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Young musician mentored by master pianist

Nathan Kim studies with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet through Portland Piano International Program


PORTLAND — Aspiring to be a world-class musician himself, who else would 13-year-old Nathan Kim want to study with than a master pianist.

Having already taken a masters class with Portland Piano International artistic director Arnaldo Cohen in May, Kim got a second opportunity, performing and receiving instruction from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet as part the group’s recently renamed “Up Close with the Masters” program Nov. 23 in Portland.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Mentor -- Master pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet works with Mountain View Middle School student Nathan Kim during the 'Up Close with the Masters' program November in Portland.

Kim, who won first prize in the Mondavi Center National and Central Oregon Symphony Young Artists Comeptition earlier this year, performed Chopin’s Mazurka Op. 59 No. 2, in A-flat Major, during his 30-minute session with Bavouzet.

Among his notes for Kim, Bavouzet advisd him to “be sure you hear the music before you begin to play.”

Kim was one of four students to participate in the session, which is open to the public, prompting Bavouzet to remark to the quartet that: “People are listening as well as watching. Why not give them the impression that it’s easy? The music is already in the piano. You are just bringing it out. The piano is playing you.”

Bavouzet was in Portland for a Portland State University/Lincoln Hall recital Nov. 24 and, aligning with PPI’s mission of education, said he believes it’s the responsibility of every professional musician to educate the next generation.

Named “Artist of the Year” at the 2012 International Classical Music Awards, Bavouzet has performed around the world and serves as the artistic director of the Lofoten Piano Festival in Norway.

Joining Kim in the studio were advanced students Raley Schweinfurth, Christina Im and Andrew Yoon. All four were chosen to participate in a competitive process.

The next edition of Up Close with the Masters will include Vladmir Feltsman and is scheduled for Jan. 13 at the Portland Piano Company.