Volume 5 / Chapter 182
[TN: This is 4 of 8! Back to the states]
Jun Hyuk followed an employee who came to meet him at New York’s JFK airport to President Stern’s apartment.
He was astounded when he opened the door and entered. It is grand but also incredibly wide. It is a 2-floor duplex apartment with a staircase to one side of the living room.
“Uh… Hang on…”
Jun Hyuk quickly looked for the employee who had brought him to this apartment, but he had already closed the door and left.
There is no problem staying in this big house alone, but he could not imagine how to clean it when the living room alone is the size of a basketball court. There are 4 doors that he can see on just the 1st floor. How many rooms would there be on the 2nd floor?
Jun Hyuk took his phone out. It would be better to tell Isaac Stern that he should move.
“What do you think? Do you like it?”
He heard the door open with a familiar voice. Jun Hyuk put his phone back. Isaac Stern walked over to Jun Hyuk and put his arm on his shoulder.
“Tell me if you don’t like it. I can look into another place.”
“Isaac. I do like it… but it’s too big. Cleaning it is going to be no joke. I think it’d be better to move to a smaller place…..”
Isaac Stern looked at Jun Hyuk’s serious expression and burst out in laughter.
“Well well. Ha ha. Would I really leave you to clean the place? Don’t worry about it and stay here comfortably. A maid is going to come every day to take care of your meals and clean.”
Jun Hyuk was more surprised when he heard about the maid than he had been when he saw the large house.
“A maid? I’ll just do it myself. It’s uncomfortable.”
“What? Uncomfortable? Weren’t you going to demand a personal chef? Why now?”
President Stern brought up what they had discussed in the private plane.
“That was a joke.”
“Alright. Then I’ll have someone come just once a week to do the laundry and clean. Is that fine? And come this way. You haven’t seen it yet, right?”
Isaac Stern pushed Jun Hyuk and opened one of two doors standing next to each other.
“I made this into your studio. There was a piano here for a maestro in our company who used to live here, but we moved the 2 pianos and instruments from your house here. And I prepared some other things I thought you might need. There wasn’t enough space, so we broke into the next room.”
In that room were Jun Hyuk’s guitar, amp, 2 grand pianos, and drum set.
“Isaac. Isn’t that recording equipment?”
He could see wires everywhere with a console box covered in white fabric.
“I heard that you’re good at sound engineering too. It’s not studio standard, but I left it so you could use it when you need to.”
“The sound-proofing is certain… It’s great.”
“I see you like this room more than the apartment.”
When Jun Hyuk saw the recording equipment, he suddenly remembered something.
“Oh right. What happened with the Inferno album? It hasn’t been released yet?”
“It’s going out in stores around mid-June.”
“That’s very late. I made it so that there wouldn’t be any problem working on the album.”
They finished recording early February. Even with package production in mind, 6 months is taking too long.
“The record has already been completed. It’s coming out the next month because of marketing. We’re going after the holiday season.”
“Oh, I see.”
“The Boston Philharmonic needs to gain some attention from this too. They’ve been receiving public attention since they revealed that you recorded in February, so that’ll continue. It’s all business after recording.”
When they came out into the living room, Isaac Stern went into the kitchen and skillfully made coffee.
“So, did you rest well in Korea?”
“Yes. I just kept sleeping.”
“But you didn’t just sleep. You said you were going to rest. How did you think of coming up with such a masterpiece? You should really rest when you can.”
Isaac Stern set a coffee down in front of Jun Hyuk, who just laughed, and settled into the large sofa.
“Then shall we talk a bit about the piece?”
“The piece? Oh, sure.”
“The title is Concerto for Violin and Piano in D Minor, ‘Choral,’ right?”
“I’ll just ask one thing. Did you really write it with Beethoven in mind?”
“I did it thinking about how the Queen Elisabeth Competition has the piano and violin, but I thought of the foundation as a choral symphony. The subtitle is ‘Choral’.”
“Why Beethoven? Isn’t it too much of a challenge?”
“I never thought of it as a challenge. I just started it because I thought it’d be fun to work on… I guess that’s how it turned out?”
“Fun… That’s good too. Let’s see if the world sees it as fun or as a challenge.”
Isaac Stern could not stop smiling even as he drank coffee.
“The competition judges are going to be startled.”
“The score itself is huge. Most entries are about 10 minutes. I’m pretty sure this will be the first ever masterpiece of such a length. And… he he.”
Isaac Stern was about to speak when he started laughing. Jun Hyuk watched him with an expression wondering if senility had set in.
“Ah, sorry. I keep laughing when I think about the National Orkest van Belgie. I can’t stop picturing them perplexed.”
“Why? Is there a problem?”
Could it be because there are not enough members in the Belgian orchestra?
“If this piece wins in December, you’ll have to go to Belgium right away. You need to go into rehearsals.”
“Isn’t the competition finals in April?”
“The difficulty is too high. They’ll need to practice for a while in order to perform at the finals.”
“Surely not. They are the national orchestra.”
“No, it’s not ‘surely not’. I showed this to the maestro of the New York Philharmonic to ask for his opinion.”
As soon as he said the New York Philharmonic, Jun Hyuk’s eyes widened. His heart beat at the thought of it.
“He said that he guesses 2 to 3 months. He can’t say that the National Orchestra of Belgium is better than the New York Philharmonic.”
“If it’s the New York Philharmonic, isn’t it Maestro Dimitris Carras? The Greek genius conductor who started at age 25.”
“Yeah. He’s famous for perfect song interpretations. If he says two or three months, that’s exact.”
“Did he give you an assessment of my song?”
“Of course. How could he see a piece like this and not say anything?”
Isaac Stern saw Jun Hyuk’s sparkling eyes and thought of Dimitris Carras’ sparkling eyes when he first saw Jun Hyuk’s score.
“I only showed him the score at first. I didn’t say your name. He didn’t say anything for a while and then after praising it a ton, do you know what he said?”
“What did he say?”
Jun Hyuk was anxious to hear what the undeniable top maestro of the century said about his own work.
“He said that 2 geniuses will lead the world of music in the 21st century. Composer of ‘Inferno’ Jun and the person who created this new ‘Choral Concerto’. Ha ha.”
Isaac Stern saw Jun Hyuk’s flushed cheeks and realized that this young genius still does not have certainty regarding his own work. There must be various reasons, but he thought that the biggest reason might be that his standards for pieces are too high.
“I heard that assessment and didn’t tell him your name until the end. He was tremendously curious. He he.”
This occasional child-like appearance from this man over 70 does not seem like that of an industry mogul.
“Wait until August, since he has performances abroad right now. When he come back, I’ll introduce you two. Get a chance to talk over dinner or something. Dimitris is also going to be shocked once he finds out that you wrote ‘Choral Symphony’.”
Isaac Stern stopped laughing jokingly and his voice became low.
“There’s something I’m curious about. Can I ask?”
“Yes. Of course.”
“What are you going to do with the pieces you’ve written so far? Are you going to keep leaving them in Mr. Yoon’s safe?”
“There isn’t a song that I really want to show to the world. I like making new songs more.”
“It’s a pity, but there’s nothing I can do. Do as you please.”
He said that it is a pity, but his expression is not so. Artists do not want to reveal their past works the more they excel. Geniuses are those whose future works are more anticipated than their past works are.
“Then what are you going to do until December? Do you have any plans? And I don’t mean your intention to put everything into composing.”
“I have nothing to say if you put it like that.”
He had been thinking that it would be good to make music since he has a good studio in his apartment, but there was nothing to include in his plans if he excludes that.
“Then I’ll propose 2 things. Pick one.”
Isaac Stern sat next next to Jun Hyuk.
“The first is traveling. I recommend South America. I want to suggest enjoying the freedom and nature of South America.”
Jun Hyuk did not really want to travel again after traveling Europe for 2 months, so his expression did not change. Isaac Stern watched Jun Hyuk’s expression and spoke again.
“The other is studying.”
“Yeah. Didn’t you receive special classes at Clayton? That’s what the school said. They said that you were very active in that class. What do you think about starting it again? I’ll invite a teacher to come once or twice a week. Not music but subjects like literature, art, and philosophy.”
Jun Hyuk showed much more interest in studying than he did in traveling.
“Isn’t broadening the width of thought an extremely important element for people who create?”
“I guess it is.”
“I’m not telling you to make the decision now. Take your time to think about it.”
“No. I’ll study. The thing I actually regretted most about leaving Clayton was not being able to take the special classes.”
“Great. Then I’ll get it ready. Just keep it in mind.”
Isaac Stern did not forget his last piece of advice as he was leaving Jun Hyuk’s apartment,
“Jun. Don’t be alone too much, and invite some friends to have some fun. Throw some parties. The best thing about having a large apartment is that it’s great to have parties in.”