When piano virtuoso Woori Kim Smith plays, she is intent on drawing from her considerable skill to convey the emotion of music to her audience.
“I think only of the music itself and the overall feeling I am trying to communicate,” she said. “I want to convey the feeling I believe the music itself is trying to communicate.”
On Sunday, Smith will present a concert of Claude Debussy pieces as part of the ongoing Music and the Arts series at Vineville United Methodist Church.
The program is essentially the same Smith will present at her Carnegie Hall debut in March.
But the Macon concert has an added element: Smith, a native of South Korea, will also perform a selection with her husband, Curtis Ryan Smith, a native of Macon.
That means a slight adjustment.
“When I play with my husband, we both have to set aside some of our personal convictions in search of a unified, cohesive musical idea,” she said. “That’s necessary to convey one musical message, not two.”
Together, the couple will perform Debussy Petite Suite (piano four hands).
“This year marks the centennial of Claude Debussy’s death,” Smith said. “I will be featuring his solo piano works in my concerts this year as well as his chamber music. Debussy is a composer for whom I have always felt a personal affinity — and not just because we share the same birthday. The Macon concert is the first chapter in a long year of celebrating his music.”
Including Smith’s Carnegie Hall debut in New York.
“A recital at Carnegie Hall represents a deep commitment to one’s craft, and I have chosen to make my debut this year because of my deep love for Debussy’s music,” she said. “I can think of no better way of honoring this composer who has influenced my musical life so deeply.”
Smith and her husband have been married less than two years and met after both were accomplished, well-studied musicians furthering their studies at the Conservatory of Music at Cincinnati in Ohio.
However, they didn’t meet there. The two met 4,000 miles away at a Prague music festival when Smith overheard her future husband asking about local tennis matches. Being a tennis enthusiast, Smith chimed in.
“Macon audiences have always been warm and supportive,” Smith said. “It’s a joy to play in my husband’s hometown where I know he is loved and valued.”
Smith now serves on the piano faculty at Liberty University’s School of Music as assistant professor of piano while continuing to appear in solo, chamber and concerto performances. She has given numerous masterclasses such as at Western Kentucky University, Metropolitan State University in Denver and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.
Woori Kim Smith, pianist
Where: Vineville United Methodist Church, 2045 Vineville Avenue, Macon
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
More information: www.vinevillemethodist.com/music-the-arts-at-vineville, 478-745-3331