It's a mouthful: Mugunghwa, the national flower of Korea, aka the Rose of Sharon, is an image that's inspired everything from a Korail train line, the Mugunghwa-ho, to composer Mark Grey's newest work, Mugunghwa: Rose of Sharon. Written for violin virtuoso Jennifer Koh and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Mugunghwa is "a story of courage and passion" that blends Korean and Western cultural and musical traditions into a unique soundscape, and is based on Korean author Namsoo Kim's chronicle of one man's spiritual path to reunification with his family, homeland and dead father. This week, the chorale presents the world premiere of Mugunghwa, with Koh as soloist, as part of its first all-Korean event, Stories From Korea. Also on the program: folk songs; Hyungchul Lee's Dona Nobis Pacem; Hojung Lee's Arirang Fantasie; and the fascinating Mi-na-ri, by South Korea's leading woman composer, Hyowon Woo a hauntingly sonorous work for triple choir in which the three choirs move and rotate throughout, creating unique textures and overtones. But the best part of the program is the Kogi Korean BBQ truck, serving Korean-American street fare and the "magic" Kogi taco. You go, bul-go-gi!
Sun., March 6, 7 p.m., 2011
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