Mikyung Sung is hailed by her peers as “the future of the double bass”, “the most expressive of all the bass soloists playing today”, and “a musical genius”; they have said that she is “single handedly changing the face of bass playing around the world” and that “her virtuosic performances will take your breath away”. Mikyung breathes life into music with phrasing that sings and dances through luminous tone colors, all played with fearless, audacious virtuosity. She styles herself, a bit humorously, as the Bass Queen, but that is perhaps more modest than it at first sounds; Bass Goddess might be closer to the truth, because her playing is divine.
The Colburn Sessions enchants with its beauty, mesmerizes with its tenderness, and excites with its intensity, presenting some of the most moving and musically-convincing double bass performances on record, accompanied by Jaemin Shin’s sublimely matched collaborative piano, all in gorgeously blended sound. The album features two hours of music, some written for double bass but more than half originally for violin or cello. The recordings were captured in 2018, in single continuous takes, from recitals and video shoots (most never released before) at The Colburn School, where both Mikyung and Jaemin both received their Artist Diplomas. It was recorded by Francesco Perlangeli, Colburn’s AV Manager and an experienced recording engineer in the movie industry, in Mayman Hall and Thayer Hall. Post-production and mastering were done by Matthew Vaughan of Modus Vivendi Media, a label founded to release this album.
The Colburn Sessions is due for release April 21st, 2023
Mikyung has performed with the Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, Philharmonie Baden-Baden, Philharmonia Corea, Colburn Orchestra with Ludovic Morlot, and KNUA Orchestra, at the Music from Angel Fire festival, and in recitals and festivals in Korea, where she made her professional debut at age 12 with the Guri Philharmonic. She has given interviews and performances on KBS national television, as well as KBS, TBS, and SBS radio. Her performance videos on social media have brought her a global audience, and have been featured on The Strad’s website.
Initially taught by her double-bassist father, Mikyung started playing cello and piano before switching to double bass at age 10. She spent six years concertizing across South Korea as a double-bass duo with her brother, often with her pianist mother accompanying, while winning first prize in numerous Korean music competitions. In 2010, she took first prize at the International J.M. Sperger Double Bass Competition in Germany, in addition to the audience prize and special jury prize, having placed fourth two years earlier. At the 2015 ISB Competition in Colorado, she received the Thomas Martin prize for the best performance of a work by Bottesini and second place overall. At the 2017 Bradetich Competition in Texas she received the internet-voted prize for best finals performance and Honorable Mention overall.
Mikyung graduated from Korea National University of Arts, studying with Lee Ho-gyo, and received her Artist Diploma from The Colburn School, studying with Peter Lloyd. She has participated in master classes with double bassists Rinat Ibragimov, Janne Saksala, Joseph Conyers, and Klaus Trumpf, cellists Peter Wiley and Hans Jørgen Jensen, and violinist Arnold Steinhardt. In the 2018-19 season, Mikyung was a Principal Double Bassist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and taught at the Shanghai Orchestra Academy. In 2020, Mikyung formed the Emeth Ensemble double bass quartet, which has released several music videos on YouTube. Her debut album “The Colburn Sessions” is scheduled for release in 2023.
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