Sumi Jo & the AAM in the Far East — May 2011

Earlier this year, Sumi joined us for a seven-concert tour of the Far East, with performances in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and China. Here are some reactions and reminiscences from the players, the press — and from Sumi herself.

“I’ll remember two things about the tour: the gasps from the Korean audience on seeing their heroine’s latest concert wear and, more importantly, the intensity of her focus while performing. One can talk at length about her amazing instrument and dazzling technique but these are made so much more potent by her sheer intensity, a quality which convinces the listener that right now nothing in the world is more important than listening to her.” Pavlo Beznosiuk, Leader

Sumi Jo and Richard Egarr after one of the many encores in Taipei, wearing traditional Korean dress

Sumi Jo and Richard Egarr after one of the many encores in Taipei, wearing traditional Korean dress

“It’s rare to come across a soloist who is utterly compelling, a personification of the word ‘charisma’. Sumi Jo is one of these. From the unabashed theatre of her costume changes, to her immaculate vocal technique, Sumi Jo is a unique combination of the professional, the naive, the down-to-earth and the ethereal. Thoroughly exotic, she still acknowledged and was respectful of every musician on stage, and performing with her was truly exhilarating.” Judith Evans, Double Bass

“The Asian tour with the world-renowned Academy of Ancient Music was a wonderful and refreshing experience for me. Maestro Richard Egarr’s charisma and gentle musicianship was more than enough for me to enjoy the beauty of baroque music, which in fact I felt nervous of (and even fearful about!) until now. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and regards to the AAM, who accompanied me thoroughly.” Sumi Jo, Soprano

“The Korean ‘Queen of Coloratura’ Sumi Jo made a significant departure from her usual territory of Ro­mantic showstoppers to delve into Baroque finery. As with great singers past and present, the results were nothing short of spectacular. If one expected her to tone down her usual fire to fit the sound of the period instrument movement, there was to be nothing of the sort.The bright and luminous glow which all have come to expect was immediately apparent. Ever careful with enunciation of words, she crafted every note with pristine clarity, and never at the expense of the seamless flow of the music.” The Straits Times, Singapore

Don’t miss the oportunity to see Sumi in concert with us this Friday 25th November: a scintillating programme of Mozart, including extracts from The Marriage of Figaro, Idomeneo and The Abduction from the Seraglio, as well as the complete ‘Paris’ symphony. To find out more details and how to book, visit the AAM’s website.

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