One World Symphony Recent News
“Freedom and “a land flowing with milk and honey” were promised to Moses and the Israelites, according to the Hebrew scriptures. Uprooted Koreans who survived the Asian Holocaust; the systematic destruction of language and cultural identity; sexual violence; and the silenced atrocities during Japanese imperialism and World War II believed in reclaiming their heritage by returning to their homeland. My grandmother, after the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and recent bearing of her third child (my mother), led the exodus of her family out of Imperial Japan’s oppression through her unshakable faith in the Mosaic covenant...”
“In an anti-racist program that diverged from the otherwise extremely white New York City new music scene, the concert featured works falling within the Western classical realm as well as music of Arabic and Indian traditions. The musicians warming up on stage before the performance began represented a range of racial backgrounds; the audience filing into the space was similarly diverse… [this program] is one that can (and should) serve as a model for other new music groups who wish to engage in a political dialogue.”
Photos: Full House at DEFIANT: Shaken Me To My Core
On a rainy Sunday evening, guests continued to protest with passion and purpose at One World Symphony's Defiant. SAVI (Mt. Sinai's Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention program) and the choir of Ramakrishna Vivenkananda Center of NY joined One World Symphony Concertus and the 65 members of One World Symphony in defending equality and human values through powerful art and compassionate civic action. Defiant included works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Margaret Allison Bonds, Valerie Capers, and world premieres by Rob Adler and Michael Mandrin. The guests helped bring Sung Jin Hong's world premiere Michelle Obama: Shaken me to my core to life with a passionate chant of "I have a dream." In Hong's world premiere Charlie Chaplin from The Great Dictator, One World Symphony collaborated with Chaplin himself, who reminded us that WE have the power to be stewards for change:
"You, the people have the power to create happiness, to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure… let us use that power — let us all unite — let us fight for a new world..."
Jenna Douglas of Canada’s Schmopera previews One World Symphony’s Defiant on January 22, 2017 at Holy Apostles Church in New York City.
“Defiance is truly the theme of this programme. Beethoven defied his deafness, Chaplin and Obama the violence and hatred of their times, and composers like Margaret Allison Bonds and Valerie Capers (the first blind composer to graduate from Juilliard) produced their work defiantly amid the racism, ableism, and sexism that pervaded their lives.”
One World Symphony’s Defiant and Sung Jin Hong were featured this week across several Turkish publications… but not where you may expect!
Edip Emil Öymen, a technology journalist in Istanbul, became interested in Sung Jin Hong’s Michelle Obama: Shaken me to my core (2017 world premiere) as a symbol of innovation. Mr. Öymen has previously featured Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias.
NY Culture Beat features
DEFIANT as Top Story
Sukie Park of NY Culture Beat interviews Sung Jin Hong about DEFIANT:
"Instead of criticizing or investing an ounce of its energy towards negativity, One World Symphony’s mission is to encourage and uplift. We are proud to embrace Michelle Obama's modus operandi: "When they go low, we go HIGH!"
Over the last sixteen years, One World Symphony has been deeply rooted in its vision to serve our community through powerful music that heals and inspires. For One World Symphony, art is activism, empowerment, and a tangible instrument to give voice to the oppressed and the silenced."
"The program, curated by composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong, will include works by black female composers including Margaret Bonds and Valerie Capers, composers inspired by Middle Eastern culture (including the female Turkish poet Bejan Matur), and 4 world premieres addressing the spirit of our times — Michelle Obama: Shaken me to my core and Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator."
Defiant: Beethoven, Chaplin, M. Obama, World Premieres
"Defiant" on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. at Holy Apostles, Manhattan
Works by Beethoven, Margaret Bonds, Valerie Capers
World premieres inspired by Michelle Obama, Charlie Chaplin, and Middle Eastern culture.
During World War II, Charlie Chaplin appealed for a new world where tolerance, love, and kindness reigned. His impassioned speech from the 1940 film The Great Dictator resonates today more than ever. Seventy-six years later, with vocal gravitas, Michelle Obama delivered an ardent address condemning the abuse and harassment of women. Not only did her words crystallize feelings of outrage and hurt, her message went beyond the politics of the moment. It tapped far deeper into the heart of the issue — confronting our future as brothers and sisters and our shared humanity...
As the New York City music community mourns the loss of a passionate artist, One World Symphony will host a very special tribute and fellowship for pianist and friend Lloyd Paguia Arriola on Sunday, August 28th at 8:00pm. The evening will feature works by Beethoven, Arvo Pärt, Joan Tower, Lawrence Rush, and Lloyd Arriola. In the spirit of celebrating a joyful and generous spirit, there will be a fellowship (potluck reception) immediately following the musical tribute where guests will be serenaded by The Bob Page Jazz Trio.
Pianist, conductor, and teacher Lloyd Paguia Arriola passed away on July 17, 2016. Many artistic organizations throughout the States, including the One World Symphony family and community, were blessed to have been touched and inspired by Lloyd's passion and generous spirit. With One World Symphony alone, he has been the collaborative pianist for numerous auditions and productions, most notably as the piano soloist in the TimeOut's NY Critics' Pick Ravel's Piano Concerto in G and in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue at the soldout Town Hall Debut.
"He was a doctor who healed through the power of music and laughter, a humanitarian committed to social justice and building bridges instead of walls, and a devoted friend and brother who made everyone he touched feel special, cared for, and loved. Lloyd has inspired me then. He still does today."
Ian Holubiak of Classicalite wrote: "Comparing history's Western composing elite to the echelon of Star Wars mega-heroes and villains is no easy task. Take the first comparison, Mr. Leonard Bernstein and bad boy Han Solo. While it may not seem applicable, there's a correlation that's hard to deny once you take the time to read the quotes."
Classicalite Feature: Hannibal Recording Session
"The local fare of classical music in New York City is a breeding ground for new material. Of this pool is Sung Jin Hong and One World Symphony--an organization boasting heartfelt and original material, from a Breaking Bad opera to their most recent Hannibal... When I was invited to attend the premiere of Breaking Bad–Ozymandias last year I was floored at the deftness of their conductor, Sung Jin Hong, and his ensemble. But that was a year ago and their new production, Hannibal, is a 2015 smash that has been written up extensively by the media. A thoughtful concerto, Classicalite was able to witness the recording of the piece before it hits the floor of the Internet as a full blown single."
Watch Hannibal World Premiere Recording Trailer (60 sec)
Coming Soon: Recording of One World Symphony's production of Hannibal (2015) from the sold-out world premiere performance with live audience on October 25, 2015 and recording session on October 26 at Holy Apostles Church in New York City.
One World Symphony and One World Concertus
Sung Jin Hong, composer-conductor
Nicholas Tamagna, countertenor as Hannibal Lecter
Ransom Bruce, tenor as Will Graham
Marie Putko, soprano as Abigail Hobbs
Jane Albert, Mischa Lecter
Adrienne Metzinger, video creation and stage direction
Jeremy Tressler, audio engineer
Review of Hannibal by Composers of Sibelius: “Hannibal's Canticle”
“Imagine, a week before Halloween, sitting in an elaborate House of Worship listening to a serial killer sing of his crimes, the wall behind him splattered with blood. Get your Goth on, NYC! One World Symphony has once again created an experience unmatched in its ability to bring to life the surreal. Orchestral sections take turns drumming out heart beats that resonate within your terrified chest. Medical staff are on hand, under the guise of educating willing audience members on hands-only CPR as a pre-show educational perk, but in reality are there to resurrect any audience members whose frail hearts succumb to the macabre undulations of that unholy Canticle of evil.”
Photo by Jaka Vinšek
Review of Hannibal by Very Nerdy Curly
“The opera followed the events of season one, delving into the depths of Hannibal’s mind and taking Will, as well as the audience, along with him. Part one focused on what exactly turned Hannibal into a cannibal. Mischa stood in the pulpit of the church, calling Hannibal’s name while the woodwinds in the orchestra, a tribute to Hannibal’s victims, cried out in what seemed to be despair and sadness. Hannibal drifted through the crowd (and I bounced excitedly in my seat) as the music continued, carrying us through his nightmares.”
Photo by Jaka Vinšek
Photos: Sold-out Operasode of Hannibal
On October 25, 2015, One World Symphony performed the world premiere of Sung Jin Hong’s Hannibal (2015) to a sold-out house. The complete menu included: Stravinsky’s “Sacrificial Dance” from The Rite of Spring; Bach’s “Aria” from The Goldberg Variations; Fauré’s “Sanctus,” “Pie Jesu,” and “Agnus Dei” from Requiem, and Saariaho’s Ballade. The soloists included Kristi Shade, Marie Putko, Laura Farmer, Jane Albert, Markus Kaitila, Ransom Bruce, and countertenor Nicholas Tamagna as Hannibal Lecter. One World Concertus with Chorusmaster Sung Jin Hong made its debut performing Fauré and in Hannibal. A unique collaboration was introduced with New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center: the staff of its Heart Center was on site teaching HandsOnly CPR — a technique that can be a life-saving difference for someone who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest.
Fannibals' Reviews/Buzz on Social Media
“He (Sung Jin) was very generous with his time, hugging all of the Hannibal fans...I loved that Hannibal’s part was sung by a countertenor, which was very unexpected. The singer’s work accessed something raw, wounded, and spellbinding. It was restrained yet unrestrained. The choice of a countertenor opened the world of the character’s inner conflicts, and laid bare some unexpected complexities.” - oh-doctor-lecter
“I greatly enjoyed the Hannibal opera last night. I thought I’d share the program notes for anyone who couldn’t make it! Two things really stuck out to me. First, the “Hannibal Rising” portion of the opera was almost entirely wordless, except for the spirit of Mischa repeating Hannibal’s name from time to time. The piece was beautiful and very interesting, and really captured the flavor of controlled mayhem of Hannibal Before Will Graham.” - confusedkayt
“Me gasping when they reenacted Mizumono. Hannibal stroking Will’s face and me dying. I really think Bryan Fuller (creator of NBC's Hannibal) would’ve loved this. For me, having such things that I think about and have obsessed over for years performed live was quite a unique and wonderful and super weird experience. I hope the performers didn’t mind my out of control facial expressions too much, as we were in the front, like feet away from them.” - revnickie
Hannibal Review by Canada's Schmopera
One World Symphony’s Sunday premiere of Hannibal was like a psychopathic serial killer: equally immense and intimate. Mashing Stravinsky's “Sacrificial Dance” up against Fauré’s Requiem against composer Sung Jin Hong’s interpretation of a television show made for a sublimely appropriate start to Halloween week...when the cast then mingles amidst the audience and the church’s pristine columns, you’ve got opera up close. Hong’s tangible approach is fresh, for both seasoned opera-goers and unseasoned “Fannibals” alike...Wearing blotches of fiery red lipstick, stilettos and neckties, the symphony soared through the scores that preluded Hong’s Hannibal premiere--juxtaposing the hellish with celestial, fierce brooding with gentle pastoral."
Bryan Fuller tweets about Sung Jin Hong's Hannibal (2015)
The creator of NBC's hit drama series Hannibal, Bryan Fuller, tweeted about — One World Symphony's world premiere of Hannibal (2015)!
THIS SOUNDS AMAZING!!! 5 Questions With The 'Hannibal' Opera Composer/Conductor Sung Jin Hong https://t.co/DZ2TGqaz7A— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) October 25, 2015
Jess Goodwin of Hannibal Fannibals interviews One World Symphony's Sung Jin Hong:
“I forgive you, Will… will you forgive me?” – Hannibal Lecter
"Bryan Fuller’s vision of Hannibal might be on pause right now, but Fannibals are keeping it alive and well not only in our hearts (and social media), but, in the case of One World Symphony conductor Sung Jin Hong, on the stage as well. In what promises to be an adaptation worthy of Hannibal Lecter’s refined tastes, Hong has taken the series and twisted it into his latest “operasode.”
Sung Jin Hong's Hannibal (2015) in The New York Times
Hannibal (Sunday) As in Hannibal Lecter. And he’s getting the opera treatment in this premiere with One World Symphony. The conductor, Sung Jin Hong, also wrote the music for this follow-up to his 2014 opera “Breaking Bad — Ozymandias.” Other items on the evening’s program include selections from Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” Fauré‘s Requiem and Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations, as well as the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s 2005 work “Ballade.” At 8 p.m., Holy Apostles Church, 296 Ninth Avenue, at West 28th Street, Chelsea.
The Daily Dot's Feature Interview of Sung Jin Hong Previewing Hannibal
Aja Romano (a.k.a. bookshop) of The Daily Dot previews One World Symphony’s world premiere production of Hannibal (2015). Her interview of composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong discuss diverse topics, including genderqueer, mad scenes, audience engagement, and our current zeitgeist:
“When One World Symphony conductor Sung Jin Hong developed the idea of “operasodes” based on modern pop culture phenomena, he knew he was building on a vast cultural tradition of remixing and adapting works across mediums to reach new audiences... It was clear he'd hit paydirt on an idea that spoke to the community — and to the Internet. One World has been focusing on community involvement since its formation in 2001, in the wake of Sept. 11. But Hong's operasodes have helped usher it into a new phase of audience interactivity.”
New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center Collaboration and Pathological Heart Murmurs in Hannibal
On Sunday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m., at the world premiere of Hannibal, staff from New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center’s Heart Institute will be on site teaching HandsOnly CPR — a technique that can be a life-saving difference for someone who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. HandsOnly CPR is easy and involves no mouth-to-mouth contact — only pushing hard and fast on the chest. Hopefully you'll never have to use it, but your preparedness could save a life.
The inspiration for this unique collaboration began when Sung Jin Hong researched actual heart rhythms and murmurs (including “pathological”) to include in Hannibal (2015). His research was confirmed by cardiologist Dr. Steven Markowitz at New York-Presbyterian. Their stimulating dialogue and discussions led them to present a community event that could save lives.
There are almost 400,000 cardiac arrests yearly in the United States, and less than half of them receive CPR. HandsOnly CPR is easy and involves no mouth-to-mouth contact — only pushing hard and fast on the chest. Learn HandsOnly CPR!
Photo from L to R: Cardiologist Dr. Steven Markowitz, “little Albert,” Program Manager Jody Scopa Goldman, Program Coordinator Dr. James Horowitz
CUNY TV’s Arts in the City Feature Interview
Reporter Paul Lin’s feature on One World Symphony aired on April 10, 2015 as a part of CUNY TV’s Arts in the City program — a monthly look at the lively arts scene in the New York metropolitan area hosted by Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson. Lin spoke with Hong and Managing Director Adrienne Metzinger about One World Symphony’’s mission and history, Operasodes®, and Hong’s upcoming opera based on Hannibal Lecter. Recipient of Emmy, Telly, and Communicator Awards, CUNY TV is the largest professionally staffed university television station in the country. The feature will air Fridays (April 24, May 8 at 10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.) and Sundays (April 19 at 4:30 p.m., April 26 and May 10 at 12:00 p.m.). CUNY TV is digitally broadcast throughout the tri-state area on Channel 25.3 and cablecast on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon). It is also available online at http://www.cuny.tv/show/artsinthecity.
CUNY TV’s Asian American Life features One World Symphony
On April 3, CUNY TV — the largest professionally staffed university television station in the country — aired reporter Paul Lin’s interview and feature on One World Symphony and Composer-Conductor Sung Jin Hong as a part of the station’s Asian American Life program, an in-depth news magazine showcase that addresses topical issues affecting the Asian American communities nationwide and profiles Asian American leaders. Lin spoke with Hong and Managing Director Adrienne Metzinger about One World Symphony’s mission, history, Operasodes®, and Hong’s upcoming opera based on Hannibal Lecter. The feature will air again on Friday, April 17 (10:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m.) and Sunday, April 19 (12:00 p.m.). It is available online at http://www.cuny.tv/show/asianamericanlife. CUNY TV is digitally broadcast throughout the tri-state area on Channel 25.3 and cablecast on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum Brooklyn), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon).
Despite Snowstorms and Subway Shutdowns, One World Continues its 14-Year No-Cancellation Streak
In the midst of snowstorms and subway shutdowns, One World Symphony celebrated winter with its Games of Thrones Operasode. Due to the unwavering spirit and dedication from its musicians, staff, and community, One World Symphony has never cancelled a scheduled program in its 14-year history. The guests were treated to music exploring Game of Thrones themes, such as deception, decapitation, incest, vengeance. Many performers embraced Game of Thrones by dressing in their favorite characters from the hit HBO show or novels.
“Operasodes ¿Qué es eso? Vivimos inmersos en una globalización que día a día crece y abarca constantemente más espacio. Si a esto añadimos el mestizaje e intercambio entre culturas, estilos, géneros, etc., no es de asombrar que “de cuando en vez” aparezca algún tipo de combinación sui generis como ésta. Y así es que surgen las operasodes, que no son más que la curiosa mezcla de un género tan antiguo como la ópera, con las series televisivas que tan de moda se han puesto en los últimos años. Parece una locura, pero sí que está sucediendo. Lo más interesante es que la iniciativa no la ha tomado un compositor norteamericano, latino o europeo (que de alguna manera han estado más cerca de la tradición operística) sino un compositor de origen coreano, aunque afincado en New York. Sí, Sung Jin Hong, creador y director de la New York City’s One World Symphony...”;
“ ‘Al unir dos ‘estándares’ deliciosos puedes conseguir la combinación ganadora. Se ven ejemplos constantemente: Spanglish, Tex Mex, kimchi tacos…’ ” Con las Operasodes, Hong y la One World Simphony parecen haber dado con la el híbrido ideal, sin embargo hace ya tiempo que vieron en la cultura contemporánea su fuente de inspiración para conseguir nuevos seguidores de la música clásica. Sung Jin Hong compuso una pieza basada en el bestseller de Paulo Coelho, El alquimista”, enumeran desde la orquesta.”
Indiewire's Casey Cipriani interviews Managing Director and mezzo-soprano Adrienne Metzinger and composer-bassist Justin Lee. Lee's Hodor Suite (2015) will be given its world premiere in One World's Games of Thrones Operasode. One World artists Heather Green as Salomé and Fernando Araujo as Rigoletto are also featured in the article.
Bachelor Operasode Benefits NYC's Largest Soup Kitchen
During the busy holiday season, One World Symphony presented a benefit concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen with its Bachelor Operasode. The contestants included Lulu (Berg), Daughter of the Regiment (Donizetti), Zerlina (Mozart), tap dancer, comedian, and a volunteering audience member. The symphony also gave a complete performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 2. The romantic composer may have been the ultimate bachelor, who never tied the knot with his soulmate. The guests and artists enjoyed the post-concert wine reception serenaded by the Bob Page Jazz Trio. Who did our bachelor choose?
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 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."