Arts and Entertainment

Pianist Hong to perform March 21 in Kent

Alpin Hong.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

American tours and performances across the globe have earned pianist Alpin Hong the reputation as a modern day Pied Piper.

Hong performs as part of the city of Kent’s Spotlight Series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 10020 SE 256th St.

Hong’s combination of humor, emotion and dazzling technique brings audiences of all ages to their feet. The New York Times called him a “pianistic firebrand.” His extensive classical training (master’s degree from The Julliard School), matched with his background in skateboarding, snowboarding, martial arts and video games, forms a creative force unmatched in its youthful vivacity and boundless energy.

The pianist returns after his successful 2013 work with Kent School District students. “Alpin presented five school assemblies in March of 2013,” Ronda Billerbeck Kent cultural programs manager said. “His ‘From Movies to Games, Classically Trained’ assembly reached a total of more than 1,500 students.”

This workshop investigates how popular movie, television and video game music affect the listener, by demonstrating how classical composers used rhythm, harmony, and melody to emotionally influence their audiences. It explores elements such as intervals, keys, and timing to show that the modern music of today has its roots in classical compositional traditions.

Hong made a special connection with Kent-Meridian High School students last year and will feature the band, orchestra, and choir students in his concert.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $15 for youths. Tickets are available on-line at, by calling 253-856-5051 or in person at the Kent Commons (525 Fourth Ave. N.). Hours for phone and in-person sales are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to his public performance and work with Kent-Meridian High School, Hong will conduct three assemblies at schools in the Kent district. Approximately 1,000 students at Mattson Middle School, Meeker Middle School, and Lake Youngs Elementary School will participate in his “From Movies to Games, Classically Trained” assembly on March 19, 20 and 21.

Spotlight Series is presented by the Kent Arts Commission and Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services. Hong’s performance is sponsored by the Kent Parks Foundation and Pete and Pat Curran.

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