Celebrating a woman who enriched Korean arts

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Celebrating a woman who enriched Korean arts

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Park Gui-hee, the founder of Seoul Traditional Arts High School, school alumni will hold a festival at the National Theater on Tuesday.
A classical musician, Ms. Park (1921-1993) championed the importance of education to the development of Korean classical music. She played a leading role in the establishment of the high school in 1960; the institution has since become the center for Korean classical music studies.
Ms. Park also donated part of her estate of about 2 billion won at the time to construct a new campus for the school. When she died, the remainder of her fortune was passed on to the school rather than to her offspring.
In addition to founding the school, Ms. Park contributed much to the development of gayageum byeongchang, a solo artistic format that involves singing a particular phrase of short tunes known as pansori while playing the gayageum, a Korean 12-stringed zither. She also was a dedicated composer of minyo, or classical folk songs, and produced more than 20 original works of this kind.
Besides her creative endeavors, Ms. Park organized a classical music society for women and produced many concerts, actions that helped popularize Korean traditional music. For her contributions, Ms. Park was conferred a Moran medal, a national government award, in 1989.
The art festival consists of two parts: an academic conference and a concert. Starting at 10 a.m., four researchers, including Kim Young-jae, a professor at the Korean National University of Arts, will read papers that revolve around Ms. Park’s life and contribution to the development and teaching of Korean classical music. At 7:30 p.m., her students along with the Korean classical musicians Lee Mae-bang and Kyung Sun-young ― both recognized as cultural assets by the government ― and others will perform a memorial concert.
The National Theater is located halfway up Mount Namsan in central Seoul. Entry is by invitation or reservation only.

by Kang Jin-ae

For more information call (02) 581-9712.
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