[ON STAGE]Conductor does it your way

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[ON STAGE]Conductor does it your way

The conductor Gum Nan-se isn't satisfied playing just for the affluent, high-brow crowds who usually attend his orchestral performances. Recently, he has been organizing special shows to attract people who otherwise might not think of going to classical concerts.

First he arranged a series of monthly concerts for teenagers residing north of the Han River, whom Geum considers culturally underprivileged. The shows, at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Seoul, cost just 7,000 won ($6) and featured famous symphonies. The series attracted fans of the Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, which Gum runs.

His second concert series was targeted at people new to classical music. "The World's Renowned Symphonies" featured audience-friendly selections by familiar composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.

Last month, Gum started another series, this one targeting stay-at-home wives. "Good Morning Classics" is held at 11 a.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month. It's a pleasant show aimed at providing mid-morning relief to people under a lot of stress.

Indeed, most of the audience who filled the Hoam Art Hall during the chamber's last performance were stay-at-home wives. "The daytime culture for stay-at-home women is quite limiting," he said, when explaining the reason for starting the series.

To appeal to the crowd at last Thursday's performance, Gum made frequent references to food when describing the musical pieces his chamber was playing.

For a "light appetizer," he offered Schubert's Piano Quintet in A major "Die Forelle"; the main dish was Rossini's String Sonata No. 3. And the delightful but nourishing dessert to close the meal was a special performance by the classical guitarist Ahn Hyung-soo -- which was "a surprise treat," Gum said.

People seem to be quite pleased with this special concert idea, Gum said. "For our last concert, we even had a few young couples who sneaked out of their offices after telling their bosses they had some outside duty."

For more information, call 02-751-9606. Tickets for the show are 10,000 won and 20,000 won. A limited number of spectators may apply to have lunch with the conductor after the concert. To do so, book in advance. The cost including lunch is 50,000 won.

by Park Soo-mee

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