One World Symphony Recent News
Textura Reviews One World Symphony’s Debut Album: “Magnanimous, bold, richly evocative”
“Inspired by Sung Jin Hong’s return after twenty-five years to his homeland Korea and his visit to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), 2010’s Eye of the Storm, is a kaleidoscopic tone painting that draws upon a number of experiences, including the sounds of Korean drummers and visits to a Buddhist temple and his grandfather’s grave. Richly evocative and emotional, the material speaks strongly on behalf of the conductor’s composing ability... There’s no doubting the visceral power of its reading of Ravel’s ‘Danse general’ (Daphnis et Chloe)...That its programming is bold is borne out by the selections included on the company’s debut CD, and its magnanimous side is impressively documented in the thousands of dollars benefit concerts have generated for a multitude of organizations and causes; in fact, all net proceeds from the debut album will be passed on to NYC’s Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.” — Ron Schepper, Textura
Kara Klenk, named one of Time Out NY’s funniest women in NYC, debuts in Bachelor Operasode
TONY writes: “The fact that Kara Klenk is a contributing writer for the upcoming season of Broad City should be enough to clue you in to her talent, but it’s in person that Klenk’s stand-up — resigned, astute and delightfully bitter — really shines. You can also see her work on MTV’s Girl Code, or in the flesh weekly at UCBEast.” Celebrate the holiday season with One World Symphony’s annual benefit for NYC’s largest soup kitchen with its Operasode Bachelor. Ladies will vie for the heart of our eligible bachelor, Sergey Prokofyev (seriously!), through comedy, song and dance. Who will Sergey choose: “delightfully bitter” comedian, tap dancer, regiment’s daughter, or the date from Hell (Lulu)?
Rocky Road: Sung Jin Hong’s Race to Raise Money for the Hungry
One World Symphony Conductor-Composer Sung Jin Hong recently ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 3 hours and 16 minutes on Sunday, November 23, 2014 to raise funds for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen (HASK) — New York City’s largest soup kitchen, serving over 1,200 people every weekday. It's not too late to help Sung Jin reach his goal of $3,000! There two ways you can give:
MAIL US A CHECK:
Please make out a check or money order made payable to
“Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen”
and mail it to us:
One World Symphony
260 Ocean PKWY, 1K
Brooklyn, NY 11218
We will collect the donations and present them to HASK on your behalf.
Click here to go to our online store, click on the “Rocky Road” icon, and donate any amount you are able — from $10 to $1,000 — and 100% of your donation will go to feed hungry New Yorkers this holiday season!
One World Symphony's DEBUT CD Broadcast on Delmarva Public Radio
On November 7, 2014, host Kara Dahl Russell of Delmarva Public Radio WSCL 89.5 broadcasted One World Symphony's debut CD. She called Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad - Ozymandias (2014) "ground-breaking" and "created a hook that is undeniable, and bound to create interest." She also graciously noted: "What IS telling on this CD is the pairing and presentation of these new works with time-tested favorite orchestral works which beautifully show off the talent of the orchestra. Works by Ravel, Stravinsky and Britten bump up the melody quotient and give the audience something familiar, enjoyable, and demonstrate the orchestra and conductor's real strength. The fact that these musicians have come together in support of both new and established works, and such a great cause is reason enough to support this endeavor. I just want to encourage our listeners again... BUY THE CD."
Sold-Out Operasodes® Opening Night with New Girls – View Photos
On October 26, 2014, One World Symphony kicked-off its Operasodes® season with a sold-out performance. The season opener, New Girls (October 26th and 27th), included selections from The Merry Widow, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Fledermaus, and La Bohème. The evenings were filled with lively sing-alongs, laughing, and dialogue with the audience led by Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong. Inspired by Jimmy Fallon and The Roots from The Tonight Show, One World Symphony's principal bassist Justin Lee improvised songs on the spot with information compiled by each guest's interview. The evenings also included a surprise special performance of Schumann's Second Symphony.
Listen to Illinois Public Media WILL Radio's Jim Meadows feature-interview with Sung Jin Hong. One World Symphony's world premiere performance of Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014) and Hong's sketch of his next world premiere opera Hannibal (2015) are aired.
“Sung Jin Hong’s musical journey includes stops in Peoria and New York City. One of Hong’s role models was the late Leonard Bernstein, the conductor and composer who spent many years in New York City and wasn’t shy about seeking a mass audience.”
One World Symphony is pleased to present our very first music CD, featuring highlights from live performances in New York City including music by composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong (Breaking Bad — Ozymandias, Eye of the Storm, Rite of the Cicada) as well as favorites by Ravel, Stravinsky, and more. All net proceeds will benefit Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen — New York City's largest soup kitchen. When you give the gift of a One World Symphony CD this holiday season you are also helping to provide hot, nutritious meals to New Yorkers in need.
One World Symphony making the waves in Canada's Captial
On October 2, One World Symphony made its Canadian broadcast debut on CKCU FM 93.1 (Ottawa) when host David Dalle aired selections from Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad – Ozymandias and Rite of the Cicada.
During the broadcast Dalle stated:
"Looking at their [One World Symphony's] programming over the past few years and their programming this year gives me one more reason to be jealous of the access to music that you have in New York City... Hopefully there will be a full recording of it [Breaking Bad – Ozymandias] in the future and I will feature it on my show."
One World and a Chorus of Billions, On the Air in Princeton
On October 1, 2014 between 8:00 and 8:30 AM, Classical Discoveries with Marvin Rosen on WPRB at Princeton, NJ will air Sung Jin Hong's “Meditation-Arohati” from the Rite of the Cicada (2013). The recording is from the live unedited world premiere performance by One World Symphony under the guidance of composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong. Inspired by the re-emergence of Brood II Magicicadas, the symphonic-poem is scored for vocal soloist, large symphony orchestra and audiences.
“Should Rite of the Cicada be related to humanity? The Brood II cicadas mark more than just seventeen-year intervals in our region, but they inspire self-discovery from their precious lifecycle. Concluding almost two decades of purgatorial meditation, these cicadas have risen from the earth, molted out of their thin shells, and emerged for a couple of weeks of flying, lovemaking, and procreation. They are the original social networkers.”Read complete feature on San Francisco Classical Voice >>
“From the opening dissonances to the final sounds - the music is gorgeous in a way that, when you think about all the cycles of life on this planet both strange and familiar, transcends music.”
“Cersei Lannister… would make Salomé look like a virgin saint.”
If you ask Game of Thrones fans, they might say that the show, with all its shifts in power, sudden murders, and heartbreaking romances, is exactly like a soap opera. But apparently it’s got just as much in common with classical opera.
“The show has all the drama, intrigue, and passion that operas have been providing us for centuries: seduction, obsession, deception, political manoeuvring, romance, heartbreak, incest – to name a few,” says Sung Jin Hong, artistic director and composer conductor of One World Symphony, a New York City-based company dedicated to “adventurous” programming.
One World Symphony would like to thank the following for sharing the video about One World Symphony's Operasodes®— Games of Thrones: AOL Entertainment, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Clip Syndicate, Consumer Info Pages, Dailymotion, Daily Search, Daily Zip, Fox 23, Fox 30, Grab Press, Hits 97.3, Ice FM, If Search, Kiro TV, KTVU, Mix 96 Tulsa, Music Jehad, My Magic 94.9, My Music My Life, NewsBanana, New Tang Dynasty TV, North Fork View, Power Athens, TV Series News, Stoneagethriller, Utroll, WEDR, WFTV 9, WPIX, WSOC TV, WTEV 47, WTVP 9, Yahoo Movies, 95.3 The Eagle, 98.9 WMMO, 99.5 Kiss Rocks, 106.1 BLI.
Operasodes® Attracts Attention from National and International Press
One World Symphony attracts attention from the national and international press again with Operasodes®. Brian Moylan of UK's The Guardian broke the story on One World Symphony's 2014/15 season: Operasodes. The popular article has more than 1,600 Facebook shares. One World Symphony would like to thank everyone (the press, bloggers, tumblrers, guests) for sharing our passion for adventurous and imaginative programming and inspiring and immersive experiences together.
Bannablefannibal: "He (Sung Jin Hong) made a cannibal joke. I like the cut of this Hong guy's gib."
Athena Cosplay, Atypica Uporotyph-VK (Russian), Chicago's WFMT, Cherished Saulie, Conceptions of a Madman, Dream Shadows, Dreiser7, Durnesque-Esque, Fallen Angel, Hades is King, Hannibal's Music, Hannigram, He is the Devil, Hufflepufflooseinthelibrary, Just One Guy, Les Sabateur, Magnesiumqueen, Mikkelthings, Ninagiry, Occupation: Girl, Operasrsly, Phoenix Down, Silence of the Fannibals, Sobre Mim, Stage Right, The Gestian Poet, This is a Matter of Taste, Tooraloora, Will Graham Musing
Remembering Judith Schaaf
Pianist Judith Schaaf passed away on May 21, 2014 at the age of 63. She is survived by her pianist and photographer husband Peter Schaaf and their daughter vocal artist Chloe. Many local organizations such as One World Symphony family and community were blessed to have been touched and inspired by Judith's generous spirit. With One World Symphony alone, she has been the collaborative pianist for numerous productions: Tristan und Isolde, The Cunning Little Vixen, The Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cavalleria Rusticana, Ariadne auf Naxos, Vanessa, Die Fledermaus, Riders to the Sea, Queen of Spades and more. Judith will be dearly missed.
“You can tell a lot about a person from making music with them. Not only was Judith a steadfast and consummate musician, but she was a generous, kind and supportive person.”
Operasodes®: One World Symphony's 2014/2015 Season
From Norwegian skalds to the Swan of Avon, from The Odyssey to Gone with the Wind, the stories we share have connected human civilization for millennia. What used to be an epic novel, a three-hour play, or a cycle of operas has evolved to now binge-watching TV over a weekend or a film franchise released over many years.
Inspired by some of the most riveting narratives on TV and embracing our contemporary and diverse senses, tastes, and expectations, One World Symphony's fourteenth season, Operasodes®, is a series of transformative tales, pouring new life into traditional forms to create something fresh.
Operasodes® explore how New Girls have been making a splash in opera for more than two centuries, what happens when the forces of light and dark vie for domination in Games of Thrones, and make us lick our lips with anticipation as crime's favorite psychiatrist has a few friends for dinner in Sung Jin Hong's world premiere opera Hannibal (2015), based on the novels by Thomas Harris and the award-winning films and television dramas. Will Hong's drama be heightened through brutal force or stylized violence? Will it embrace realism or savor borderline psychological fantasies?
Peoria Journal Star: Remembering Mrs. Middleton
In the middle of Moss Avenue and its historic Underground Railroad Victorians displaying their gorgeous, spacious front and back yards rivaling Southern elite mansions, there was a tiny home that was originally a church garage. Our family lived there for almost seven years...
Above Left: Jahee and Sung Jin Hong growing up in Peoria, Middle: Mrs. Mary Ann Middleton,
Right: Hong Family in their home on Moss Avenue
"It is perhaps like an insatiable drinker that Sung Jin Hong maintains such prolificacy — and with such a deft hand and approach to his original pieces." – Ian Holubiak, Classicalite
Hannibal Opera Teaser Trailer attracts Press and Public attention
Sung Jin Hong's Hannibal Serial Opera Teaser Trailer has been shared by Bloody Disgusting, Moviepilot, Classicalite, Ditmas Park Corner, 15minutesNews, Classical 91.7 Houston Public Radio. Drew Grimm Van Ess of Moviepilot said: "This one's going to be the one to drag me off of my couch and into the madness."
Hannibal: World Premiere Serial Opera (50 sec Teaser Trailer)
Full House: Season Finale – Libera
On May 19, 2014, One World Symphony closed its thirteenth season to a full house. The musicians performed works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Giuseppe Verdi, Sung Jin Hong and introduced music from nations experiencing upheaval by performing works by Valentin Silvestrov of Ukraine and Antonio Lauro of Venezuela. After the final chord of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias, the audience rose to an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Video from World Premiere of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias
One World Symphony will perform Breaking Bad — Ozymandias 2.0 for one performance only in its season finale Libera on Monday, May 19. From the Breaking Blog, Hong explains: “In the beginning of the final season of the show, Heisenberg was not only still alive and well, he returned with a new depth and darkness. To reflect this, instead of the original cast of three sopranos as the principal female vocalists (Skyler, Marie, and Jane), I have written Jane as one soprano and the sisters Skyler and Marie as two mezzos.
Returning as Heisenberg/Ozymandias, the versatile José Pietri-Coimbre anchors a new vocal cast in the revised version of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias.
Last Love from Ukraine, Barefoot in Venezuela...
In its season finale Libera, One World Symphony will introduce music from nations experiencing upheaval with citizens fighting and children protesting for justice and tolerance by performing works by Valentin Silvestrov of Ukraine (left) and Antonio Lauro of Venezuela (right).
Freestylin’! Taking inspiration from Jimmy Fallon and The Roots
Inspired by Jimmy Fallon and The Roots from The Tonight Show, One World Symphony integrated “Freestylin’” into its Spring Break program on March 17, 2014. Conductor and host Sung Jin Hong chose audience members at random to interview; and One World Symphony, led by principal bassist Justin Lee, made up songs on the spot with information compiled by each audience member’s interview. The songs — in the style of the audience member’s choosing (reggae and progressive rock) — were fun improvisational tests for the “band.” They passed with flying colors. Check out One World Symphony’s upcoming shows for more Freestylin’ and interactive games with its audiences.
Classic FM Exclusive! Listen to Breaking Bad — Ozymandias on UK's favourite classical station
REVIEW: One World Symphony Premiere Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias at Church of the Holy Apostles
One World Symphony’s world premiere performance of Sung Jin Hong’s first opera Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014) was reviewed by Classicalite’s Ian Holubiak. He wrote: “Sung Jin Hong may have created something of a masterpiece...So, while you may have missed the moment to witness a heart-breaking work of staggering ingenuity, Hong won’t be leaving us anytime soon.”Photo by Jaka Vinšek
RaveReviewsNYC: “’Yo, Bitch’ – Next Time Don’t Miss One World Symphony’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias”Above photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Breaking Bad is So Good
“It is filled with the requisite dissonances, dissonances much sharper than any found in the night’s previous works; rich, sumptuous dissonances which make the fleeting climactic consonances all the sweeter and more rewarding. Breaking Bad — Ozymandias is a profoundly striking work with roots deep in the soul of man.”
Photo by Jaka Vinšek
Everything You Wanted to Know About the Breaking Bad Opera
Esquire’s Hilary Hughes features One World Symphony and Dorothy Smith Jacobs (Jane Margolis in Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias). “Throw in an absurdly talented orchestra and a handful of powerful voices - including Jacobs — and you’ve got the reinvention of a modern classic that you never saw coming.”
Photo by Jaka Vinšek
Photos: Sold-out, Standing-Room-Only Audiences
at Breaking Bad — Ozymandias
One World Symphony kicked off its new year with sold-out standing-room-only performances of Sung Jin Hong’s first opera Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014). Lines from world premiere performances stretched well over a block despite the frigid weather. The show titled Addiction also featured works by Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Berlioz. To show his gratitude to the fans, composer-conductor Hong wrote a significant role for the audiences in the movement “Bitch Aria.” Both shows were received with cheers and standing ovation from the audience. Journalist and audience member Ashlea Halpern tweeted: “Bravo to Sung Jin Hong and One World Symphony on tonight’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias premiere. Can I suggest Man Men or Boardwalk Empire next?”
Above photos by Jaka Vinšek
One World Symphony Listed as Critics Pick, Best Event, Impressive Date Ideas
"Ladies, finally an opera our men would want to take us to, and maybe shed a tear or two." – Channel 95.1, iHeart Radio
One World Symphony is listed as critic’s pick, top and most popular events in Time Out New York, Urbanette, Untapped Cities, NewYork.com, and on iHeart Radio. Thompson Hotels also wrote: “One thing’s for sure — one man’s downward spiral never sounded so good.”
Mel Spencer of Classic FM, the U.K.’s favourite classical music station, interviewed Sung Jin Hong, and it appeared on the front page of their website. The interview discusses the origins of the Heisenberg Chord and the Heisenberg Rhythm and more.
AfriClassical Features One World Artists Sonya Headlam and José Pietri-Coimbre
One World Symphony will open the new year with “Addiction,” which will include Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Berlioz, and the highly anticipated world premiere of Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad – Ozymandias (2014) on January 26 and 27, 2014. Performing Berlioz, Sonya Headlam discusses her first performance as a mother after giving birth to her first child Noah, just three months ago. José Pietri-Coimbre sheds light on the challenging role of Walter White/Heisenberg.
One World and Sung Jin Hong make New York Music Daily’s Best of 2013 List
“The literally most shattering musical moment of 2013 was back in May, at a concert in Chelsea when the One World Symphony premiered a piece for timpani, gongs and bass drum by their composer/conductor Sung Jin Hong, written as a real-time depiction of an atomic bomb detonating. Lingering with a firestorm of waves for what seemed minutes on end, it captured that catastrophic horror more evocatively than words could possibly have expressed.”
From New York Music Daily’s 100 Best Songs of 2013 (comprising of diverse styles: rock, folk, country, gospel, reggae, jazz, and more), Alan Young described Sung Jin Hong’s Edge (2013). The monodrama based on Sylvia Plath’s final poem was scored for timpani, gongs, and bass drum as well as for full symphony orchestra with saxophones and vocal soloist. One World Symphony and vocal artist Sara Paar gave the world premiere performances in May 2013 under the guidance of composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong. Hong would like to give credit to the live dedicated musicians and passionate audiences who brought the score — “the blueprint” — to life.
Top photo: Jaka Vinšek
Bottom Photo: Adrienne Metzinger
One World Donates ALL PROCEEDS from concert to NYC’s Largest Soup Kitchen
On December 18, 2013, One World Symphony gave a benefit concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen raising nearly $1,500. The symphony donated all of its proceeds to NYC’s largest soup kitchen rather than just the net proceeds as advertised. Holy Apostles serves over 1,200 hot meals to hungry New Yorkers every single weekday and including holidays. The program, added in early December, included Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2 as well as music from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. One World Symphony surprised the audience with a sneak peek from the movement “Chemistry” from composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong’s world premiere mini-opera, Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (to be performed in its entirety as a part of the symphony’s “Addiction” show on January 26th and 27th). After the final chord the audience rose to an enthusiastic standing ovation. Principal bassist Justin Lee and the Robert Page Jazz Trio serenaded the guests and musicians with holiday and jazz classics during the post-concert wine reception.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — To composer Sung Jin Hong, Class of 1997, music is more than sounds. It is more than the combination of instruments, or beauty of form. For Hong, music calls for human interaction. It arouses passion, captures the imagination and defines his work, lifestyle and motivations.
“Art, as an essential part of the human experience, has the power and potential to illuminate, inspire, motivate, empower and ignite change,” said Hong, the creator, artistic director and composer-conductor of One World Symphony.
Hong is currently in the process of developing his most recent, and possibly most anticipated production: Breaking Bad — Ozymandias, which will be part of One World’s Addiction program, premiering in New York on Jan. 26, 2014.
Time Out New York Cover Feature: Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias
Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad — Ozymandias is featured on the cover of this week's Time Out New York magazine (December 5–11, 2013) as a part of its 2014 Winter Preview – “Your Perfect Winter.” Kenny Herzog interviewed composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong about One World Symphony's world premiere performances of his mini-opera on January 26–27, 2014. The interview is highlighted among dozens of other New York City winter events. Kenny Herzog wrote: “Composer Sung Jin Hong gives Walter White & Co. an epic sung-through homage.”
One World Symphony Adds December Concert to Benefit NYC’s Largest Soup Kitchen
Don your most festive wool sweater, down a mug of spiced hot Glögg, and come celebrate the holidays with the mystical sounds of the North. One World Symphony presents A Nordic Holiday on Wednesday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m. to benefit Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. This special holiday event will include music by Jean Sibelius and Edvard Grieg, with a post-concert reception with live jazz performed by the Robert Page Jazz Trio. One World Symphony continues its tradition of serving the local and global community through music by donating its net proceeds from this concert to New York City’s largest soup kitchen.
Full House: Sixth Annual Halloween Concert: Temptation
On Monday, October 28, 2013, One World Symphony’s sixth annual Halloween show performed to a full house. Time Out New York noted: “Sung Jin Hong leads a characteristically adventurous — and unusually voluptuous — program of lush songs, opera excerpts, and other works by Saint-Saëns, Saariaho, Puccini, Hindemith, and Schubert...” Audience letters and photos of costumed symphony and soloists and audiences tell the story.
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
BBC Features One World Symphony and Sung Jin Hong
BBC’s award-winning writer and journalist Clemency Burton-Hill, who also hosts The Proms, recently interviewed composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong and wrote in the feature article which appeared on the front page of the website: “Hong, if refreshingly unpretentious, is no musical lightweight. So why does he want to give Breaking Bad the operatic treatment?”
U.K.’s The Independent feature: New York’s hippest orchestra to create Breaking Bad opera
“Sung Jin Hong notes: ‘Shelley’s Ozymandias reminds us that human life and materialistic values are temporary and are bound to end. All are subject to the laws of time. How about the classics — works by Beethoven and Van Gogh? Some time in the future, can we possibly consider Breaking Bad a contemporary classic of Greek or Shakespearean magnitude?’ ”
Breaking Bad — Ozymandias draws the attention of national and international press
Just hours after One World Symphony announced its world premiere performances of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014), press from around the world showed interest and support.
In other languages:
World Premiere Opera: Breaking Bad — Ozymandias
One World Symphony will perform the world premiere Breaking Bad — Ozymandias on January 26 and 27, 2014. Inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet and the award-winning drama, composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong's mini-opera explores the question that the drama obsessively and hauntingly asked: "are we all breaking bad?" Hong's recently critically-acclaimed compositions include the symphonic poem The Architect (2012) and works for vocalists and symphony orchestra, such as Edge (2013), a monodrama based on Sylvia Plath's final poem, and Rite of the Cicada (2013), inspired by the re-emergence of Magicicadas Brood II.
Burlesque Artist Bettina May debuts with One World Symphony in its annual costumed-Halloween show October 27 & 28
“New York’s hippest orchestra” (Brooklyn Courier) is proud to present Bettina May — “one of New York’s leading burlesque artists and pinup models” (TONY). On October 27 and 28, 2013, Ms. May will be featured as Dalila in Saint-Saëns’ “Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila as dancer and choreographer. Ms. May will not only be making her debut with One World Symphony, but this will be her first collaboration with a symphony orchestra. The popular costumed Halloween concert also includes works by Kaija Saariaho, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Schubert, and more. Celebrate Halloween with One World Symphony and “Canada’s hottest Burlesque Import” (BroadwayWorld.com).
“A burlesque performer with the looks of Rita Hayworth and a ground-shaking shimmy.” — NBCNews.com
Sold-Out, Standing-Room Only: Season Opener Vendetta
On September 15, 2013, One World Symphony kicked off its thirteenth season to sold-out standing-room only audiences. The program included selections from Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar’s Bride, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. Continuing its tradition of creating a seamless experience for audiences, Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong composed and arranged musical bridges to connect all the compositions together. He also encouraged lively interaction of singing, laughing, cheering with the audience. Mariana Lignana Rosenberg of New York Classical Review recently praised: “For visionary programming and winning zeal, no local orchestra tops One World Symphony.” Audience letters and photos tell the story.
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Review of ALIVE!
“The long awaited star of the evening, Rite of the Cicada by Maestro Sung Jin Hong, featured audience participation, recorded sound, vocal soloist, and orchestra. From the opening dissonances to the final sounds — the music is gorgeous in a way that, when you think about all the cycles of life on this planet both strange and familiar, transcends music.”
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Full House: Mahler, Bartók, Hong (World Premiere) and more
On July 25, 2013, One World Symphony presented its summer program, performing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (Pan Awakes, Summer Marches In), Bartók’s From the Diary of a Fly, Sung Jin Hong’s Rite of the Cicada (2013 World Premiere) and more celebrating Earth’s first musicians. Inspired by a weekend trip upstate where they experienced the monumental 17-year cicada emergence, founders Adrienne Metzinger and Sung Jin Hong decided to add the summer program: ALIVE! With just two weeks of preparation, 70 musicians gathered together to share their passion with to a full house. The inspired audience was invited to play a vital role in Sung Jin Hong’s movement “Arohati” from Rite of the Cicada. During the concert, composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong encouraged lively interaction and sparked laughs between the symphony and audience. During the post-concert reception, Natural History of Museum entomologist Louis Sorkin shared his extensive knowledge of Brood II Magicicada. The reception was serenaded by principal bassist Justin Lee’s jazz band The Robert Page Jazz Trio and hosted and bartended by Sung Jin Hong until past midnight. Audience letters and photos tell the story.
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Chorus of Billions: Rite of the Cicada (2013 World Premiere) by Sung Jin Hong
Symphony of a Thousand may have been written by Gustav Mahler, but Brood II cicadas have been serenading the Northeast this summer as a living “Chorus of Billions.’ When my wife Adrienne and I first heard their soaring song during a hike along the rolling Catskills last month, we thought the sound had to be extraterrestrial. We were treated to an intoxicating aural experience. We returned to the same location a couple of times during June to enjoy and record the resonating abdominal drumming from the males and wings flickering from the females. Inspired and rejuvenated by the sea of spellbinding sonorities, my symphonic poem for full symphony and vocal soloist has been born: Rite of the Cicada (2013).
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
ALIVE! Summer Concert performing Mahler 3, world premieres, and more
After its twelfth season of sold-out and full house concerts, One World Symphony adds a summer concert ALIVE! on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. at the air-conditioned Holy Apostles Church in Manhattan. The program includes works by Gustav Mahler, Josquin des Prez, John Dowland, Béla Bartók:, and world premieres by Andrew Struck-Marcell and Sung Jin Hong celebrating leaping, flying, singing creatures that evoke summer days and nights eternal. A wine reception with live jazz performed by The Robert Page Jazz Trio will follow immediately after the concert.
Review: An Explosive Finale to the One World Symphony Season
“Hong programmed the world premiere of his own Edge immediately after [Doctor Atomic], a bold and potentially suicidal choice given the previous work’s pyrotechnics. That the conductor’s equally haunting narrative — a setting of Sylvia Plath’s final poem, loaded with vengeful Medea references — wasn’t anticlimactic speaks to its power, and the orchestra’s commitment to it.... Few orchestras would take such a gamble by ending their season on such a dark note; then again, this ensemble has no fear of taking chances.”
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Review of Gatsby, Streetcar, Atomic, Edge (World Premiere)
“...that is what I experienced Sunday evening: beautiful, shadow-tinged, haunting music, from the nostalgic opening pieces to the hauntingly ominous closing work (a world premiere by Sung Jin Hong entitled Edge).”
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger
Full House: Gatsby, Streetcar, Atomic, Edge (World Premiere)
On May 19, 2013, One World Symphony presented its cutting-edge program of all living composers to a full house. The program included selections from John Adams’ Doctor Atomic (2007), John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (1999), and Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1998). Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong offered two surprising overtures for the audiences: Britten’s Funeral Blues sung by Adrienne Metzinger and Porgy and Bess Suite by George Gershwin with Sonya Headlam as soloist. The “explosive” program concluded with the world premiere performance of Sung Jin Hong’s Edge (2013) — a monodrama based on Sylvia Plath’s final poem. The entire program was performed without pause, and each work was connected by musical bridges composed for harp, saxophone, and percussion ensemble (timpani, bass drum, and tam-tam) by Sung Jin Hong.
Photos by Adrienne Metzinger