Pianist Hee-Kyung Juhn will present an evening of music influenced by nature in celebration of National Park Week at Hot Springs National Park in April. Featured will be the world premiere of composer Laurence Sherr’s "Ouachita Waters," a piano prelude he composed at Hot Springs National Park in June 2009 while serving as Artist-in-Residence. Also on the program will be nature compositions by MacDowell, Ravel, and Griffes along with another work by Sherr. The program will take place at the First Presbyterian Church, 213 Whittingon Avenue in Hot Springs, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
"Ouachita Waters" is Sherr’s musical rendition of the journey through various environmental realms of the thermal waters that surface in Hot Springs National Park. While living in the Park, Sherr traveled the area, hiked the park’s trails, and studied aspects of the ecosystems that the thermal waters traverse before and after they emerge from the ground. “The 4,000 years that the water travels underground is the portion that required the greatest imagination”, Sherr observed. Josie Fernandez, Superintendant of Hot Springs National Park is enthusiastic about the work created by the first composer in the park’s artist residency program. “Ouachita Waters captures the essence of the most important natural feature in Hot Springs National Park”, she said.
The performer, Dr. Hee-Kyung Juhn, has appeared on concert stages in South America, Europe, Asia, and throughout the United States. She has participated in music festivals such as Tanglewood, Aspen, Bowdoin, and Yale Piano Summer Institute, and is the Director of Keyboard Studies at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Her recent recording of the Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach (MSR Classics), has received wide critical acclaim. Dr. Juhn noted “Using the sonic resources of the piano to suggest sights, sounds, or impressions of nature is a musical endeavor that allows me to express artistically the concern for the environment so crucial to our society today.”
The evening will begin with a presentation by Sherr about the influences of nature in the works on the program. Photos of the places and scenes in the compositions and information about the composers will be shared, along with insight into the inspiration for his two nature-influenced works on the concert.
Sherr remarked, “It was a great experience to live in Hot Springs National Park while writing music about the environment there. I am very grateful for the opportunity to return to share my work with park visitors and the local community.” Dr. Sherr is Composer-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Music at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta. He has received numerous honors and awards, and his music has been performed internationally.
Last updated: April 10, 2015