As the winner of the 2016 uOttawa Concerto Competition, cellist Jaeyoung Chong will be performing Dimitri Kabalevsky’s virtuosic Cello Concerto No. 1 in G Minor with the University of Ottawa Orchestra this Friday, October 7th at 8 pm at St. Joseph’s Church.
An avid pedagogue and composer, Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987) was a prominent figure and influence in Russia’s artistic circles. The Concerto for Cello No. 1 is the second of a group of three concerti written for young virtuosi. The bright and joyful Violin Concerto was written first with the Cello Concerto soon following (written in 1948-9). In 1952, Kabalevsky wrote the Piano Concerto completing the trilogy which have become standard repertoire for their respective instruments. The Cello Concerto was first performed in 1949 with orchestral accompaniment by students of the Moscow Conservatory. Across the work, Kabalevsky has incorporated displays of every facet of the cello. There are moments of beautiful lyricism and moments of intense virtuosity but tying it all together is the folk-inspired character.
Kabalevsky dedicated the second movement to fallen Russian soldiers, alternating between B major to minor throughout the movement in very unorthodox manners at times; Jaeyoung says of the nationalistic composer: “I believe this signifies Kabalevsky contemplating all the lives lost in the war, and whether it’s worth it for these soldiers to sacrifice their lives in order to serve their country”.
When he’s not busy preparing for this upcoming performance, Jaeyoung is working hard to be ready for pre-screening auditions for renowned music schools in the United States such as The Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music. Best of luck to Jaeyoung!