Nicky Sohn’s music has been performed by groups such as the New York Youth Symphony, the Carnegie Hall Academy, the Mannes Orchestra, Washington Square Winds, students of The Juilliard School, and members of the Bowdoin Music Festival. Her music has been described as dynamic, lively, and melodious. Sohn, 24, began studying piano at age two and composing when she was seven. Born in South Korea, she completed her middle school and high school studies at the age of fourteen. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in 2014 under David Tcimpidis and Master of Music from The Juilliard School under Robert Beaser. Sohn is currently a candidate for her Doctor of Philosophy in composition degree at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Sohn is a recipient of Peter Mennin and Vincent Persichetti Endowment Fund, G. Gershwin Memorial Scholarship, and Milton Babbitt Scholarship.
LISTEN: On the Other Side of the Rainbow for Solo Piano
Robert Fleitz, piano
“I completed On the Other Side of The Rainbow during the winter of 2016 in New York City. I was very lucky to collaborate with the wonderful pianist Robert Fleitz on this project. Not only was Robert an excellent performer but also a fascinating and engaging thinker. After a few meetings and conversations, I learned of Robert’s love for The Wizard of Oz. Since I had never seen the movie before, I thought it would be interesting to write a piece based solely on the performer’s taste. I settled on the form of a two-movement piece with the inspirations from the witch’s broom and the ruby slippers.
Chronologically, the second movement, Are you forgetting the ruby slippers? was written first. Since The Wizard of Oz is an extremely well-known movie, I had a vague idea of the plot as I was exposed to certain images in popular culture. I finally watched the movie right before completing the second movement, and that led me to change my approach. My original plan was to write a through-composed piece that did not return to previously stated material. However, after seeing the movie, I decided to end the piece with the opening motive, reminiscent of Dorothy’s return home to Kansas.
Rather than focusing on one specific idea or mood, the first movement, Beautiful Wickedness outlines the whole atmosphere and spirit I received from watching the movie. It incorporates the black-and-white tornado scene where Kansas transforms into the colorful and mythical world of Oz. The Wicked Witch’s broom motive also joins in throughout the movement.”