Volume 1 / Chapter 15
Go Sae Won went to France at age 23 and traveled Europe learning to play piano for 15 years – even taking part in the Poland Chopin Competition. He had not earned a high score, but he had received enthusiastic applause from the youth.
Though he started at a much later age than the gifted pianists who had started at age 3 and 5, there was a greater passion in his music that was in the music of the young geniuses.
As a graduate of a university in the countryside, there was no place for him in his homeland. Unless he had been extremely successful in Europe, he could only be undervalued and spurned as he lacked the proper connections.
He knew as soon as he heard Jang Jun Hyuk’s piano, that his pride, passion, and efforts so far were really nothing.
Go Sae Won spoke after he heard Jun Hyuk play Chopin’s ‘Farewell’ and was so touched that his hands were shaking.
“Has… Has it really only been two years since you started playing piano?”
Chopin himself had said that he could never produce another melody as beautiful as that of ‘Farewell,’ a song capturing his feelings for his homeland, Poland. Jun Hyuk expressed Chopin’s longing for his country and his loneliness effortlessly.
“But why have you brought this child to me?”
“I brought him so that he might receive lessons from you. If you can see talent in him to teach…”
“Teach? Talent? What can you teach a child like that? It has only been two years since he started playing the piano by himself and he can digest Chopin. I’m saying there will be less than ten people on this Earth who have the qualifications to teach that boy.”
“Ten people? You lower our Jun Hyuk too much. Ha ha.”
Yoon Kwang Hun must have liked Go Sae Won’s evaluation, because he laughed brightly and showed his relaxed state of mind.
“This man really! Are you playing games with me?”
“I meant it as a joke… I apologize if you were offended. It is the truth that I came here to ask you to give Jun Hyuk lessons.”
“What lessons? A few minor mistakes and bad habits? Lessons from me to fix those? You can ask a college student majoring in piano for that. He already knows all of the really important things… I have nothing to teach him.”
Go Sae Won’s words were sincere. He had nothing to teach Jun Hyuk, a pianist who could interpret music’s message and deliver it with emotion.
“Even with a diamond in the rough, don’t you have to buff and clean it to get to the light and have it reborn as a jewel? I am asking you for that.”
Go Sae Won had the thought that becoming Jang Jun Hyuk’s first teacher and being the person to lay down his foundation might be considered one of his musical achievements later.
That was when Jun Hyuk started to learn the basics twice a week at Go Sae Won’s house.
Just how far will Jun Hyuk go?