Ancient Music Played on Old Instruments: A Timeless Treat

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Ancient Music Played on Old Instruments: A Timeless Treat

Christopher Hogwood, an harpsichordist and a Cambridge music graduate, founded an ensemble in 1973 that specialized in performing baroque music on period instruments. He named the ensemble after the 18th century organization, The Academy of Ancient Music. Mr. Hogwood will lead this ensemble of 34 musicians in a performance on June 7 in the Concert Hall of the Seoul Arts Center.

Of many performances planned by the Seoul Arts Center this year, The Academy's is expected to be one of the most outstanding. It will be a rare opportunity to appreciate three of Mozart's symphonies, Nos. 39, 40 and 41, in the same concert and the unique presentation of these works.

Up until the early 20th century, Mozart's symphonies were usually played in exaggerated style due to the influence of the Romantic period. The ensemble will introduce an authentic performance to Seoul audiences, which will revive the sound and the atmosphere of Mozart's period by using its scores, instruments and playing techniques.

The world's first open concert for paid guests was held in London in 1672. John Banister, a violinist, began to charge for his daily 4 p.m. performance in December of that year after which numerous European musicians, including Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederick Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn, went to London to pursue both fame and commercial success.

The city was also the heart of ancient music's revival and performance. Collecting antiques was very popular in London and many people owned old instruments and music scores. As a result, the city was the perfect showcase. The original Academy of Ancient Music, which organized concerts, was founded in London in 1726. The performances it organized largely featured works from the Renaissance period, such as those composed by Palestrina or Purcell. At the time, it was an innovative idea to revive music that was more than 100 years old since most of the concerts being performed featured works by contemporary composers.

The concert will mark The Academy of Ancient Music's first visit to Seoul although it is Mr. Hogwood's second. He performed at the Sejong Hall of Performing Arts in 1976 with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, conducted by Nevil Mariner. Mr. Hogwood is currently the Artistic Director of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society and of the National Symphony Orchestra's annual Mozart Summer Festival in Washington, D.C.

Performances will begin at 7: 30 p.m.

For more information, call Ticketlink at 02-780-6400 (English service available).

by Lee Jang-jik

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