Couplet Programme Note

Couplet for solo violin consists of very different two movements. The first one is relatively calm and lyrical and composed with particular intervals. By contrast, the second movement is rather modal but aggressive and wild in terms of the musical character within a fast tempo.

The piece was born out of the fruitful collaboration with the violinist Alexandra Wood. It was also conceived as a seed of my recent large scale piece Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. As musical siblings, those pieces share pitch materials and musical characters.

This digital commission was made possible with the help of our supporters. We would like to thank everyone who has donated to 'Support BCMG At Home' and the following Sound Investment supporters: Samantha Bird, Michael & Sandra Squires and Christoph & Marion Trestler.

Donghoon Shin's 'Couplet' for solo violin, performed by Alexandra Wood

Donghoon Shin

Donghoon Shin is a South Korean composer based in London. His music has been performed and commissioned by prominent orchestras, ensembles, and festivals such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Recherche, Riot Ensemble, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Tongyeong International Music Festival, TIMF Ensemble and Exaudi ensemble.

He has won numerous prizes including the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2016, Goethe Award by Goethe Institut and Tongyeong International Music Festival in 2013 and the Grand Prix of the ANM-BBVA International Composition Concours in 2010. He was Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s Apprentice Composer in Residence (2017-18) through the Embedded scheme of Sound and Music.

Recent and upcoming commissions and premieres include Kafka’s Dream for the London Symphony Orchestra and the conductor Francois-Xavier Roth in March 2019 and a new chamber orchestra piece for the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the conductor Peter Eötvös.

Donghoon Shin studied composition at Seoul National University with Sukhi Kang and Uzong Choe, and with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is now pursuing a PhD in Composition under the supervision of Sir George Benjamin at King’s College London. He is being mentored by Peter Eötvös through Sound and Music’s Embedded scheme and the Peter Eötvös Foundation. Unsuk Chin has been another influential mentor and supporter for Donghoon for over a decade. He also attended masterclasses of Tristan Murail, York Höller, Pascal Dusapin and Johannes Schöllhorn.

He is generously supported by the Daewon Cultural Foundation.

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