Pianist Minna Re Shin Embraces Multimedia Format for New Music Video

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Canadian pianist Minna Re Shin’s multimedia video reimagination of Alain Payette’s 1998 solo piano work, Sonate Tableaux, has won her Best Classical Music Video Award at the 5th Music Film Festival (Buenos Aires), the Jury Diamond Award for Best Short Music Video at the March 2022 edition of the Europe Film Festival U.K., and the Judge’s Choice Award for Music Video at the 2022 Winter session of the World Premiere Film Awards (Los Angeles).

“I have performed and recorded Payette’s work in the past and really found a deep ­connection to his compositions,” Shin said. “His music is very sensual and neo-Romantic. It has an emotional depth that you don’t ­normally find in 20th– or 21st-century music.”

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Her four-part video Sonate Tableaux ­follows Payette’s four-movement work associated with a series of four paintings, which inspired Shin to expand Sonate Tableaux’s music video into the mediums of dance, the visual arts and theatre.

Headshot of Minna Re Shin (image taken by Yves Lacombe)

To explore these mediums, Shin worked with three other female Canadian artists: painter Natalija Jeremic, ballet dancer Catherine Toupin, and mime artist Laurence Castonguay Emery. Shin said this collaboration made her the project’s producer as well as its pianist. “The greatest challenge was the co-ordination of so many people and aspects of audio-video production over the course of more than a year,” she said. “The responsibility falls on me to show the big picture to the team. In addition to all that, I also had to focus on my music-making.”

Upon learning that the paintings all ­portrayed women, Shin added the further layer of unifying her project with the theme of “The Woman,” incorporating the female body and female empowerment into her performance.

The thematic focus on the female body is also a result of Shin’s breast cancer diagnosis in April 2019. Her cancer has since gone into remission, and part of the proceeds raised through the ticket sale of the Sonate Tableaux launch concert will be donated to the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

Shin said another source of inspiration was her early exposure to many forms of art. She began playing piano at age six, and she debuted with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra at age 10.

Shin has a Doctor of Music from the Université de Montréal in performance, and a PhD from McGill University in music theory. She currently teaches at Vanier College, and maintains an active performance schedule.

Sonate Tableaux album and video launch,
June 15, 8 p.m., Gallery Gora, 279 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal,
Tickets: $48.77

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Carol Xiong is ever-interested in connecting disparate cultures and human experiences. She holds a Master of Music from the Unversité de Montréal, a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, as well as an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is currently pursuing her DEPA in piano performance at the Université de Montréal. You may find out more about her here: http://www.carolxiong.com

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