AGO- National Convention 2012, Nashville/TN
A Workshop report by Gabriel Dessauer, Organ Lecturer at Hochschule fur Musik Mainz, Germany
… But the recital which was probably the most unexpected highlight was the recital given by Ahreum Han in First Presbyterian Church on a Beckerath organ dating from 1974. As the organ is in back of the church, it was monitored to the front, so listeners could watch her playing. Ms. Han is originally from South Korea but lives since age of 16 in Atlanta. She played a program which did not seem to be so spectacular. Bach Triosonata 6, Mozart Fantasie KV 594, Bovet Hamburger Totentanz and finally Regers “Wachet auf,” Fantasy.
Needless to say that she played from memory, Mozart and Bach both were full of joy and musicality but with interesting new ideas the audience loved. But then the Reger: Of course doing all registration changes alone without any musical compromise she played it fluently, everything looked very easy for her, even the hard places she played with kind of a beauty which you normally not see when an organist plays Reger. She seemed to have no technical problems, had obviously no problems with the for Americans not often used tracker action and could enjoy her own playing. I was absolutely thrilled about her playing, never having heard Reger played so naturally. And after she had finished, something happened which I had never had seen in a concert before: Immediately around 700 totally enthusiasted organists including me jumped off their seats shouting “bravo” through the church. Ms. Han seemed to be a little bit embarrassed by this, obviously she had not expected this.