Listen Up: The Sounds of Music Fill DecemberDecember is a popular season for concerts and performances to celebrate the ending of the year. The weather may be cooling down, but the concert scene this December is heating up with several of Korea's most famous classical musicians － Chung Kyung-wha, Sara Chang, Sumi Jo and Shin Young-ok.
Violinist Chung Kyung-wha has performed all over the world since the 1970s, including with maestros such as Andre Previn, Riccardo Muti, Claudia Abbado and Lorin Mazel.
Early this year, she released a recording of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Over 30,000 copies of the recording have been sold in nine months since the release － impressive numbers for a classical recording.
She has two dates in Korea, Hyundai Arts Center in Ulsan city on Dec. 14 and Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul on Dec. 16. The repertoire for the evenings includes Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Solo Violin as well as Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Joining Ms. Chung will be the International Sejong Soloists, a conductorless ensemble of young musicians who met at the Juilliard School.
Violinist Sarah Chang first gained recognition when she played Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1 with conductor Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic when she was only 8 years old.
All grown up now, Ms. Chang will perform with conductor Giordano Bellincampi and the KBS Orchestra at Kyungpook National University in Daegu city on Dec. 22, the Seoul Arts Center on Dec. 25, the Busan Cultural Center on Dec. 26 and Chungnam National University in Daejeon city on Dec. 27. Ms. Chang will play some pieces from "Fire and Ice," her recent recording with Placido Domingo and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Soprano Shin Young-ok is a star at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Gilda in Verdi's "Rigoletto" in 1991. Since then she has been performing on the world's most famous stages, including the Bastille Opera in Paris and the Royal Opera House in London. Ms. Shin will sing popular Christmas songs on Dec. 23 at the Concert Hall in Seoul Arts Center.
Soprano Sumi Jo will hold two concerts at Seoul Arts Center on Dec. 29 and 31.
Ms. Jo is probably the most popular Korean classical musician these days. Her crossover album, "Only Love," sold over 800,000 copies. Ms. Jo's concert on New Year's Eve will start at 10 p.m. and continue for two hours until midnight to celebrate the New Year with the audience.
by Lee Jang-jik