Yamaha Artist HJ Lim Signs to EMI Classics

7/10/2011 [Artists]

The Complete Beethoven Sonatas Recorded on Yamaha’s CFX

Photo Credit: Anna M Weber

Dynamic pianist HJ Lim has signed an exclusive recording contract with the label EMI Classics.  Her first project, under the new agreement, will be a spectacular recording of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas.  The sonatas, which have been curated by Lim into eight themes, will be released as four 2CD sets in January, April, July and October 2012.  A complete box set with a bonus DVD will also be available from October 2012.

Born in South Korea, HJ Lim (Hyun-Jung), 24, emigrated on her own to study in France at the age of 12.  At 15, she became youngest person to ever earn Diplome d’Etudes Musicales Complete (Normandy).  She continued her studies, and graduated with First Prize and Highest Distinction from the Conservatoire National de Rouen and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris.  In 2007, she was awarded First Prize by unanimous decision at the FLAME International Piano Competition in Paris. 

HJ, a Yamaha Exclusive Artist, first came to the world’s attention when – in order for her family to be able to watch her perform whilst they were home in Korea – she uploaded a video of a recital to YouTube.  This personal act, designed to bridge the geographic divide between her native and adopted homes, generated unprecedented interest and nearly half a million views.

On joining EMI Classics, HJ writes, “Having grown up with the recordings of Callas, Cortot, Cziffra, Samson François and the Beethoven sonatas of Schnabel, EMI has represented classical music paradise for me. I am thrilled to be entering this paradise.”

Andrew Cornall, Vice President of A&R for EMI Classics, says, “It is rare to come across a young artist not only with real artistic maturity and depth of intellectual thought but also with a charismatic and virtuosic way of imparting both those talents. HJ Lim is one these artists and it will be a pleasure for EMI to travel her musical journeys with her.”

Maggie O’Herlihy, HJ’s manager at HarrisonParrott adds, "I am delighted HJ Lim has made EMI Classics her recording home. The range of projects she will tackle over the coming years with the support and vision of the EMI team will give this extraordinary artist the ideal platform on which to reach her ever growing number of followers worldwide."

For her first recording, HJ has taken on one of the most monumental challenges in classical music, the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas.  Recorded on Yamaha’s Flagship CFX concert grand piano in July and August 2011, Lim has grouped the sonatas into eight themes including The Eternal Feminine, Assertion of an Inflexible Personality, Resignation and Action, Extremes in Collision and Destiny.  She first performed the complete cycle over eight days in Paris during August 2010.  Of the Beethoven Sonatas, Lim writes:

“A theoretical analysis of Beethoven's sonatas has been done many times; my own emphasizes rather the emotional, human, spiritual and psychological. This is why I view these sonatas by Beethoven as the most intense diary, in which genius expresses, or even illustrates, all the facets of a life that is sometimes sublimated, and idealized, and often deeply moving by its realism.”

HJ Lim signed her contract at EMI’s London headquarters on 24th August.  She was joined by EMI Classics’ COO Amanda Cupples, Andrew Cornall, Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs Lorna Aizlewood, Vice President of Marketing Azhar Malik, Vice President of Finance Catherine Fairlamb, HarrisonParrott’s Chairman and Joint Managing Director Jasper Parrott, Maggie O’Herlihy and members of the EMI and HarrisonParrott teams.

HJ Lim will be performing at the first of a new season of the Yamaha International Piano Series at Malvern Theatres on 22nd October 2011. To find out more and book your tickets visit - www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

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