Senior Concerto Winner: Shyan Koul ’19 Portrays Contrasting Themes In Hungarian Rhapsody

M.Zhang/The Phillipian

Koul’s piece combines Hungarian folk themes with slower, deep notes.

Each year, select Seniors perform solos at orchestral concerts, accompanied by the Academy Orchestras. This year’s Senior Concerto winners are Eden Cui, Angelreana Choi, Shyan Koul, and Christina Cho. Several other musicians will be featured in a concert, accompanied by piano, including Jenni Lawson, Jonathan Lin, Mona Suzuki, Claire Lee, Will Duan, and Chloe Choi.

After performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland over the summer and being caught up with other commitments, Shyan Koul ’19 felt as if his mastery of his Senior Concerto Competition piece had    declined right before his audition.

“As I started practicing again, I [felt I] had lost it in my fingers… [but] mainly it was about my mindset. I really had to overcome this for me to bring my playing to the next level. In a sense, I was trying to overcompensate. But I had to let it happen naturally and it eventually came through,” said Koul.

He describes his selection for his solo, Tibor Serly’s Rhapsody for Viola and Orchestra, as dynamic and fun, with contrasting sections that bring out the best of the viola.

“What I really like about it is the dynamism and the slow, deep notes that pull through the string. That contrasts with the bright peppy jolly dance songs of Hungary, and I think that it is very interesting to have. It’s a rhapsody, so it has sections of different themes,” said Koul.

M.Zhang/The Phillipian

Shyan Koul ’19 has been a member of the Academy Chamber Orchestra for four years.

Koul, who has been playing the viola since his Lower year, has been a member of the Academy Chamber Orchestra and the Academy Symphony Orchestra since coming to Andover. His Junior year, he played the violin, before switching to viola Lower Year. Though he will be a soloist for his concerto performance, he enjoys playing with larger ensembles because of the sense of community that orchestras have.

“I like the sense of camaraderie between people because, at the end of the day, we’re just making music together, and that’s what bring us together. We’re all from different sections of campus, and in that moment we’re all together under the same conductor, having fun and making something new in our own way,” said Koul.