March 30, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) After more than 20 years of countless practice and performance sessions, the Jung Trio are a tight ensemble of violin, cello and piano. Their connective vibe, their sixth sense that anticipates musical expression derives from another source, however, that of sisterhood—the three musicians, Jennie, Ellen and Julie Jung have performed together since they were kids and their unique musical unity has captured the attention and international acclaim of musicians and non-musicians alike.
“I suppose it comes from playing together from such a young age,” Jennie Jung commented. “We’ve seen each other grow as musicians and we’ve learned a great deal along the way. We have similar musical ideas and many times don’t need to verbally discuss what we plan to do. However, we don’t always agree. Then the majority rules!”
The world-traveling sisters, now in their thirties, live in Claremont, Costa Mesa and Diamond Bar and look forward this year to a less hectic performance schedule of local concerts, including in Riverside.
On April 9, the Jung sisters, together with violinist Jason Uyeyama, La Sierra University’s director of string studies, and violist Paul Reynolds will give a concert at La Sierra’s Hole Memorial Auditorium. The event will begin at 7 p.m. with tickets ranging from $5 for seniors and $10 for general admission to $20 for family admission. Children age 12 and under are free.
The quintet will perform Edward Elgar’s “Piano Quintet in A Minor Op. 84,” and Robert Schumann’s “Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major Op. 44.”
The Jung sisters each began taking music lessons when they were five years old. Jennie and Ellen started on the piano, but Ellen later switched to the violin. When their mother discovered something called a ‘piano trio,’ she enrolled Julie in cello lessons, Jennie Jung said. “Ever since Julie could string a few notes together we were playing as a trio. We started with hymns and progressed until we played out first official trio when we were about 9, 11, and 13 years old.”
The sisters’ parents emigrated from Korea to Toronto, Canada where the girls were born and raised. Their parents determined to give the sisters, and later their younger brother, musical opportunities that had been unavailable to them in their native country. “Our mother recalled that during the Korean War our grandmother drew a keyboard and taught them, our mom and siblings, the notes. Actually, when I started piano lessons, our mother took lessons as well,” Jennie Jung said.