October 19, 2015

Alum Plays for the President of South Korea During U.S. Visit

Alum Plays for the President of South Korea During U.S. Visit

CIM alum and violinist Suliman Tekalli (MM ’13, Smirnoff), was invited to perform as a soloist for South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, October 14, during her visit with President Obama. Tekalli performed Vivaldi's “Summer” with the world renowned ensemble International Sejong Soloists which also debuted Tekalli’s own arrangement of Ástor Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” with violist Richard O’Neill.

“The whole atmosphere was charged backstage and the hall was incredible, like a great Grecian temple,” says Tekalli of the experience. “To come on stage as a soloist in front of this world class group of musicians to face a whole audience of world leaders was certainly a singular rush and a great honor.”

Dignitaries present at the event included Secretary of State John Kerry, Congressman Charles Rangel, and U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert. At the conclusion of the event Tekalli was formally received among the other performers present that night by the President Park Geun-hye.

Tekalli performed on an Antonio Stradivarius violin, Cremona, 1683, ex-Cobbett, which is on loan to him from Mr. Higgin Kim, Chairman of Byuckaan Engineering Co. Ltd through the Stradivari Society® of Chicago and Sejong Soloists.  Tekalli recently won top prize at the 2015 Seoul International Music Competition.