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HJ Lim’s Wigmore debut

Korean pianist HJ Lim has her official London debut at the Wigmore Hall on 20 July 2012. Expect passion and nostalgia in her Rachmaninov, and an explosive opening to her Hammerklavier. LKL heard her at Abbey Road studios earlier this year, and got a chance to interview her this week. We’ll be in the front row at the Wigmore.

HJ Lim – Piano

Rachmaninov and Beethoven
Date: 20 July 2012 – 7:00pm (note the 7pm starting time)
Ticket Prices: £12 £18 £24 £28

H.J. Lim
HJ Lim. Photo © Simon Fowler, courtesy EMI Classics


Rachmaninov Études-tableaux Op. 33 Nos. 1-6
Études-tableaux Op. 39
Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 29 in B flat Op. 106 ‘Hammerklavier’

About this concert

The countdown to HJ Lim’s London debut has begun. See her tackle Rachmaninov’s complete Études-tableaux – a work which made her an overnight online sensation. HJ, who recently recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas for EMI Classics, will close the programme with his ‘Hammerklavier’ Sonata.

The brilliant 25-year-old Korean pianist HJ Lim, who signed an exclusive contract with EMI Classics in September 2011, has recorded her first project for the label, an ambitious traversal of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Lim recorded the sonatas on a Yamaha CFX concert grand piano in July and August 2011, grouping them into eight themes. The recordings were released as a full box set in May 2012.

HJ makes her London debut at the Wigmore Hall on Friday 20 July, performing Rachmaninov’s Études-tableaux Op. 33 (No.s 1-6) and Op.39, and Beethoven’s piano sonata no.29 in B flat (Hammerklavier).

Pianists who record the Beethoven sonatas cycle usually do so at the peak of long and storied careers. With this bold and controversial recording project, HJ Lim aims to prove that at the age of 24 she was ready to record the Beethoven sonatas having performed the complete cycle over eight consecutive days in Paris in August 2010.

“I view these sonatas by Beethoven as the most intense diary, in which a genius expresses, or even illustrates, all the facets of a life that is sometimes sublimated and idealised, and often deeply moving by its realism,” says Lim. “To perform Beethoven’s sonatas is not just to interpret music, but also an attempt to understand the multi-faceted psychology of a human being. If Beethoven’s music can help us understand the human being that he was, so entering Beethoven’s life can help us understand his music.”

“As the sonatas Op. 49 Nos. 1 and 2 were meant as exercises for students and published against the composer’s will,” HJ continues, “I have chosen to respect Beethoven’s intentions by leaving them out of this great cycle. I have organised the remaining sonatas by theme.”

HJ Lim was born in South Korea and emigrated on her own at the age of 12 to France to study. Three years later, she became the youngest person to earn a Diplôme d’Études Musicales Complètes (Normandy). She subsequently graduated with a First Prize and Highest Distinction from the Conservatoire National de Rouen and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. In 2007, she was awarded First Prize by unanimous decision at the FLAME Competition in Paris. HJ currently lives in Switzerland.

When HJ wanted to share her progress with her Korean-based family by uploading some of her recital videos to YouTube, she inadvertently also captured the imagination of nearly half a million music lovers worldwide, who became a devoted fan base. A recital at the Stadt-Casino Basel in November 2009 in which she performed Rachmaninov’s complete Études-tableaux and Chopin’s complete Études was also uploaded to YouTube, attracting phenomenal online traffic.

HJ Lim’s forthcoming appearances include Geneva’s Victoria Hall, concerts with the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany, as well as her Wigmore Hall debut on 20 July 2012. She will also make recital tours of the UK and South America.

Promoted by HarrisonParrott
Sponsored by EMI Classics


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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