“My renewal experience of getting to play concerts in Korea reconnected me to my passions—performing music and reconnecting me to my home country.”
Not unlike some of the fellows, Jayna Park’s plans for her fellowship period had to change due to unexpected circumstances. For her, it was the sudden fatal illness of her mother in Korea.
Park transformed her project so as to allow herself to be near her mother. She went to Korea and visited places where she performed as a young violinist
“My renewal experience of getting to play concerts in Korea reconnected me to my passions—performing music and reconnecting me to my home country.” and met with renowned musicians with whom she made plans to collaborate in the future. “The experience of playing the concerts in Korea were that of something comforting and a genuine giving of myself,” Park said, “not of the nerve-wrecking kind we often experience as performers.” She also arranged a concert that her mother watched from a TV in her hospital room, “knowing that that performance was for her.” Just a couple of weeks after the concert, her mother passed away. Park struggled to process her mother’s death, but can now look at the experience with gratitude. “Even though my mother's passing was a very difficult event to process, it renewed my passion for performing music in general, and also in my home country. I feel like I have come back a more whole musician and a whole person.”
With her original plan to record a CD still in mind, Park connected with a pianist friend and planned to rehearse with her in Strasbourg, France. Her friend’s sudden case of tendonitis forced Park to reconsider, and so she explored the beautiful cityscape of Paris instead. “The sense of history you get when you are in a city like that is unforgettable,” she said. “It was amazing to see firsthand the environment and backdrop that inspired so many incredible artists, writers, and musicians.” Of her overall fellowship experience, she writes, “I feel like I have come back a more whole musician and a whole person.”