Stepping to the podium. Interviewing Shi-Yeon Sung.
Boston Globe, April 12, 2009.
Some cut-for-space quotes:
I don’t think charisma is always [imitates an angry tantrum] “AUAAAHH”; there is also soft charisma. It’s a different way of charisma. And that you can’t learn. The thing is, you have it, or you don’t have it. Also, if you just have this kind of thought in your mind—I want to put the humanity of the music, and the humanity of life in the music—if you have this kind of charismatic thought behind you, it comes out. Those things you can’t explain to the orchestra. If you have this, it comes out.
On still feeling like an outsider:
Actually, if I go to Germany, and I do Beethoven, I think I don’t always feel comfortable with this; because the German people are so proud of their hero, and some Asian girl comes there and conducts Beethoven? This kind of thing, maybe I’m not comfortable with this. [MG: Does it give you something to prove?] I don’t think so. I prepare just what I can, the best I can, and just go…. I don’t do overreaction, you know? (laughs) I think I’m [the type of] person, I accept every situation.
I remember, my first competition was a female competition in Germany [the Solingen Competition for women conductors], and I won first prize; and my professor was so proud of me, and he said, you have to go to the press office and announce your first prize. I just told him, no, no, someday I want to go to [an] international competition, with women and men at the same time! If we win there, then, I’ll go to the press office. I remember that. And then it came true!