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Title: Cultural and political overtones in Isang Yun's works for piano : understanding multiple identity through performance of Fünf Stücke für Klavier (1958), Duo für Viola und Klavier (1976), and Interludium A (1982)
Author: Lim, Jin Hyung
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 8538
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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Isang Yun (1917–95) composed over 150 works, ranging from solo pieces and chamber music to orchestral works, including five symphonies and four operas. Following his upbringing in Korea and musical education in Japan and France, he spent the second half of his life in Germany. Having lived through the two wars that afflicted Korea in the twentieth century, followed by the intense hostility that accompanied the continued division of Korea, his life both in the East and in the West was extremely turbulent. His encounters with the new ideas and experimental sounds of the European avant-garde at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music in 1958 and 1959 led to the development of a complex musical identity that combined these influences with other cultural aesthetics, including his Korean musical heritage and Eastern philosophy. This thesis examines Yun’s only two solo piano works, Fünf Stücke für Klavier (1958) and Interludium A (1982), and an additional chamber work, Duo für Viola und Klavier (1976), presenting performances and recordings alongside critical discussion. Drawing together research on Yun, theoretical research into questions of identity and performance research, I examine three issues: Yun’s diasporic identity, formed through his diverse social and cultural experience; his political identity, formed partly in response to the East Berlin Spy Incident (1967–69); and the musical manifestations of these identities. The aim is to show both how practice yields specific forms of understanding, and conversely how forms of analysis and critical study inform performance. I argue that a musical performance is a personal, social, political, and cultural act – the embodiment of the performer’s multiple identities.
Supervisor: Laws, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available