Kuijken Quintet Revives Original Baroque Styles In Performances

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Kuijken Quintet Revives Original Baroque Styles In Performances

Sigiswald Kuijken, 57, a violinist devoted to promoting authentic Baroque performances, will visit Seoul for the second time to perform at the LG Arts Center on Friday. Last year, Mr. Kuijken made his solo debut in Korea. This time, the Belgian violinist will bring four other musicians with him to perform as the Kuijken String Quintet.

Mr. Kuijken is a leading figure in reviving authentic Baroque violin technique. During the 17th century, a violinist did not use a shoulder support nor did he hold the instrument under his chin. Authentic performance, which is also known as historical performance or period performance, is roughly defined as musical practice based as much as possible on the performance methods of the period in which the music was composed and premiered. The idea is to use period instruments in a historically informed style (violin resting freely on shoulder, not under the chin), and many "authentic" performers try to recreate the original conditions for the music by using period instruments. Mr. Kuijken, however, says he finds it impossible to exactly define the conditions separating an authentic performance from a non-authentic one. He knows only, he says, that the value of an authentic performance depends entirely on how persuasive the player is in representing the period style.

Mr. Kuijken started a string quartet with his wife, Marleen Thiers, a violist; his brother, Wieland Kuijken, a cellist and his student Francois Fernandez, a violinist. Ryo Terakado, a Bolivia-born Japanese violinist, joined the group later, and together they formed the quintet in 1986. Since then, the Kuijken String Quintet has performed around the world.

Repertoire for their Seoul performance includes Mozart works, such as "String Quintet in C minor, K.406," "String Quintet in G minor, K.516" and "String Quintet in C Major, K.515." The performance will begin at 8 p.m., and ticket costs range from 30,000 won ($24) to 50,000 won.

For reservations, call the LG Arts Center at 02-2005-0114 (English service available).

by Lee Jang-jik

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