K-pop star Psy got everyone’s attention with “Gangnam Style” in 2012. Thinking of the video that started it all, you may remember catchy synth beats, but “violin” is likely the last instrument that comes to mind.
That changed when Jun Sung Ahn, aka JuNCurryAnh, created a video where he played violin while dancing to the viral tune. Jun already had a strong Youtube following thanks to his pop covers, but “Gangnam Style” rocketed him to further exposure and first place in a competition run by Psy himself.
Since then, Jun has collaborated with many talented musicians and opened for k-pop greats including Shinhwa, Red Velvet and Block B.
Jun has adapted the violin to so many modern songs, there’s no doubt he can perform pieces actually written for the instrument. And few soundtracks are more suited to the elegant sound of strings than Hayao Miyazaki’s films.
Above is a stunning medley of Studio Ghibli’s scores that could make even a statue shed a tear. I was pleased to find Jun has performed several fantastical pieces including music from The Hobbit, Beauty and the Beast and Harry Potter.
Jun is admittedly a little “weird and crazy” in his personal life (“not in a bad way”) and cites Lord of the Rings as one of his favorite fandoms.
Jun’s versatility is perhaps unsurprising when you hear about his background. Although he started violin in the 5th grade, he majored in film while he was at college.
Despite his studies, he still found the time to join Northwestern University’s orchestra and participate in a dance crew.
Jun originally made videos for fun between classes, never imagining he could make a career out of it. Yet as his viewership grew and other musicians took note, his rising popularity took on a life of its own.
For him, creating a Youtube presence was akin to creating a portfolio that would provide more security down the line.
It’s certainly paid off. The young violinist now has over a million subscribers and shows no sign of slowing down.
If you want to see Jun in person, your best chance is to catch one of his yearly performances at KCON where he plays with k-pop’s top talent.
Jun does work at smaller venues on occasion, and played his first solo concert in 2015 in Houston, TX. Keep an eye on his Facebook event list to make sure you don’t miss out.
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