Tupelo contingent attends Cliburn competition

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Representatives of Tupelo Symphony Orchestra got to “ooh” and “ahh” over the talent on display during the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
And some of that talent will come back to Northeast Mississippi, said Margaret Anne Murphey, TSO executive director.
“We know exactly who is coming, Yeol Eum Son, the silver medal winner,” Murphey said.
“She is amazing,” added Doyce Deas.
Murphey, Deas, Peg Oakes, Sam Morgan, Dr. Noel Garcia and TSO Musical Director Steven Byess attended the piano competition in Ft. Worth, Texas.
Nobuyuki Tsujii, a blind pianist from Japan, and Haochen Zhang, a 19-year-old from China, were named gold medalists on June 7. The competition featured 30 pianists from around the world.
“Every one of the finalists is absolutely phenomenal,” Oakes said.
The Tupelo contingent was particularly impressed by Son, a South Korea native who’s scheduled to perform with TSO in spring.
“We all spoke with Miss Son, and she’s very happy about coming to Tupelo,” Murphey said. “We promised we’d take her to see Elvis Presley’s birthplace whether she wanted to or not. She said she did.”
Son, 23, has performed with orchestras in Poland, Israel, South Korea and the U.S. She also won a prize for best performance of chamber music during the Cliburn competition.
Since 1997, TSO has been a presenter for the Van Cliburn Foundation. Past winners to perform in Tupelo are Jon Nakamatsu, Maxim Philippov, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Sa Chen, Stanislav Ioudenitch and Yakov Kasman.

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.