Concert a beautiful memorial to Ik-Hwan Bae
By Peter Jacobi
“A Concert in Remembrance of Ik-Hwan Bae” brought family, friends, colleagues and students to Auer Hall Sunday afternoon. Those who came heard praise for a gentle and giving man; they heard music performed by musicians from here and elsewhere, musicians who played concerts with him across the years.
Officially at the Jacobs School, Ik-Hwan Bae, until his far-to-early death last July, was a professor of violin and chamber music. That was his title, reflecting his duties and passions: to share with young talents a craft of inspired violin playing and his experience performing chamber music. The latter he served with fervor by drawing multitudes of students into string quartets that rehearsed their way toward always interesting concerts in the Musical Arts Center lobby.
What helped make him special, as personally observed and as attested to during Sunday’s memorial by those who spoke and knew him best, was a generous personality marked with geniality and yet serious drive, marked with an intense devotion to those who made music with him and to the young, striving to follow in his footsteps.
Throughout the concert, photographs of a life lived fully flashed onto the large screen lowered in front of the organ. Fellow musicians from the school played works that Bae loved or had some special meaning: pianist Sung-Mi Im, Chopin’s Nocturne in G Minor; violist Atar Arad, Ravel’s “Sonate posthume;” pianist Reiko Shigeoka-Neriki, Schumann’s Romance in F-Sharp Minor; pianist Shigeo Neriki, portions from a very contemporary, very somber Requiem by Masahiro Ishijima.
Faculty colleague and cellist Eric Kim led 20 students of an Ik-Hwan String Ensemble in a moving performance of Dvorak’s Nocturne in B Major. And to conclude, five friends from afar contributed two movements from Mozart’s Quintet in A Major, the Larghetto and the Allegretto. The distinguished performers, each with an amazing list of accomplishments, were clarinetist David Shifrin, violinists Theodore Arm and Carmit Zori, violist Paul Neubauer and cellist Fred Sherry. One could but hope that the glorious music so beautifully performed might somehow reach Ik-Hwan Bae. It would certainly please him.
As would the whole of a remembrance that cast such warmth. Those who gathered on Sunday afternoon made it clear that Ik-Hwan Bae was much loved and that he leaves a legacy of good teaching, good playing and good will.
© Herald Times 2014