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What is it like to study at NEC? Student InMo Yang answers my questions.

May 16, 2015

What is it like to study at New England Conservatory?  In order to find out I interviewed one of NEC’s most outstanding students, the violinist InMo Yang.  But first some information about this remarkable young performer.

From his first entrance onward, Yang was an arresting performer: now sweet, now excitable, now chaste, now florid, and always, everywhere, in command. Remember his name.  The Boston Globe

At just 19 years old, globally celebrated violinist InMo Yang is emerging even further as an extraordinary talent.  Winner of the First Prizes at the 2015 Paganini International Violin Competition and Boston Classical Orchestra’s inaugural Young Artists Competition, InMo has competed and placed in a number of prestigious competitions around the world, including: the the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists, 4th Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition 2013, 2012 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition, International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, and 12th International Competition for Violin in Kloster Schontal.

InMo Yang, prize winning New England Conservatory student.

InMo Yang, prize winning New England Conservatory student.

Resulting from his first prize honors, InMo is performing with prestigious orchestras at renowned recital venues throughout North America and Europe.  He begins the 2015-2016 performance season with summer concerts at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, as well as recitals at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and on the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago (with live broadcast on WFMT radio).

During 2015-16, he will also make his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall on the CAG Winners series. He will also perform a special recital in Genoa, Italy, using Paganini’s own Guarneri Del Gesu violin.  Anticipated concerto appearances next season include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Danish National Orchestra, Philharmonia Zurich, and the Austin Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

Born in Indonesia of South Korean parents, InMo moved to South Korea at age 2 and was raised in Seoul. He started his violin studies at the age of 5 and gave his debut recital aged just 11 at the Kumho Prodigy Series in Seoul. This was followed by his concerto debut two years later. In Mo Yang graduated from the Korean National Institute for the Gifted in Arts in February 2011, and was then admitted into the Korean National University of Arts as a prodigy in music.

He has given solo recitals and appeared as a soloist with diverse orchestras including the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Russian Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Central Aichi Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, and Korean Symphony Orchestra. He has participated, as a rising star, in various festivals such as Ishikawa Music Academy, Great Mountains International Music Festival, Japan-Korea Concert for Young Musicians, Public Concert Academie de Music in Sion and many more.

InMo came to the United States in August 2013 to study at New England Conservatory. He currently studies with Miriam Fried at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he is pursuing a bachelor of music with the recipient of the Laurence Lessor Presidential Scholarship.

InMo Yang

InMo Yang

InMo Yang answers my questions.

When did you start to attend NEC?

The Fall of 2013.

 How did you come to study at NEC?

When deciding where to study, I remembered a lesson I had with my current teacher Miriam Fried many years ago, and thought she might be the best teacher who knows my weaknesses and is able to improve my playing,

 Was there an entry audition?  If so, what was it like?

Yes of course there was. The audition was held in a small room with a few teachers (including Miriam Fried) seating in front of me. I played for about 10 minutes. The atmosphere was less strict and serious than I thought.

What tips would you give applicants about the audition?

If you have a friend studying at the school where you are auditioning, ask him/her for any help needed.

 How has your playing developed since you have studied at NEC?

My playing has developed by listening to my sound more carefully. I trusted my teacher, who heard my playing differently from I did. And I started to question and assess sounds that I’m making, and realized that what I imagine does not transmit to my body and thus creating discrepancies between my imagination and the actual performance. Now I know that this is crucial to gain communicative power in my playing and am still striving for it.

 What has the instrumental teaching been like?

It has been very fun and nourishing. The lessons are full of communication; my teacher and I are both trying to find the best way to improve my playing. we sometimes listen to my recording together and talk about what could be better.

 Are there many opportunities to play in groups?

We are given to play in orchestras and chamber music. But there are a lot more happening than just that. Basically you could initiate whatever you want with teachers and friends.

 What groups have you been a member of?

orchestra, string quartet, string quintet, chamber orchestra, duo, contemporary music ensemble, etc..

 What are the practice and concert hall facilities like?

The Jordan hall (the main hall) is just wonderful. It is beautifully constructed and has great acoustics. However, students are suffering from the lack of practice room. NEC is in process of increasing the number of room so that we could practice without waiting for an hour to get a room.

What are your plans for the future?

In the long term, balancing study and career would be essential to be a true musician.

I would like to develop my career and play for a broader audience with the support of deep understanding of music and other fields.

 Has NEC helped you plan your future?

Certainly. I met great friends and teachers who are passionate and dedicated. I learn different perspectives when working with them and see a clearer vision of what I want to do in the future. 

Is there any kind of music you play now that you didn’t play at the start of your student career?

I am now much more attached than before to the music of the 20th century. The way I hear music has greatly changed that now I could appreciate subtler emotions and meanings beyond the surface.

 Would you recommend studying at NEC and if so, why?

I definitely would. I feel as though I’m surrounded by the people who are on the same boat with me, who want to make the world a better place with music. I experience great togetherness and inspiration in this school. If you have will and passion, NEC will support you to fulfill your aspiration.

For more information about InMo Yang see the links below.

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