Young musicians intent on Korean reconciliation to perform with the YSO

Violinist and Lindenbaum Orchestra founder Won Hyung Joon.
A detail from a publicity image for the documentary "9x38," a documentary directed by Yale alumnus Catherine Lee about Won Hyung Joon and his effort to reunite the Koreas through the healing power of music.

The Yale Symphony Orchestra (YSO) will host an open rehearsal on Monday, Oct. 9, featuring Korean violinist and human rights activist Won Hyung Joon and the Lindenbaum Orchestra.

The rehearsal will take place 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall, corner of Grove and College streets. It will be followed at 8 p.m. by a screening of “9at38,” a documentary about Won, who will give a short solo violin performance. He will also take part in a discussion with alumna Catherine Lee ’07, the director of “9at38.” Korean food and refreshments will be provided. The screening and discussion will take place in Sudler Recital Hall of William L. Harkness Hall, 199 Wall St.

Won has dedicated the past decade to building the Lindenbaum Orchestra, an ensemble of young musicians who promote a vision of peaceful reunification of the North and South Korea through music. The South Korean violinist has won numerous musical competitions and has performed with world-renowned orchestras as a soloist. In 1990, he represented South Korea when he performed at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to celebrate the reunification of East and West Germany. The event inspired Won to think of music as a medium of reconciliation. In 1996, he performed at the U.N. General Assembly Hall under the theme of world peace. He founded the Lindenbaum Orchestra in 2009 with the hope of creating a joint North-South Korean orchestra, inspired by Daniel Barenboim’s Israeli-Arab East West Divan Orchestra. Each summer, he organizes the week-long Lindenbaum Festival at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, where he encourages young musicians to realize the healing power of music.

Catherine Lee is a filmmaker, international policy researcher, and humanitarian aid worker with experience in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Born in South Korea, she is also a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She has dedicated the last decade to evaluating the impact of international projects with organizations such as the World Bank and the Clinton Foundation. Convinced from her experience that storytelling and empathy building are needed for behavior change, she began producing independent as well as commissioned documentaries with award-winning teams.

During the rehearsal, the YSO and the Lindenbaum Orchestra will perform the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 (“The Year 1905,” as well as “Arirang Fantasy,” arranged by Sung Hwang Choi. The performance will be conducted by Toshiyuki Shimada, music director of the YSO.

All of the events are free and open to the public. They are cosponsored by ThiNk (There’s Hope in North Korea), Korean American Studies at Yale, the Korean Graduate Student Association at Yale, and the East Rock Institute. For further information, email yalethink@gmail.com.

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