Winner of the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition, cellist Taeguk Mun is a native of South Korea. With a total of 157 cellists from 38 countries and regions entered in the Casals competition, which was last held 10 years ago for cello, the 20 year old won the ultimate prize. A student of Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory who had just graduated the previous year. The competition is part of the 48th Budapest International Music competition at the Hungarian Academy of Music and Mun played Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A minor, op. 129, accompanied by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Janos Kovacs.
Born in 1994 in South Korea, Mun began studying cello at the age of four with Young Rim Yang. He has been a prize winner of various competitions, including winning the Third Andre Navarra International Cello Competition (2011), First Place of the Young Soloist Competition of the Queens Symphony (2010), the Juilliard School Pre-college Division Cello Concerto Competition (2009), the New York Music Competition, the Fourth International Competition for Youth (2007) in Oldenburg, Germany, grand prize winner of the National Sung-Jung Music Competition in Korea, among many others. He has also been featured on From the Top as a soloist, and as part of the Maggiore Trio from the Juilliard Pre-College Division. Most recently, he has been selected as the artist-in-residence for the Kumho Art Hall in Korea and received the Starker Foundation Award in 2016. Mun will play on the Giovanni Grancino (1697 Milan) which was generously loaned by the Samsung Foundation of Korea.
The pianist Noreen Cassidy-Polera ranks among the most highly-regarded and diverse chamber artists performing today, and maintains a career that has taken her to every major American music center and abroad to Europe, Russia, and Asia. In addition to being a regular recital partner with cellists Amit Peled and Narek Hakhnazaryan, Ms. Cassidy-Polera has appeared with Yo-Yo Ma, Leonard Rose, among many others. Winner of the Accompanying Prize at the Eighth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, she regularly collaborates with laureates of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky and Naumburg international competitions.
Ms. Cassidy-Polera’s mastery and affection for the complete standard cello-piano repertory is well-known, as is her attention and dedication to the works of living composers. In recent seasons she performed Elliott Carter’s venerable Sonata for Cello and Piano, along with new works by Lowell Liebermann, Benjamin C.S. Boyle and Kenji Bunch to critical acclaim. Her CD recording Sound Vessels (with cellist Scott Kluksdahl) features the recording premiere of Richard Wernick’s Duo.
Noreen Cassidy-Polera holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Martin Canin.
(Updated January 4)
SCHUMANN: Adagio and Allegro for cello and piano, Op. 70
BRAHMS: Sonata for cello and piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 99
CHOPIN: Sonata for cello and piano in G minor, Op. 65
CASSADÓ: Danse du Diable vert