Korea makes violins, pianos serenade Genocide anniversary

When Koreans in Kigali decided to commiserate with Rwandans on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, uniqueness is what they sought.

When Koreans in Kigali decided to commiserate with Rwandans on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, uniqueness is what they sought.

In came a classical music show with famous Korean violinist and a pianist.

The three-hour show at Serena Hotel, last week, saw performances by renowned violinist Kyung-Wha Chung and pianist Kevin Kenner Kenner keep the audience ecstatic on ballads.

Speaking to The New Times, Hwang Soon-taik, the Korean ambassador to Rwanda, said the charity performance was organised to deliver Korea’s sympathy to Rwanda.

“This was in line with the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. We organised this event to deliver Korean people’s feeling and sympathy to Rwanda. We had almost similar experience like Rwanda half a century ago, but we recovered. We are sure that Rwandans will recover,” Hwang said.

He expressed Korean interest in Rwanda in terms of social development, noting that, possibly, such a social gathering might happen every year.

“Korea always wants to be friends of Rwanda, to partner with Rwanda... we hope to have this event every year, may be,” the envoy said.

Artiste with a mission

The two artistes, who shared the stage throughout the performance, received great applause from the audience that was fully packed with government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and international organisations.

For most Rwandans, attending the concert was their first introduction to the genre of her music, but it was evident that the sounds of her violin stirred something in them, attracting several rounds of applause and excitement in the house.

Kyung-Wha told The New Times that feedback from the audience that is not familiar with her music genre was more than she expected.

“It was more than I expected. I could sense the audience’s concentrations, ready to receive the message. I’m so happy to perform in Rwanda, and I would come back here,” she said.

Kyung-Wha, 66, is engaged in charity and sponsors several children in the country. She said by coming to Kigali, she sought to meet her beneficiaries.

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