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Wooden Fish Ensemble – From Korea to America – 120 Years and Beyond – Sunday, April 23 at 4 pm


Wooden Fish Ensemble
From Korea to America–120 Years and Beyond:
Celebrating the 120th year of Korean immigration in the US

San-ky Kim, tenor
Hyunchae Kim, kayageum
Peter Josheff, clarinet
Ilana Blumberg, violin
Ellen Rose, viola
Thalia Moore, cello
Thomas Schultz, piano

Fragrance in the Forest (Kayageum Byungchang)
Kayageum Sanjo
Hyo-shin Na That Old Question (2020) World Premiere
Hyo-shin Na Ocean/Shore 2 (2003)
Hyo-shin Na From Korea to America – 120 Years and Beyond (2022) World Premiere

The San Francisco based Wooden Fish Ensemble present concerts featuring music and musicians from a variety of cultural and national backgrounds working together in a collaborative way. The Ensemble has performed concerts of traditional music from Asia alongside new music by a diverse group of composers that includes John Cage, Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, Morton Feldman, Hyo-shin Na, and Walter Zimmermann, with numerous world premieres.

This performance celebrates the 120th year of Korean immigration in the United States with the World Premiere performance of a new work by Hyo-shin Na. Of the work, Na says: “I’ve spent much of the year 2022 writing a series of 5 pieces called From Korea to America – 120 Years and Beyond for clarinet in B flat, violin, viola, cello, sanjo kayageum/25 string kayageum, and piano). These five movements were inspired by my interviews with five long-time friends who’ve come from Korea and have lived in California.

On a Cargo Ship was inspired by a friend who came to the US on a cargo ship instead of in an airplane many decades ago. She’s become very successful as a pharmacist and has given big donations to a Korean university at which she’d been educated before coming to the US.

I began to imagine the beginning of The Flow while listening to a friend’s talking about her life in California as a hardworking and kind neighbor.

A long-time college professor in Korea in her 50s came to the US and began a business. While Crossing the Pacific Ocean, my friend and her husband promised to begin over fresh in the US. They’ve become successful with their business and are now comfortably retired.

Educated as a pianist in Korea, this friend became a banker in the US. She and her husband achieved their American dream and have led a very happy life together. Happiness Piece came to me as I was happily listening to her story.

One of my friends came to the US when she was 3 months old as an adoptee of an American family. She didn’t have much contact with other Koreans until she moved to Northern California where she first heard traditional music from Korea. That Korean music strengthened her identity as a Korean American. She’s now a professor of music. While listening to her talking about her passion for Korean music, I thought of the last section of Turning-Point.

There will be a reception following the concert – everyone is cordially invited! 

This concert was made possible, in part, with generous support from the San Francisco Artist Grant.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.