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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, March 2, 2024


Most people who attend a concert by violinist Chee-Yun in the Virgin Islands this week will do so because of her artistic credentials, not because she has a homepage on the worldwide web.
Still, for those who count the Internet among their sources of local information (and if you're reading this, that's you), the web site is well worth a look. It's not only a tried-and-true marketing tool; it's also an award-winning design and a pretty good read.
Chee-Yun, a fast-rising star in the relatively crowded ranks of classical
violinists, has had her own web page for three years. It's a practical tool in her professional development that includes not only the usual slick photos, biography, discography and "conversation" material, but also her current intinerary, including her recitals on St. Thomas, St. John, "Tortolla" (hey, nobody's perfect) and St. Croix.
And factoids ranging from the rarefied to the very down-to-earth. (An example of each: She performs using a violin that is 302 years older than she is. In her leisure time, she likes to listen to jazz and go dancing with friends.)
From her teens, Chee-Yun has benefitted from two-track marketing: as a technically and emotionally exciting musician and as a personable, fashionable and very "today" young woman. Her music credentials are impeccable. Born in Seoul, Korea, where she madeher first public performance at the age of 8, she moved to New York at 13 to study at the famed Juilliard School. She has captured two of the most coveted honors in the classical realm, a Young Concert Artists International Auditions competition in 1989 and an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990.
Since 1992, she has recorded five CD albums, all on the Denon label. Two were with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; the other three are solo releases with accompaniment on piano by her longtime collaborator, Akira Eguchi, who is with her for her current Virgin Islands tour. Chee-Yun has performed with many of the world's foremost orchestras, at many of the most prestigious recital halls and at the White House. Perhaps of greater significance to music lovers in the Virgin Islands, she has appeared twice before in the territory.
Her Virgin Islands debut came at Tillett Gardens in 1990 "where she swept the audience off — and onto — its feet," Classics in the Garden music director Tom Lloyd recalls. Invited back in 1993, she appeared both at Tillett Gardens (to a full house) and at Island Center on St. Croix.
Her 1999 tour has four stops — Tillett Gardens on Wednesday, the St. John School of the Arts on Thursday, Tortola's H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Friday and Island Center on Saturday. The program is the same for all venues: sonatas by Beethoven and Grieg, "Romanian Folk Dances" by Bela Bartok and a concerto by Sibelius. All performances begin at 8 p.m.
St. Thomas concert tickets are $25 with the usual three-course, pre-performance dinner (this one featuring Asian cuisine) available for an additional $30. Limited seating is available at two-for-one pricing for students accompanied by adults. For reservations, call 775-1929.
The St. John program tickets are $25, and reservations are essential, due to the limited seating. Call 779-4322 to reserve.
On Tortola, tickets are $20 general admission, $5 for college students and
free to younger students. Call (284) 494-4994 for ticket outlets and further details.
At Island Center, tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For ticket outlets and more information, call 778-5272.
Now, about that web site: You'll find it at http://summary.net/chee- yun/.

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