Whatever Named, Musical Group Hits High Notes

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Whatever Named, Musical Group Hits High Notes

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which is celebrating its 120th birthday this year, becomes the Boston Pops Orchestra early each May when its winter season ends. The musicians don new, white uniforms and play at the Boston Symphony Hall every night for two months. The hall is also redecorated for the pop music season. The rows of seats are removed and replaced with round tables and chairs. Members of the audience can enjoy light meals and drinks while they listen to the Boston Pops Orchestra.

The orchestra was created in 1885 by the members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which otherwise would have been out of a job after the winter season. The Boston Pops Orchestra's repertoire includes short, light classical pieces, jazz and music from film soundtracks. During the Pops season, the conductor Keith Lockhart takes charge of the orchestra, and together they appear in the Esplanade Concert held on the Fourth of July and broadcast nationwide across the United States. The concert is a free outdoor event held on the east bank of the Charles River and accompanied by fireworks. Beginning each July 6, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is reborn and moves to Tanglewood, its summer home in western Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Lockhart gathers some free-lance musicians in Boston, re-forms the orchestra as the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and goes on world tour.

Not all members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, however, join the Boston Pops Orchestra during the pops season. Most senior musicians with the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform separately as chamber musicians, and others take leave for summer vacation. The Boston Pops Orchestra, therefore, includes musicians who do not belong to the Boston Symphony Orchestra but to the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Lockhart, will perform in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. Jo Sumi, the famed Korean soprano, will accompany the orchestra on the first day. Ms. Jo will be the first Korean to perform with the orchestra. On Wednesday night, the orchestra will play Giulio Caccini's "Ave Maria," Leo Delibes' "Bell Song" from "Lakme" and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night" from "The Phantom of the Opera." On the second day, Kwak Jung, a Korean harpist, will join the orchestra to present Deltour's "Concertino for Harp and Orchestra" on the electric harp. The concert will begin at 8 p.m., and tickets are priced between 30,000 won ($23) and 150,000 won. For more information, call Ticketlink 1588-7890 (English available).

by Lee Jang-jik

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