“A physically exuberant player, Ms. Lim tossed back her long, untied hair during more tumultuous moments and played with expressive commitment and colorful nuance throughout …Ms. Lim’s intellectual analysis and emotional engagement resulted in fresh, vigorous interpretations.“ The New York Times reviewing HJ playing Beethoven in concert
“In her hands, Beethoven has moved from VHS to Blu Ray in a heartbeat. Everything is dangerously invigorating, strikingly original. This is the kind of album that will save the classical recording industry.“ The Telegraph
May 22, 2012 (New York, NY) – Today marks the release of the debut album from 25-year-old Korean pianist HJ Lim – an ambitious traversal of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, grouped into eight distinct themes which HJ has chosen and explained in her in-depth and thoughtful liner notes. In order to support this extraordinary young talent, EMI Classics has released the entire album – 99 tracks and 9 hours of music – for only $9.99, exclusively on the U.S. iTunes Music Store.
When asked why she chose to record all 30 Beethoven sonatas at such a young age, HJ responded: “Nothing in life is guaranteed, there’s no certainty that I’ll be here in five, ten years – even tomorrow! When you feel as passionately about something as I feel about these works, you have to go ahead and do it.“ She has already performed complete Beethoven sonatas cycles over eight days each in France, Germany and Japan, and her powerful performances have been captivating both traditional and new audiences. Her earnest and ardent desire to share the power and beauty she finds inherent in this music was evident to a recent New York Times writer, who noted that HJ had both “plenty of original ideas and the technique to carry them out.“
Lim’s thoughtful and unique approach to such an immense undertaking further defines itself in her organization of the sonatas into eight seperate volumes, each with a different theme: Heroic Ideals, The Eternal Feminine – Youth, Aspects of an Inflexible Personality, Nature, Extremes in Collision, Resignation and Action, Eternal Feminine – Maturity, and Destiny. Says Lim: “To perform Beethoven’s sonatas is not just to interpret music, but also an attempt to understand the multi-faceted psychology of a human being,“ and her extraordinarily in-depth and thoughtful liner notes, which break down her reasoning behind the themes and the groupings of sonatas, make it clear that she has reflected at length about each of these 30 works (HJ chose not to record the Op. 49 1&2 sonatas, citing Beethoven’s own wish that they not be published).
About HJ Lim
HJ (short for Hyun-Jung) Lim left her native South Korea at age 12, moving by herself to France to study piano. Three years later, she became the youngest person to earn a Diplôme d’Études Musicales Complètes (Normandy). She subsequently graduated with a First Prize and Highest Distinction from the Conservatoire National de Rouen and the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. In 2007, she was awarded First Prize by unanimous decision at the FLAME Competition in Paris. HJ currently lives in Switzerland.
Introductory Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnRvxMaQ2kc