One World Symphony News

December 2013

One World Donates ALL PROCEEDS from concert to NYC’s Largest Soup Kitchen

On December 18, 2013, One World Symphony gave a benefit concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen raising nearly $1,500. The symphony donated all of its proceeds to NYC’s largest soup kitchen rather than just the net proceeds as advertised. Holy Apostles serves over 1,200 hot meals to hungry New Yorkers every single weekday and including holidays. The program, added in early December, included Sibelius’s Violin Concerto and Symphony No. 2 as well as music from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. One World Symphony surprised the audience with a sneak peek from the movement “Chemistry” from composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong’s world premiere mini-opera, Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (to be performed in its entirety as a part of the symphony’s “Addiction” show on January 26th and 27th). After the final chord the audience rose to an enthusiastic standing ovation. Principal bassist Justin Lee and the Robert Page Jazz Trio serenaded the guests and musicians with holiday and jazz classics during the post-concert wine reception.

View Photos by Adrienne Metzinger >>

December 2013

Illinois Wesleyan feature: Hong ’97 Merges “Breaking Bad, Ozymandias”

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — To composer Sung Jin Hong, Class of 1997, music is more than sounds. It is more than the combination of instruments, or beauty of form. For Hong, music calls for human interaction. It arouses passion, captures the imagination and defines his work, lifestyle and motivations.

“Art, as an essential part of the human experience, has the power and potential to illuminate, inspire, motivate, empower and ignite change,” said Hong, the creator, artistic director and composer-conductor of One World Symphony.

Hong is currently in the process of developing his most recent, and possibly most anticipated production: Breaking Bad — Ozymandias, which will be part of One World’s Addiction program, premiering in New York on Jan. 26, 2014.

Read the full article by Tia Patsavas >>

December 2013

Time Out New York Cover Feature: Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Bad — Ozymandias

Sung Jin Hong's Breaking Bad — Ozymandias is featured on the cover of this week's Time Out New York magazine (December 5–11, 2013) as a part of its 2014 Winter Preview – “Your Perfect Winter.” Kenny Herzog interviewed composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong about One World Symphony's world premiere performances of his mini-opera on January 26–27, 2014. The interview is highlighted among dozens of other New York City winter events. Kenny Herzog wrote: “Composer Sung Jin Hong gives Walter White & Co. an epic sung-through homage.”

Read the complete feature here or pick up a print edition at your local newsstand today >>

December 2013

One World Symphony Adds December Concert to Benefit NYC’s Largest Soup Kitchen

Don your most festive wool sweater, down a mug of spiced hot Glögg, and come celebrate the holidays with the mystical sounds of the North. One World Symphony presents A Nordic Holiday on Wednesday, December 18 at 8:00 p.m. to benefit Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. This special holiday event will include music by Jean Sibelius and Edvard Grieg, with a post-concert reception with live jazz performed by the Robert Page Jazz Trio. One World Symphony continues its tradition of serving the local and global community through music by donating its net proceeds from this concert to New York City’s largest soup kitchen.

Click here for more information >>

November 2013

Full House: Sixth Annual Halloween Concert: Temptation

On Monday, October 28, 2013, One World Symphony’s sixth annual Halloween show performed to a full house. Time Out New York noted: “Sung Jin Hong leads a characteristically adventurous — and unusually voluptuous — program of lush songs, opera excerpts, and other works by Saint-Saëns, Saariaho, Puccini, Hindemith, and Schubert...” Audience letters and photos of costumed symphony and soloists and audiences tell the story.

View photos and audience letters >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

October 2013

BBC Features One World Symphony and Sung Jin Hong

BBC’s award-winning writer and journalist Clemency Burton-Hill, who also hosts The Proms, recently interviewed composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong and wrote in the feature article which appeared on the front page of the website: “Hong, if refreshingly unpretentious, is no musical lightweight. So why does he want to give Breaking Bad the operatic treatment?”

Read the complete BBC feature >>

Read Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Blog for latest developments on his world premiere opera >>

October 2013

U.K.’s The Independent feature: New York’s hippest orchestra to create Breaking Bad opera

“Sung Jin Hong notes: ‘Shelley’s Ozymandias reminds us that human life and materialistic values are temporary and are bound to end. All are subject to the laws of time. How about the classics — works by Beethoven and Van Gogh? Some time in the future, can we possibly consider Breaking Bad a contemporary classic of Greek or Shakespearean magnitude?’ ”

Read Alice Jones of The Independent’s complete feature >>

Read Sung Jin Hong’s Breaking Blog for latest developments on his world premiere opera >>

October 2013

Breaking Bad — Ozymandias draws the attention of national and international press

TIME BBC The Independent HNGN Just hours after One World Symphony announced its world premiere performances of Breaking Bad — Ozymandias (2014), press from around the world showed interest and support.

Read TIME: “Coming Soon: Breaking Bad The Opera” >>

Read the BBC: “Breaking Bad and Anna Nicole: Opera meets pop culture” >>

Read The Independent: “New York’s Hippest Orchestra to create Breaking Bad opera” >>

Read The Vancouver Sun: “Composer cooks up opera based on Breaking Bad” >>

Read HNGN: “Breaking Bad the Opera? New York Symphony House Announces Plans to Adapt Ozymandias” >>

Read Norman Lebrecht: “Breaking: First news of Breaking Bad, the opera...”>>

Read ClassicalLite: "Breaking Bad, the Opera, Getting Cooked by Sung Jin Hong's One World Symphony" >>

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“Breaking Bad,” the Opera, Getting Cooked by Sung Jin Hong’s One World Symphony

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Read more about the world premiere Breaking Bad — Ozymandias >>

 

October 2013

World Premiere Opera: Breaking Bad — Ozymandias

Read the blog >>

One World Symphony will perform the world premiere Breaking Bad — Ozymandias on January 26 and 27, 2014. Inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet and the award-winning drama, composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong's mini-opera explores the question that the drama obsessively and hauntingly asked: "are we all breaking bad?" Hong's recently critically-acclaimed compositions include the symphonic poem The Architect (2012) and works for vocalists and symphony orchestra, such as Edge (2013), a monodrama based on Sylvia Plath's final poem, and Rite of the Cicada (2013), inspired by the re-emergence of Magicicadas Brood II.

Read more about the world premiere Breaking Bad — Ozymandias >>

September 2013

Burlesque Artist Bettina May debuts with One World Symphony in its annual costumed-Halloween show October 27 & 28

“New York’s hippest orchestra” (Brooklyn Courier) is proud to present Bettina May — “one of New York’s leading burlesque artists and pinup models” (TONY). On October 27 and 28, 2013, Ms. May will be featured as Dalila in Saint-Saëns’ “Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila as dancer and choreographer. Ms. May will not only be making her debut with One World Symphony, but this will be her first collaboration with a symphony orchestra. The popular costumed Halloween concert also includes works by Kaija Saariaho, Giacomo Puccini, Franz Schubert, and more. Celebrate Halloween with One World Symphony and “Canada’s hottest Burlesque Import” (BroadwayWorld.com).

“A burlesque performer with the looks of Rita Hayworth and a ground-shaking shimmy.” — NBCNews.com

Click here for complete program details >>

September 2013

Sold-Out, Standing-Room Only: Season Opener Vendetta

On September 15, 2013, One World Symphony kicked off its thirteenth season to sold-out standing-room only audiences. The program included selections from Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar’s Bride, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10. Continuing its tradition of creating a seamless experience for audiences, Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong composed and arranged musical bridges to connect all the compositions together. He also encouraged lively interaction of singing, laughing, cheering with the audience. Mariana Lignana Rosenberg of New York Classical Review recently praised: “For visionary programming and winning zeal, no local orchestra tops One World Symphony.” Audience letters and photos tell the story.

View photos and read audience letters >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

August 2013

Review of ALIVE!

“The long awaited star of the evening, Rite of the Cicada by Maestro Sung Jin Hong, featured audience participation, recorded sound, vocal soloist, and orchestra. From the opening dissonances to the final sounds — the music is gorgeous in a way that, when you think about all the cycles of life on this planet both strange and familiar, transcends music.”

Read the complete review by Composers of Sibelius >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

August 2013

Full House: Mahler, Bartók, Hong (World Premiere) and more

On July 25, 2013, One World Symphony presented its summer program, performing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 (Pan Awakes, Summer Marches In), Bartók’s From the Diary of a Fly, Sung Jin Hong’s Rite of the Cicada (2013 World Premiere) and more celebrating Earth’s first musicians. Inspired by a weekend trip upstate where they experienced the monumental 17-year cicada emergence, founders Adrienne Metzinger and Sung Jin Hong decided to add the summer program: ALIVE! With just two weeks of preparation, 70 musicians gathered together to share their passion with to a full house. The inspired audience was invited to play a vital role in Sung Jin Hong’s movement “Arohati” from Rite of the Cicada. During the concert, composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong encouraged lively interaction and sparked laughs between the symphony and audience. During the post-concert reception, Natural History of Museum entomologist Louis Sorkin shared his extensive knowledge of Brood II Magicicada. The reception was serenaded by principal bassist Justin Lee’s jazz band The Robert Page Jazz Trio and hosted and bartended by Sung Jin Hong until past midnight. Audience letters and photos tell the story.

View photos and read audience letters >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

July 2013

Chorus of Billions: Rite of the Cicada (2013 World Premiere) by Sung Jin Hong

Symphony of a Thousand may have been written by Gustav Mahler, but Brood II cicadas have been serenading the Northeast this summer as a living “Chorus of Billions.’ When my wife Adrienne and I first heard their soaring song during a hike along the rolling Catskills last month, we thought the sound had to be extraterrestrial. We were treated to an intoxicating aural experience. We returned to the same location a couple of times during June to enjoy and record the resonating abdominal drumming from the males and wings flickering from the females. Inspired and rejuvenated by the sea of spellbinding sonorities, my symphonic poem for full symphony and vocal soloist has been born: Rite of the Cicada (2013).

Click here to read complete essay about Rite of the Cicada >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

July 2013

ALIVE! Summer Concert performing Mahler 3, world premieres, and more

After its twelfth season of sold-out and full house concerts, One World Symphony adds a summer concert ALIVE! on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. at the air-conditioned Holy Apostles Church in Manhattan. The program includes works by Gustav Mahler, Josquin des Prez, John Dowland, Béla Bartók:, and world premieres by Andrew Struck-Marcell and Sung Jin Hong celebrating leaping, flying, singing creatures that evoke summer days and nights eternal. A wine reception with live jazz performed by The Robert Page Jazz Trio will follow immediately after the concert.

For tickets and details, please click here >>

May 2013

Review: An Explosive Finale to the One World Symphony Season

“Hong programmed the world premiere of his own Edge immediately after [Doctor Atomic], a bold and potentially suicidal choice given the previous work’s pyrotechnics. That the conductor’s equally haunting narrative — a setting of Sylvia Plath’s final poem, loaded with vengeful Medea references — wasn’t anticlimactic speaks to its power, and the orchestra’s commitment to it.... Few orchestras would take such a gamble by ending their season on such a dark note; then again, this ensemble has no fear of taking chances.”

Read full review by Alan Young of Lucid Culture >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

May 2013

Review of Gatsby, Streetcar, Atomic, Edge (World Premiere)

“...that is what I experienced Sunday evening: beautiful, shadow-tinged, haunting music, from the nostalgic opening pieces to the hauntingly ominous closing work (a world premiere by Sung Jin Hong entitled Edge).”

Read the complete review by Composers of Sibelius >>

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

May 2013

Full House: Gatsby, Streetcar, Atomic, Edge (World Premiere)

On May 19, 2013, One World Symphony presented its cutting-edge program of all living composers to a full house. The program included selections from John Adams’ Doctor Atomic (2007), John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (1999), and Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1998). Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong offered two surprising overtures for the audiences: Britten’s Funeral Blues sung by Adrienne Metzinger and Porgy and Bess Suite by George Gershwin with Sonya Headlam as soloist. The “explosive” program concluded with the world premiere performance of Sung Jin Hong’s Edge (2013) — a monodrama based on Sylvia Plath’s final poem. The entire program was performed without pause, and each work was connected by musical bridges composed for harp, saxophone, and percussion ensemble (timpani, bass drum, and tam-tam) by Sung Jin Hong.

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

View photos and read audience letters >>

April 2013

Two World Premieres Inspired by American Poets: Sylvia Plath and Langston Hughes

Composer-Conductor Sung Jin Hong’s Harlem Fanfare (2013) will receive its world premiere performance by Harlem Sound Project (HSP) on May 5, 2013. Commissioned by HSP, Harlem Fanfare, inspired by Langston Hughes’s Harlem (Dream Deferred), is scored for an orchestra of brass, saxophones, timpani, and percussion.

Read the AfriClassical Feature >>

Also, Hong’s Edge (2013) will receive its world premiere performances in One World Symphony’s season finale on May 19 and 20. Hong’s world premiere monodrama translates Plath’s black fire for a vocalist and full symphony orchestra.

April 2013

One World Symphony Announces its 2013/2014 Season: Thirteen

View the complete 2013/14 season details >>

April 2013

Opening Chords on Doctor Atomic, Streetcar, Gatsby, Edge

On May 19 and 20, 2013, One World Symphony closes its 12th season performing selections from John Adams’s Doctor Atomic (2007), John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (1999), André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1998), and Sung Jin Hong’s monodrama Edge (2013 World Premiere) based on Sylvia Plath’s final poem.

“For me, Myrtle’s aria perfectly captures the frenetic anticipation of waiting to hear from a man and the emotional roller coaster that ensues as I feed my false hopes with futile fantasies...” — Eva Sun on John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby

“I believe Sung Jin’s decision to set Edge is significant because it asks us, as listeners, to grapple with the hard reality of depression in our American culture...” — Sara Paar on Sung Jin Hong’s world premiere Edge

“Sometimes the only shelter to be found lies in the arms of fantasy. Many of the characters in One World Symphony’s American Affairs experience a twisting of the dream...” — Heather Green on André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire

Above photos from left to right: John Harbison (top) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (bottom), John Adams (top) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (bottom), Sung Jin Hong (top) and Sylvia Plath (bottom), Samuel Barber (top) and W. H. Auden (bottom), André Previn (top) and Tennessee Williams (bottom).

Read complete Opening Chords >>

March 2013

Full House: Baroque[n] Hearts

On March 10, 2013, One World Symphony presented Baroque[n] Hearts to a full house. The program (Bach, Handel, Purcell, Hindemith, Bloch, and One Republic) was performed without pauses between compositions. Composer-conductor Sung Jin Hong composed musical bridges and interludes, including his world premiere Sarabande (2013), to connect all the musical works together organically — creating a seamless experience for audiences. Photos by Adrienne Metzinger and Maria Moreno tell the story.

Photos above by Adrienne Metzinger

View photos >>

February 2013

Confessions from Baroque[n] Hearts

“Dido’s Lament and the aria Ah, Belinda are my go-to operatic breakup songs. They permeate my soul with their dulcet, heavy tones and musical ornaments reminiscent of sobs. Listening to these songs makes me want to grab my friends and regale them with stories of my most recent heartbreak as I drown my sorrows in a tub of chocolate ice cream. Like the chocolate, Dido’s words are dark, rich, and full of depth while still infusing our hearts with sweetness. The audience should come experience One World Symphony’s Baroque[n] Hearts because listening to people complain about their failed love lives is boring, but watching musicians pour out representations of universal human grief in waves of orchestral sound is the epitome of sophistication. Consider this the Baroque version of Taylor Swift.” — Eva Sun (Dido, Purcell)

Photos above by Adrienne Metzinger

Read more >>

February 2013

One World Symphony Second Annual Valentine for NYC’s Largest Soup Kitchen

On Valentine’s Day, thirty musicians of One World Symphony presented a concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen guests, staff, and volunteers.

Photos above by Adrienne Metzinger

View photos >>

February 2013

Shakespeare Scandals Opens the New Year to a Full House

On January 27, 2013, One World Symphony opened the new year with Shakespeare Scandals to a full house. Artistic Director Sung Jin Hong sparked a lively dialogue between the audience and the musicians of One World Symphony. Mr. Hong, Soprano Corrine Byrne, and members of One World Symphony shared insights in Strauss’s Ophelia-Lieder (world premiere arrangement and orchestration by Sung Jin Hong). Photos by Adrienne Metzinger and audience letters tell the story.

Photos above by Adrienne Metzinger

View complete photos and audience letters >>

January 2013

Review by Lucid Culture: An Inspiring Benefit Concert by One World Symphony

“One World Symphony has built a reputation as one of Manhattan’s first-class niche orchestras. Their season is shorter and their programming more diverse than, say, the New York Phil, but with a vintage Ormandy-era Philadelphia Orchestra sheen and heft, they are a mighty beast. To add context, Hong also led the orchestra through his own richly swirling arrangement of the obscure Clara Schumann song Liebst du um Schönheit, sung with potently evocative restraint by mezzo-soprano Adrienne Metzinger.”

Photos above by Adrienne Metzinger and Abigail Wolff

Read the complete review >>

January 2013

One World Symphony’s Benefit Concert for Largest Soup Kitchen in NYC: View Concert Photos

On December 19, 2012, One World Symphony gave a benefit concert for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, NYC’s largest soup kitchen. The program, added in early December, included a surprise overture of Craig Armstrong’s Love Actually (arranged by Andrew Struck-Marcell), Clara Schumann’s Liebst du um Schönheit (sung by Adrienne Metzinger and arranged by Sung Jin Hong), and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. After the performance, principal bassist Justin Lee and the Robert Page Jazz Trio serenaded the guests and musicians during the post-concert wine reception.

Photos by Adrienne Metzinger

View photos and letters >>

 

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