A tuxedo seems like the one sartorial item that Hahn-Bin might not wear when this 24-year-old violinist appears for the Candlelight Concert Society on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. in
This hotshot performer often favors a sleeveless black kimono, generously applied facial makeup and a towering black Mohawk hairdo. In what promises to be a fashion show of sorts, he is expected to make around 10 costume changes during Saturday's concert. It's enough to make
If you're starting to wonder whether this is a
The violinist's musical selections, cutting-edge wardrobe and a handful of stage props may make the concert resemble a performance art event as much as a classical music concert. It's all in the service of freshening up the concert-going experience and making the music relevant for younger and non-traditional audiences. Whatever the eccentricities of the presentation, however, the music itself is played straight.
"His violin playing was outstanding, with perfect intonation," recalls Candlelight Concert Society's vice president and artistic director, Holly Thomas, who attended a Hahn-Bin concert in New York in 2009. "He truly is a musician's musician. If he wasn't a superb musician, I never would have booked him."
Thomas also was impressed by his stage presence during that concert, which was part of the career-boosting Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
"Artists get a little nervous during auditions, but he was very poised," she says.
For the record, the violinist wore a business suit at that New York concert; also for the record, his first prize victory at those auditions directly resulted in concert bookings, including this Columbia gig.
"I'm hoping he will appeal to a new audience and bring in people who may have never been to a chamber concert," Thomas says.
This appealingly different violinist has had a name-changing, identity-altering, fast-evolving career. Born Yoo Hanbin in
In 1999, he moved to Los Angeles and studied with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School. By way of showbiz exposure, he performed Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole at the
His studies really escalated when he was selected by the famous violinist
His nascent career took off in the early 21st century, with his first European tour in 2004 and first recording released in 2005. Hahn-Bin received his diploma from New York's Juilliard School in 2009. After winning the Young Artists International Auditions that same year, he made his New York debut at
The violinist likes to put together thematically ambitious programs that typically combine a classical composer such as