clubs (OFMC) Student/Collegiate Composers Composition Contest. Wie's award-winning entry, a 12-minute work for piano and orchestra titled "Jindo Arirang Concerto," incorporates a theme based on the Korean folk melody "Jindo Arirang." Wie says of the title that "Jindo is an island located off the southernmost edge of Korea" and "Ari" means "beautiful."
Wie, a resident of Seoul, South Korea, composed the "Jindo Arirang Concerto" as part of her Senior Independent Study (Wooster's nationally acclaimed senior capstone experience) in music composition and performed as piano soloist in the concerto's premiere by the Wooster Symphony, conducted by Jeffrey Lindberg, last month in McGaw Chapel. The work, submitted to the OFMC competition in February, was one of three compositions by Ohio college composers awarded a prize in the contest. Wie's selection marks the fourth consecutive year that a Wooster composition student has been awarded a prize in the annual contest, and the first time a Wooster student has won first prize.
Wie's composition was supported, in part, by grants from Wooster's Advising, Planning and Experiential Learning (APEX) center and by the Henry J. Copeland Fund for Independent Study. These grants enabled Wie to attend and study at last summer's Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick, Maine, where, in addition to working on "Jindo Arirang," she was selected to present the premiere of her earlier work for piano, violin and cello, titled "Chung-Sung-Gok," The latter work was awarded an honorable mention in the 2012 Sejong International Composition Competition.
Written comments by the judges of the OFMC contest described Wie's work as "an ambitious and interesting piece with fine orchestration, interesting melody and harmony, and great transformation(s). It sizzles with interest." Noting "the wonderful climax," and that "the clarinet duets are very striking," the judges found that "the opening texture . . . creates a wonderful opening for the introduction of the soloist" and applauded "the return of the opening woodwinds and then the build to the end."
Jack Gallagher, the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music at Wooster and Wie's adviser, described the concerto as "an imaginative, colorful, and engagingly expressive work displaying virtuosic pianism, vivid orchestral timbres and strikingly effective structural contrasts. It is a dauntingly accomplished undergraduate achievement," he said, adding that "the recognition of Jungyoon's distinctive composition in this respected statewide forum bears eloquent testimony to her dedication and creativity."
The OFMC award follows Wie's successes of the past two years, including the performance of her orchestral work "Flying in Winter" in 2012 by the GRAMMY®-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony at the Cleveland Music Settlement. Her choral work "How Beautiful is Night" was selected as the winner of the inaugural Wooster Chorus composition competition by Wooster Music faculty member Lisa Wong and performed by the chorus on its 2012 spring tour. In 2013, Wie presented an invited lecture-demonstration at the National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc., at The Ohio State University and, the same year, was named the recipient of the first Judy Nihlen Achievement Award of the Women's Committee for the Wooster Symphony Orchestra.
At Wooster, Wie studies composition with Gallagher and piano with adjunct faculty member Gregory Slawson. She performed for two years as a member of the Wooster Chorus and two years as a violinist in the Wooster Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed as a pianist with the Wooster Jazz Combo, and plans to continue composition studies through graduate school and eventually teach at the college level.
A version for two pianos of the "Jindo Arirang Concerto" will be performed by Wie and adjunct faculty member Laura Silverman as part of Wie's Senior Recital May 9, at 4 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center.