Distinguished music in a mountain setting

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Distinguished music in a mountain setting

An international music festival held at a cool ski resort in the middle of mountainous green forests will bring distinguished masters and some of brightest young talents to the stage as well.
The second annual Great Mountains Music Festival starting next Wednesday at the Yongpyong Resort in Gangwon province has a special theme this year, “War and Peace.” The festival will be a venue for the premieres of pieces on the theme written by composers Behzad Ranjbaran and Kim Jin-hi.
The festival kicks off in Cheorwon county near the Demilitarized Zone with Jin Hi Kim performing on electric geomungo (Korean lute) and Joel Smirnoff conducting the Great Mountains Festival Orchestra. The premiere of Ms. Kim’s “One Sky” will be staged here.
Then the event moves to Yongpyong Resort with the opening gala on Friday featuring the Sejong Ensemble, cellists Andres Diaz and Wolfgang Schmidt and violist Mr. Smirnoff with a performance of Vivaldi, Mendelssohn and Mr. Ranjbaran’s “Awakening.”
The festival has classified its events into several categories, including the Distinguished Artists Series, which is one of the highlights, and features world-class artists giving master classes and “intimate conversation discussions.” Among the distinguished artists are violinists Miriam Fried and Igor Ozim, pianists Eiizabeth Parisot and Vladimir Feltzman, and Mr. Smirnoff.
A number of artists performing at the festival, including violist Chee-Yun and Mr. Feltzman, will also appear at the Hoam Art Hall in central Seoul. Chee-Yun, pianist Youngho Kim and Mr. Diaz will be performing Kodaly, Schoenfeld, Handel-Halvorsen and Ravel on Aug. 9. Violist Toby Appel, violinist Joan Eunsook Kwuon, Mr. Diaz and Mr. Feltzman will perform Beethoven, Mozart and Mussorgsky on Aug. 11.
Mr. Feltzman, born in Russia, debuted at 11 with the Moscow Philharmonic and emigrated to America in 1987. He regularly appears in major concert series and festivals.
Chee-Yun is an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, and has performed with the Philadelphia, London Philharmonic, and Toronto, San Francisco, Houston and National symphony orchestras.
Mr. Smirnoff joined the Juilliard String Quartet and was appointed to the faculty of the Juilliard School in 1986. He has been chairman of the Violin Department since 1994.
Ms. Fried was awarded first prize in Genoa’s Paganini International Competition in 1968, and has been a frequent guest with a number of principal orchestras.
Mr. Diaz won first prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition in 1986 and is a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. He has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra and in the La Jolla, Marlboro, Ravinia, Spoleto and Tanglewood festivals.
The Sejong Ensemble, which will close the festival, has performed in prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and Suntory Hall in Japan.


by Limb Jae-un

Ticket prices for the Distinguished Artists Series are 20,000 won ($19) to 30,000 won. Ticket prices for the Seoul event range from 20,000 won to 40,000 won. The shuttle bus to Yongpyong Resort departs three times daily from Banpo, Seocho district, and Jamsil, Songpa district. For information, call 1588-7890 or go to www.gmmfs.com.
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