One World Symphony News

December 2011

Full House: Benefit Concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

During the busiest week for musicians and audiences and with two weeks of preparation, One World Symphony gave a benefit concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen to a full house, performing Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and audience sings-alongs Baby It’s Cold Outside and John Lennon’s Happy Xmas. (Photos by David Sauer)

I was really moved by the Beethoven at the holiday benefit. In the first movement, the gentle clarity with which each instrumental voice would lift the melody and then be woven with another created a world of sound that boggled us with Beethoven’s genius. Thank you.

View more photos and audience letters >>

December 2011

One World’s Holiday Concert Benefits Largest Soup Kitchen in NYC

One World Symphony’s Holiday concert on December 22nd will benefit Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, New York City’s largest soup kitchen. This special holiday event will include a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, Pastoral, and an audience sing-along of John Lennon’s Happy Xmas. One World Symphony continues its tradition of serving the local and global community through music by donating its net proceeds from this concert to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Read more about Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen >>

November 2011

Fourth Annual Halloween Bash, “Mad Women,” Sold Out

On Sunday, October 30, One World Symphony’s fourth annual Halloween program was sold out. The fun-filled costumed bash included Mozart’s Queen of the Night from The Magic Flute and Elettra from Idomeneo, Puccini’s Tosca, and Strauss’s Salomé. Conductor Sung Jin Zorro Hong interacted with the audience, discussing and demonstrating sections from Salomé. As an encore, the audience was treated to the performance of The Dance of the Seven Veils from Salomé. Letters and photos tell the story.

Photos by Hillary Honeck and Adrienne Metzinger

View more photos and audience letters >>

September 2011

One World Symphony Opens its 11th Season to a Full House

On Sunday, September 18, 2011 at Holy Apostles in Manhattan, One World Symphony opened its 11th season to a full house. Audience letters and photos tell the story.

Photos by Hillary Honeck

View more photos and audience letter >>

September 2011

AfriClassical Features One World Symphony Baritone Martin Fisher

Martin Fisher performs in One World Symphony’s season opener in all-Verdi program as Don Carlo in La Forza del Destino in September 2011. Previously, Mr. Fisher was a featured soloist with One World Symphony in Saint-Saens’s Samson et Dalila as Grand Prêtre. Mr. Fisher shared: “We’ll also be encouraging the audience to join us in singing the chorus ‘Va, pensiero’ from Nabucco. In the opera, it is sung by a chorus of exiled Hebrew slaves. Verdi composed this chorus not long after the death of his wife and daughter. The last line, ‘t’ispiri il Signore un concento che ne infonda al patire virtù,’ translates ‘may the Lord inspire you a harmony of voices which may instill virtue to suffering.’ There is indeed a great deal of suffering in our nation today, with high unemployment, but I also believe this line is particularly poignant to New Yorkers as we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11. ‘Va, pensiero’ is an anthem of hope, and it is our profound hope that the audience will lend us their voices in this song of courage, community, virtue and ultimately, triumph.”

Read feature from AfriClassical >>

August 2011

Full House in Happy Hour: Paris — View Photos and Letters

With less than two weeks of preparation, more than seventy musicians from One World Symphony and NYC CANCAN gathered together for Happy Hour: Paris. The full house of audiences requested two encores, and the interactive program had the audiences clapping, singing, dancing, eating, and drinking. Audience letters and photos tell the story.

Photo by Hillary Honeck

View more photos and audience letters >>

July 2011

Come to Happy Hour in Paris with One World Symphony

Be transported to the City of Lights without having to leave the city that never sleeps. On Tuesday July 26 at 9:00 p.m., One World Symphony will bring New Yorkers the music of Ravel, Offenbach, Fauré, and Delibes — capturing the Parisian nightlife from moonlit walks along the Seine to the burlesque of the Moulin Rouge. The Parisian Happy Hour encourages BYOB = Bring Your Own Baguette/Bordeaux.

“Rarely does a program for the summer seem as perfect as the one that Sung Jin Hong has created for One World Symphony.” — Classical Domain

For more information and tickets, please click here >>

July 2011

NYC CANCAN Debuts with One World Symphony

NYC CANCAN is thrilled to share the spirit of Joie de vivre with One World Symphony and its audiences on Tuesday, July 26th at 9:00 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan. The dance company of eight female and two male dancers specialize in Cancan, Cabaret, and Vegas-style dances, which are available for corporate events, fashion shows, sporting events, theme parties, product launches, promotional events, and other private or corporate functions in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, nationwide, and internationally.  

For more information about their performance with One World Symphony, please click here >>

June 2011

National Geographic Features One World Symphony Resident Photographer Jaka Vinšek

National Geographic recently featured photojournalist Jaka Vinšek. Meta Crese wrote: “Jaka Vinšek is a photojournalist and a studio photographer who has mastered strict craft possibilities that photography offers. But wandering the streets of New York, he yields himself to spontaneity and changes into a relaxed chronicler, marked with his story. His street photography reveals and conceals stories of anonymous New Yorkers, and — as appropriate for this type of photography — without knowing it we are drawn also into his personal story.”

In the feature Mr. Vinšek shared: “Photography is my life, and the camera my best friend that accompanies me just everywhere. I do like dealing with artificial light in artificial environment; however, street photography provides me with more satisfaction and adrenaline.”

For more details, please click here >>

May 2011

Full House: Tristan und Isolde — View Photos and Letters

One World Symphony closed its 10th anniversary season with Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde on Sunday, May 15 in Manhattan with a full house. Audience letters and photos tell the story.

Thanks to everyone at One World Symphony for some of the best music we have heard in years. The Tristan and Isolde excerpts performance was exceptional, even by the high standards you previously have set.  We can honestly say it is the best we have ever heard. Period.

“You all do good work,” while a major understatement, sums it up nicely. We eagerly await the next season.

View more photos and audience letters >>

May 2011

WQXR Features One World Symphony: When Bigger is Not Always Better

by Olivia Giovetti

With the future of New York City Opera and the financial solvency of the Met both in question as of late, the idea of the independently run opera company seems more viable in the 21st Century. Case in point: Sung Jin Hong’s One World Symphony, a New York-based ensemble that rounds out its tenth anniversary season this weekend with an abridged version of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Productions are stark with sparse props and costumes, yet Maestro Hong and his musicians continually deliver a wholly satisfying—and often intrepid—product.

This season alone has included programs that mix and match works of John Lennon, Richard Strauss, Shostakovich and Messiaen, a Nordic Lights-themed program of Grieg, Salonen, Saariaho and Sibelius, and a concert performance of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. Last year they took a grand tour through Vienna in Die Fledermaus, Russia via Pique Dame, Prague thanks to The Cunning Little Vixen, and Paris with works of Ravel, Berlioz and Piaf. And this fall they dive into rep ranging from Gluck to Verdi to Berg to Hong himself.

The balance of opera-in-concert and orchestral works seems to work well for One World; it pays off almost as handsomely as the balance of performing in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, generally at Ansche Chesed Synagogue on the Upper West Side, and St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights (one of the perks of traveling light).

Hong’s humanitarian efforts are also notable—the symphony commits to raising funds for at least one charity each year, a noble cause given how much arts organizations themselves clamor for funding. Perhaps it’s the modest means that they spin into artistically rich evenings. On a more mystical level, perhaps there’s some musical karma at play that returns the love the orchestra puts out into its world. At any rate, One World Symphony is one of those slow-and-steady success stories that sets a tone for making art in this decade’s economic climate.

Continually working singers like Wagnerian tenor Shawn Thuris (Tristan), sopranos Erin Carr (Isolde May 13) and Celeste Siciliano (Isolde May 15) make up One World’s casts. On the side of New Music, we often talk about how the multifarious performance groups in the city feed into one another like a giant post-classical family. The same holds true for many of the small yet spirited companies that populate New York. And it truly is all these gems of companies that make New York’s music scene shine.

April 2011

One World Symphony Announces its 2011/2012 Season: Legends

View the complete 2011/12 season details> >

April 2011

NY Japion Features One World Symphony’s Concert for Japan

TOP: A full house — One World Symphony’s Concert for Japan’s capacity audience offers a warm standing ovation. NY Japion’s feature on One World Symphony. BOTTOM: With just 10 days of preparation, 75 musicians from One World Symphony gathered to present this moving program (photo: Jaka Vinšek)

NY Japion, a weekly Japanese newspaper, featured One World Symphony’s Concert for Japan in their April 15th issue. The concert, held on April 3rd, 2011, benefitted the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund. An emotionally engaged audience enjoyed the final movement from Mahler’s Third Symphony, Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, an audience sing-along of John Lennon’s Imagine, and Sung Jin Hong’s Eye of the Storm specially revised to pay tribute to our brothers and sisters across the Pacific. Members from One World Symphony, including Artistic Director and Conductor Sung Jin Hong were interviewed for the feature.

View the article and read Sung Jin Hong’s interview with NY Japion > >

April 2011

Full House: Concert for Japan — View Photos and Letters

With just ten days of preparation, seventy-five musicians from One World Symphony gathered together and drew a full house of audience members to contribute towards the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund. The interactive and moving program included compositions by Gustav Mahler, Olivier Messiaen, John Lennon, and Sung Jin Hong. Audience letters and photos taken by Jaka Vinšek tell the story.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for last night’s performance. I was impressed and moved by the show of compassion and generosity from you and your orchestra. Thank you very much for taking the time to connect with us whether it’s a sing-along, a personal talk relating Mahler and Indiana Jones, or another inspiring evening demonstrated by last night’s experience.

View more photos and audience letters > >

March 2011

Music Review of Nordic Lights by Operaticus: Aquavit for the Soul

“It is surely one of the delights of life in New York City that one can wander into a little church on a stormy night and be treated to a concert of exceptional quality by lesser-known performers. The unorthodox One World Symphony, now in its tenth year under founder-conductor Sung Jin Hong, offered in its ‘Nordic Lights’ program an evening remarkable for its conviction, elegance, and big-hearted lushness.” (Photo by Jasa Vinšek)

Read the complete review by Georges Briscot > >

March 2011

Music Review of Nordic Lights by Harry Rolnick of ConcertoNet

“Sung Jin Hong may be the most ambitious conductor working today. With a more than passable orchestra of around 60, he has essayed the most difficult contemporary music (Takemitsu, Crumb etc), along with operas ranging from Mozart and Bernstein to Samuel Barber’s Vanessa. I saw two of them, Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen and Strauss’s Ariadne, both superior productions.”

Read the complete review > >

March 2011

Sold Out on Stormy Sunday: Nordic Lights Photos and Audience Letters

During steady heavy downpour on Sunday, March 6, One World Symphony’s Nordic Lights was sold-out. The program included works by Saariaho, Salonen, Sibelius, and Grieg. Audience letters and photos taken by Hillary Honeck and Adrienne Metzinger tell the story.

One World Symphony would like to extend an extra thank you to our loyal listeners for braving the weather to experience our concerts during the last decade!

Congratulations to you on that awesome performance of Nordic Nights! It was definitely an indisputable work of great orchestration and arrangement and all the talented musicians and singers were such a pleasure to hear and will not be forgotten. Apparently I was not the only one in the audience who was so very impressed with the performance. The room burst with such applause! It was undeniable that the rain did not damper anyone’s enthusiasm.

View more photos and audience letters >>

February 2011

Salonen and Saariaho: Brooklyn Premieres of Two Grammy Award Winners

One World Symphony will present Brooklyn Premieres by two award-winning composers as a part of its upcoming Nordic Lights program: Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho. Two great works by these two living composers will be performed on March 4th, 2011 in Brooklyn and March 6th, 2011 in Manhattan. Composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Foreign Bodies is a visceral and evocative concerto for large orchestra. Kaija Saariaho, a recent Grammy Award winner for L’Amour de loin, creates a sensual intensity in her Parfum de l’instant for soprano and orchestra. One World Symphony is proud to continue its tradition of presenting works by living composers.

Read more about One World Symphony’s performances on March 4th and 6th, 2011 > >

February 2011

AfriClassical Features One World Symphony Soprano Sonya Headlam

Sonya Headlam performs Sibelius’ The Tryst in One World Symphony’s Nordic Lights in March 2011. Previously, Ms. Headlam was a featured soloist with One World Symphony in Haydn’s The Creation and Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’Été. The Sibelius songs are orchestrated and arranged for voice and symphony orchestra by composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong.

Read the feature from AfriClassical > >

February 2011

Full House: Dialogues of the Carmelites — View Photos and Letters

View photos by Hillary Honeck and audience letters from One World Symphony’s Dialogues of the Carmelites performances > >

January 2011

French Fête: Five-Course Holiday Dinner Party

On New Year’s weekend, One World Symphony family and friends were invited to a five-course French dinner experience prepared by Chef de cuisine Adrienne Metzinger and Sous-chef Sung Jin Hong. The cuisine was inspired by Provence, France. The founders of One World Symphony hosted the dinner party for 55 guests in their Brooklyn home to thank them for their contributions towards One World Symphony and its Community Music Program.

View menu and more photos > >

January 2011

Sold-Out: One World Symphony’s Mahler Benefit for Make-A-Wish Foundation®

Photo by Jaka Vinšek

During the busiest week for musicians and audiences and with less than three weeks of preparation, One World Symphony’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 was sold out. The concert also benefited Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Metro New York. The audience was treated to surprise back rubs, a sing-along with the symphony, and an inspiring performance of Mahler Symphony No. 5. Audience letters and photos taken by Jaka Vinšek of One World Symphony’s Mahler benefit tell the story.

Maestro Hong,
I don’t believe we have ever heard Mahler’s 5th sound better than we did last night when One World Symphony under your leadership performed it in Manhattan. The fact you had only three weeks prep time is astonishing, judging from the quality of the orchestra we would have thought you had three months of rehearsals. One World Symphony is a wonderful gift.

View more photos and audience letters >>