Volume 5 / Chapter 188
Jun Hyuk’s score was relayed to the competition committee, the Belgium National Orchestra, and Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra right away. While 2 maestros were lost in the score in each office, the chairman of the committee was looking at the truck that had come with a delivery under his name.
“Who did you say it was?”
“President Isaac Stern of Stern Corporation sent this.”
“Without saying anything else?”
“He said that he has prepared so that it can be practiced right away. He said that time would be tight.”
The boxes unloading from the truck were full of Jun Hyuk’s score, which had already been made into books.
“Store those boxes so none of them are leaked, and request a meeting with the maestro quickly. No – tell him I’ll go to him myself.”
The chairman of the committee ran to BOZAR art center.
“Maestro. Have you seen the winning score?”
“Yes. It’s an incredible masterpiece. I’m sure you saw it as well?”
The two men looked at each other in puzzlement. Rather than an evaluation of the music, they looked at the score with worries about the competition schedule.
“Inferno’s Jun came out with an entirely unexpected song this time. And in our Queen Elisabeth at that.”
“Maestro. This is a good thing, right?”
“Of course. The competition’s status will change.”
It is in the form of the competition, but it is still a premiere. It is hard to premiere a masterpiece that is standing proudly against Beethoven’s symphony on a stage like this.
“I don’t know why I keep worrying first. President Isaac Stern must have already been sure of Jun’s win, because he made the score into books and sent them over. I estimate that there are over 300 of them.”
“Ha ha. His humor is still the same. You must have been surprised.”
The maestro could only laugh when he heard that the scores had been sent over already in book form. It is a result that anyone could have anticipated, not just Isaac Stern. Though he heard that there are controversies in the screening process, it is a given that Jun Hyuk’s ‘Choral Concerto’ should win.
“Don’t worry because President Stern isn’t someone who would go around telling people.”
“He even left a message to start practicing right away.”
“Yes. I do need a lot of scores right away. We need to hurry because the choir will also need it.”
The chairman watched the maestro and cautiously spoke,
“Actually… We had a meeting as soon as we saw the winning score. We discussed the final performance…..”
The maestro spoke while the chairman spoke carefully,
“Is this because of the winner, Jun? Because he’s a genius who has already gained experience as visiting conductor of the Boston Philharmonic?”
“Yes. Our honest thoughts are that we would like to create a more exciting stage to bring the competition more attention from around the world.”
“Do you want to leave the conducting to Jun?”
“The piano and violin have to perform with the Belgium National Orchestra and Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra in the final. Thinking of the final stage, isn’t there not enough time until the finals in April as President Stern said?”
The maestro frowned for a moment and spoke when he made up his mind,
“Chairman. Let’s do this. Let’s decide on who will conduct once the detailed schedule is out. And let’s discuss with President Stern. Check Jun’s schedule and ask him to join as soon as he can. Of course include conducting on stage in the cases.”
The chairman thanked the maestro for his positive answer multiple times and left.
Jun Hyuk’s eyes opened at dawn because of the noisy ringing of his phone. He frowned because he had only been asleep for 3 hours.
“Isaac. Are you awake already? So it’s the same in the East and West that older people sleep less.”
“What are you talking about? I’m still partying with beautiful women. He he. The weird thing is that a young man like you is sleeping at this time. Oh right. I didn’t call to brag. I’ll be at your house in an hour, so be ready.”
“I don’t need beautiful women and I don’t care for parties.”
“It’s not beautiful women or a party. You’ve been confirmed the winner. I just got the call. Well… It was bound to happen. Ha ha.”
He was not so happy he felt like he would jump up and down when he heard the fact that he won. Could it be because President Stern and the maestro of the New York Philharmonic had reinforced it in him multiple times? He just felt calm.
“Just pack lightly with some clothes. We’ll go to Belgium.”
“What? Belgium? At this time?”
“Yeah. The competition committee will look for you. Let’s go ahead of time and get some touring in. I know a really great pub. You’re going to love it too.”
“But aren’t you rushing it too much? We should make our moves once we are contacted.”
“Jun, isn’t it better to tour Brussels than to stay home alone? And it’s much warmer over there.”
It did seem like charming Brussels would be better than lazing around at home.
“Alright. Then I’ll get ready.”
Jun Hyuk hung up the phone, packed a few things, and waited for Isaac Stern while sending text messages to a few people.
– Sir. I won the Queen Elisabeth Competition. We were just told.
– I’ll see you the day you conduct on stage for the finals. Don’t forget to send admission tickets.
Yoon Kwang Hun’s text message was still characteristically dry.
Even inside the private plane to Brussels, Isaac Stern did not look the least bit tired. The person who was yawning from tiredness was Jun Hyuk.
“Isaac. Isn’t it weird that we’re just going over there when the committee hasn’t asked us yet?”
“The New York Philharmonic’s maestro was certain of it. It’s only a matter of time before they call for you. And you could show them how you solve the biggest problem that the world of contemporary music has. The competition’s end will be anticipating that as well.”
“Unlike in the past, composers and performers are now completely separated. The composition and conducting departments are separated in college as well. One of the reasons why contemporary music has become farther from people is that there is an analysis that the composer doesn’t perform himself.”
Beethoven played the piano himself while conducting the orchestra, and Mozart did everything to conducting opera music. In modern day however, music has become completely separated like an industry.
“But you’ve already done it once before. Didn’t you conduct Inferno yourself to record it? There will be a symbolic meaning to your conducting your own song.”
He wanted to say more, but they both fell asleep.
Brussels International Airport is a short distance of 12km northeast from the city. However, the limousine with President Stern and Jun Hyuk did not go into the city.
“Isaac, where are we going right now? Aren’t we going to Brussels?”
“I thought somewhere quieter than the city would be better, so I borrowed a castle. It’s a 20 minute distance from the city, so it won’t be uncomfortable to go back and forth.”
“What? Castle? Isaac! Geez! Let’s just go to a normal hotel. It’s totally obvious that you want a huge castle to throw those parties you like so much every day.”
It is something that Jun Hyuk realized while seeing Isaac Stern over the past few months. He is very serious and refined when he is dealing with music, showing features of an old gentleman. His personal side is humorous and shows signs of a playboy who likes to play.
“Party? Me? No. Once I handle the situation with your conducting and the competition committee, I’m going back to New York. I’m a pretty busy person, you know. I can’t just sit back and relax here for months.”
“Then I’ll have to move to a smaller hotel. How am I supposed to spend my time alone in a castle?”
“Trust me this time. It’ll be just to your liking when you see it.”
He winked and laughed. Jun Hyuk did not feel his trust go to him, but thought that he should just trust him this one time.
“What do you think? Isn’t is perfect?”
Jun Hyuk stared blankly at the castle as the scenery stole his mind.
“This is a castle? Ah, it is great. But to be called a castle, it’s a bit…..”
“It was normally a bit bigger than this. It was still a small castle, not to the scale of England’s Buckingham Palace. That was restored and a small house was created. They just call it a castle out of habit.”
More than a castle, it is closer to a beautiful mansion in the countryside. The house’s position on a low hill showed that it used to be a castle, and it is a secluded area as if there is a park around it. It is a peaceful place where a few birds flew around the small lake.
“I know your taste well now. Somewhere nothing is around. People, cities. It’ll be quiet.”
Isaac Stern saw Jun Hyuk’s pleased face and got back in the limousine.
“Then get some rest. I’m going to go meet someone from the competition committee.”
Isaac Stern had only slept a few hours on the plane, but he did not seem tired at all. Where is that vigor coming from? Jun Hyuk threw his bags into the living room. He could not leave this beautiful scenery and fall asleep, so he slowly took a walk around the empty hill.