From Hahn-Bin to Amadeus Leopold

Please click the arrow above for the music before reading this article.
Hahn-Bin is dead!
Is Hahn-Bin dead?
Who says Hahn-Bin is dead?
Hahn-Bin himself says he is dead!
And, by the way, who is this guy, Hahn-Bin?
Let’s look at the photos – we may get some clues.

Is he a clown?
(This picture is from

Is he in the fashion business, or a performer?

(This picture is from

He must be a violinist.

Amadeus Leopold (the former Hahn-Bin)
Born in Seoul in 1987, Hahn-Bin began playing when he was five and won a top prize at the
Korea Times Competition that same year.
He made his orchestral debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at 10.
In 1999, he moved to Los Angeles to study with Robert Lipsett.
A year later, at age 12, he made his international debut at the Grammy Awards.
In 2009, after studying under Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho, he graduated from Juilliard.
He was a winner at the 2008-09 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

He made his New York debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in March 2011(

He has received countless awards for musical achievements at such a young age.

However, if it weren’t for my son, I would probably never have heard of this great talent. A
couple of days before Leopold’s debut at the UCLA Royce Hall, my son said he wanted to
take me to the concert. He suggested I look him up on YouTube. As I was online looking
for information about Leopold, I was startled to find something he had written:

It’s not that I have chosen to be different or interesting, it’s just that I have chosen to build my own artistic universe rather than to fit into anyone else’s. I am dedicated to my instincts, and like all living things I am constantly transforming — which is the reason why many of my performance projects are funerals of my past. I believe that it takes many cocoons for an artist to leave a lasting legacy behind. (

Wow, what a coincidence! I had just posted an article about rebirth (please see End Day…Birth… Rebirth) – about coming out of a cocoon (i.e., getting rid of one’s old self and metamorphosing from caterpillar to butterfly). I thought, “He is so young, yet he already has such insight and vision. I can’t wait to attend his performance.”

My son and I were lucky to witness his metamorphosis at his concert (namely “Till Dawn Sunday”) here in Los Angeles at UCLA. He treated our ears to a wonderful selection of some of the greatest classical music, and at the same time his striking showmanship gave us great visual enjoyment. Under his skillful fingers, we heard the laugh, cry, murmur and scream of the violin. And we seemed to bury our past along with him when he lay down on the stage and proclaimed “the death of Hahn-Bin” (his former name) and dramatically concluded the first part of performance with “Silent Night.”

After going through the dark hours, he brought about the rebirth of Amadeus Leopold and shared with us the joy of watching the sunrise. Thanks to his changing of costumes, dancing as he played the violin, and the lighting effects, the audience too experienced a metamorphosis. At the end, we all came out of a cocoon and received the sunrise – enjoying a sense of love and liberation.

The audience was so moved and touched by his performance that people did not want to leave until he gave us five encores, including “I’m So Pretty” and, to conclude, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

I am grateful to have been able to see Amadeus Leopold’s performance. It reminds me to continue burying my past and experience rebirth again and again. Only then will I have the freedom and power to experience breakthroughs in my life. What a wonderful gift he gave me to begin the new year.

Violinist Amadeus Leopold with piano accompanist John Blacklow in the West Coast premiere of his new show, “‘Til Dawn Sunday.” (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2013)

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