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TED2013

Ji-Hae Park: The violin, and my dark night of the soul

February 27, 2013

In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again -- showing her that her goal needn’t be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible.

Ji-Hae Park - Violinist
Ji-Hae Park spreads the joy of classical to music to those who might not otherwise hear it -- and in the process shows that you can rock out on the violin. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
(Music)
00:20
(Applause)
02:45
Thank you.
02:50
Hi, everybody.
02:53
Ban-gap-seum-ni-da.
02:56
I'd like to share with you a little bit of me
02:58
playing my life.
03:01
I might look successful and happy
03:03
being in front of you today,
03:06
but I once suffered from severe depression
03:08
and was in total despair.
03:11
The violin, which meant everything to me,
03:13
became a grave burden on me.
03:16
Although many people tried to comfort and encourage me,
03:19
their words sounded like meaningless noise.
03:23
When I was just about to give everything up
03:26
after years of suffering,
03:30
I started to rediscover the true power of music.
03:32
(Music)
03:38
In the midst of hardship,
04:59
it was the music that gave me -- that restored my soul.
05:02
The comfort the music gave me
05:08
was just indescribable,
05:09
and it was a real eye-opening experience for me too,
05:11
and it totally changed my perspective on life
05:15
and set me free from the pressure
05:19
of becoming a successful violinist.
05:21
Do you feel like you are all alone?
05:26
I hope that this piece will touch and heal your heart,
05:29
as it did for me.
05:33
(Music)
05:35
(Applause)
06:51
Thank you.
07:00
Now, I use my music to reach people's hearts
07:02
and have found there are no boundaries.
07:06
My audience is anyone who is here to listen,
07:08
even those who are not familiar with classical music.
07:12
I not only play at the prestigious classical concert halls
07:16
like Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center,
07:21
but also hospitals, churches, prisons,
07:23
and restricted facilities for leprosy patients,
07:27
just to mention a few.
07:31
Now, with my last piece, I'd like to show you
07:33
that classical music can be so much fun, exciting,
07:38
and that it can rock you.
07:41
Let me introduce you to my brand new project,
07:44
"Baroque in Rock,"
07:48
which became a golden disc most recently.
07:49
It's such an honor for me.
07:53
I think, while I'm enjoying my life as a happy musician,
07:55
I'm earning a lot more recognition than I've ever imagined.
07:59
But it's now your turn.
08:04
Changing your perspectives
08:08
will not only transform you but also the whole world.
08:09
Just play your life with all you have,
08:13
and share it with the world.
08:16
I really look forward to witnessing
08:18
a transforming world by you, TEDsters.
08:20
Play your life, and stay tuned.
08:24
(Music)
08:29
(Applause)
12:18
Translator:Joseph Geni
Reviewer:Morton Bast

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Ji-Hae Park - Violinist
Ji-Hae Park spreads the joy of classical to music to those who might not otherwise hear it -- and in the process shows that you can rock out on the violin.

Why you should listen

Ji-Hae Park was on the fast track to violin stardom when she ... paused. Why was it simply her goal to be the best violin player in the world? Was there more to music than that? And thus she began to think differently about how to "play" her life. Now -- along with playing prestigious concert halls, winning prizes and making a new album for Decca called Baroque in Rock -- she makes time to play in hospitals, churches, prisons, anywhere she feels she can reach people with music. Her friendly, entertaining rearrangements of classical music invite new listeners in.

She was named The Respected Korean 2010  for her leadership and influence on the national development. She is playing on the Petrus Guarnerius 1735, Venedig on loan from the German Foundation (Deutsche-Stiftung- Musikleben) since 2003.

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