World-renowned concert pianist Klara Min is a Steinway Artist who makes her home in Berlin and New York. Respected also as a thought-leader in music industry, Ms. Min is the founder and artistic director of New York Concert Artists and Associates (NYCA). NYCA serves as a networking organization for musicians to collaborate and create dynamic partnerships with managers, presenters, and other artists.
A native of South Korea, Ms. Min has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe as well as in her home country of South Korea, in some of the world’s most important concert venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Munich’s Gasteig, the Berlin Philharmonie, Berlin’s Konzerthhaus, Laeiszhalle, Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and South Korea’s KBS Broadcast Hall. She has performed with prestigious orchestras such as Hamburger Kammerphilharmonie, Munich Kammerphilharmonie, Seoul Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, American Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg State Symphony, and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra among others.
Gramophone magazine describes Ms. Min’s recent recording of Scriabin work on the Steinway & Sons record label as, "In short, Min’s finest performances on this gorgeously engineered release will make Scriabin fans sit up and take notice."
Klara Min’s first album Ripples on Water features modern Korean piano music; it was released on Naxos and complimented for “mak(ing) every note count” (All Music). Her second release of a selection of Chopin’s Mazurkas was released on Delos. American Record Guideselected the album as one of six critics’ choices in 2013 raving, “her dynamic control is out of this world”.
In the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Min will record Paderewski Polish Fantasy with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra with renowned French violinist/conductor Augustin Dumay. Other engagements include recital tours in Germany, Budapest and New York City, and concerto performances in Hamburg, Germany, Sochi, Russia and Monterrey, Mexico. Klara Min was the recipient of a Samsung scholarship.
I like the words ‘synergy’ and ‘empathy’, and probably these two words were in my mind when I first thought about founding the New York Concert Artists & Associates (NYCA) in 2008. I have been a Schumann-fanatic for many years and I admire his idea of Davidsbund (Alliance of David), a spiritual fraternity of creative minds. He gathered musicians around him as collaborators, and this circle of artists shared their opinions and stood against ignorance and arrogance.
NYCA is modeled after Davidsbund in its belief that the ultimate artistic decisions in all situations must be made by the artists themselves. These days, many artists are likely to be the puppet of popular demands, unable to follow wholly paths of artistic integrity or originality. Perhaps they are not sure of who they are and what they want, or more likely they are unclear about how to use the resources around them to further their careers - even with all the tools available to them in this fast growing information-technology world.
Most artists are naïve in practical aspects and socially introvert, absorbed in their own world of music. They feel self-sufficient managing their own world, which in many cases does not give them enough reason to be zealous about communicating with the ‘outside’ world. Pianists particularly are more prone to be isolated, practising all by themselves with that mini-orchestra, the piano.
So it dawned on me that we pianists need a platform, a safe ground where our voices are heard, where we can share artistic ideas with colleagues and grow together, and where we can exhibit our innovative projects, therefore enabling us to find bridges to the public.
All members of NYCA are musical colleagues and each is able to exercise leadership within the group. We are open to newcomers and our obligations are based on mutual respect rather than a legal bond. We hold regular meetings to articulate our ideas, discuss our concerts and projects, decide do's and don't's, and help one another with whatever resources we have available. All members are encouraged to be as proactive as possible and the NYCA as an organisation makes it a priority to create dynamic partnerships among musicians, managers and presenters. We have our own publicity department, which invites press/media and the general public to all our concerts, annual series and events in New York City. We also collaborate with other musicians, composers and organisations to build creative projects together. Throughout the whole process, from the idea to the realisation of this ‘synergy’, NYCA adheres to artistic integrity in all decision-making.
‘Empathy’ might be one of the most important words for musicians. As we play for an individual, or for a large audience, we artists seek the listeners’ empathy in the sharing of music. But then audiences vary greatly from the emotional child to the great philosopher and it is our duty as artists to educate the audience as well. We cannot succumb to popular demands: if you keep giving candies to the crying child, then at last the child will have rotten teeth! We have to find a common ground where we remain true to ourselves and yet are receptive to today’s audience. Real communication occurs when one’s truth is spoken without the veil of fear, and I believe as human beings we all have a natural longing to connect to one another.
In music, by renewing the ideals of artists, as envisioned by artists, and by finding true communication, NYCA believes that artists take the first step - a firm one - on their career path, and contribute to society at large. NYCA is a platform and a stepping-stone for all artists who have dreams.
Klara Min, Artistic Director/Founder