Pianist Pedals an Easy Listening Sound

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Pianist Pedals an Easy Listening Sound

French pianist Richard Clayderman, an international music phenomenon most famous for love songs like "Ballade Pour Adeline," is returning to Korea this winter to give a series of concerts. Credited with many gold and platinum records, Mr. Clayderman is one of the most widely known names in easy listening music.

This will be his fifth visit to Korea, following those in 1989, 1990, 1996 and 1999. In a recent poll titled "the top 100 favorite instrumental songs" that was conducted by the KBS radio program, "Kim Kwang-han's Golden Pops," Mr. Clayderman's "Ballade Pour Adeline" was selected by Koreans as their most popular tune.

Of the 3,000 people participating, many agreed that Mr. Clayderman's simple yet captivating melodies were the reasons for the song's popularity.

Born in 1953 in Paris, Mr. Clayderman began studying classical piano at the age of five with his father, a piano teacher. Later, he was lured away from classical piano into rock 'n' roll and in the 1970s played with such French pop stars as Johnny Halliday and Michel Sardou.

When Mr. Clayderman signed with Delphine Productions in 1976, he made his first major breakthrough with "Ballade Pour Adeline," which has sold millions of copies. By the early '90s, his total album sales were said to be 60 million worldwide.

"I wanted albums with a link with love, and all the melodies and themes that are featured on the albums have this link with love," said Mr. Clayderman in an interview with Open House magazine.

Among his numerous albums, the ones containing the words "love" or "lovers" include "Love Songs Of The World" (1984), "For Happy Hour Lovers" (1997) and "Love Songs Vol. 1, 2, 3" (all released in 1998).

"Each concert, I have to play a new piano, wherever I go," he says. "Generally this isn't a problem, but when I was in South America it was difficult to find a good, new piano."

Here in Korea, there seems to be no problem .

As part of his Asian tour, which began in China in October, concerts are scheduled in Korea from Dec. 16 through Dec. 21. The organizing agency, Cecilia Artists Management, has arranged for Mr. Clayderman to perform in Daegu on Dec. 16, Pusan on Dec. 17, Gwanju on Dec. 18, Seoul on Dec. 19 and Dec. 20 and Daejon on Dec. 21. In Seoul, concerts will be held at the Millennium Hall in Kangnam.

The concerts in Seoul will begin nightly at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from 30,000 won ($25) to 150,000 won.

For more information, call Cecilia Artists Management at 02-538-6295.

by Kim Jae-seon

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