Visiting Korean organist

Prof. Byong-Suk Moon, concert organist

Visiting Korean organist… that was the title of an email message I received in early November last year. It was from the Rev. Brian Grieves, an Episcopal priest I had worked with at the Church of the Holy Nativity some forty years ago!

An organist friend from Korea, Byong-Suk Moon, will be visiting Hawaii in the latter part of January and asked for assistance in setting up an organ recital which will take place on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu.

In looking over Prof. Moon’s resumé, we decided that his diploma and his experience at the Musikhochschule in Detmold, Germany would mesh well with the Beckerath organ at LCH. In addition to being Professor and Chairman of the organ department at Catholic University in Seoul, Korea, Moon is the concertmaster at Myeondong Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Korea. He won the Diploma prize at Magdeburg International Organ Competition; second prize at the Wiesbaden Bach Preis International Organ Competition; and second prize at the Dom Zu Speyer International Organ Competition—all in Germany. In addition he won first prize at the Wolgan Music Journal competition in Seoul, Korea.

The program will include:

Offertory from the Mass for the Parishes, François Couperin (1668-1733)
Organ Concerto in D minor, BWV 596, J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
From Eleven Chorale Preludes, op. 122, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
No. 4 Herzlich tut mich erfreuen
No. 5 Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele
Organ improvisation, Nearer my God to thee, op. 75, Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933)
Final from Organ Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Alexandre Guilmant (1837-1911)

Professor Moon is thought by some to be Korea’s foremost organist today. We are indeed fortunate that he will be in Hawaii and will be giving a free organ recital! Here is a video clip I found of him on YouTube:

Pipe organs in Korea began to be built after the Korean War as students began coming to the United States and Germany, countries that “offered organ curricula and good instruments to play,” according to Jay Zoller, who wrote an article in the  Diapason magazine about pipe organs in South Korea, 2011. “As time went on, students who returned to South Korea wanted similar instruments to play at home and often were able to have their church buy an organ from a builder that they had become acquainted with during their studies. Since there were no Korean organbuilders, they imported organs from the United States and Germany. Seoul, South Korea’s largest city, has the greatest number of pipe organs in the country,” where Wicks, Brombaugh, Flentrop, Schuke, Rieger-Kloss, Ruffati, Beckerath, Karl Wilhelm, Jäger & Brommer, Bosch, Pels and Van Leeuwen, Klais have built instruments.

Here is some pictures of the Rudolf von Beckerath organ at Hanshin Presbyterian Church in Seoul, completed in 2016.

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And here is the Beckerath organ for the Heavenly Dream Methodist Church at Incheon, South Korea.

Beckerath organ at Heavenly Dream Methodist, Incheon, South Korea (2008)

Hope you can come to Byong-Suk Moon’s free organ recital on Sunday, January 28th—a Korean organist on a Beckerath organ!


About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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