Kevin Lee Sun, piano
Frederic Rzewski The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (selections)
Hanns Eisler Piano Sonata No. 3
Hyo-shin Na Piano Study No. 3
Hyo-shin Na Song So Old (West Coast Premiere)
Pianist Kevin Lee Sun interprets music from a wide span of centuries and cultures “with probing seriousness” (Performing Arts Monterey Bay) and “a stunningly beautiful palette of colors” (Peninsula Reviews). Named a 2021 Berlin Prize for Young Artists finalist for his visionary programming and stirring musicianship, Sun was invited to lecture and perform in Germany, New York, Florida, and Southern California in his 2022-23 season. A Sacramento native who studied at Stanford, SFCM, and Eastman, he returns to the San Francisco Bay Area to give his Old First Concerts solo debut.
Sun’s program features songs from around the world about youth, hope, and solidarity. At the core of his recital are selected variations from Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (1975), which quotes Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht’s anti-fascist Song of Solidarity and puts it into interaction with Sergio Ortega’s setting of the Chilean protest chant “¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!”. These variations will be paired with Eisler’s wartime Piano Sonata No. 3 (1943), which Eisler wrote in the US after fleeing Nazi persecution. Two works by San Francisco-based living composer Hyo-shin Na will round out Sun’s program with their compelling cross-cultural uses of a Norwegian folksong about a young girl in Piano Study 3 (2001), and a wordless Navajo coyote song in Song So Old (2022, West Coast Premiere).
Kevin Lee Sun is Assistant Professor of Piano at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.