Music festival celebrates 60 years of freedomIn 1975, a group of Korean orchestras held the first of what became a series of concerts commemorating the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule.
The latest in the series, which is not held on every anniversary, runs through Sept. 29. This year celebrates the 60th anniversary of the liberation in 1945. However, there is a slight difference this time ― the Japanese are invited.
The organizers decided to be more friendly and less nationalistic with their programming, even naming one event the “Korea-Japan Friendship Concert.”
“We will be celebrating both the ‘2005 Korea-Japan Friendship Year’ and the 40th anniversary year of amity between Korea and Japan,” said Sohn Hye-jung, an official from the Seoul International Music Festival, which organized the series of concerts.
The organizers invited the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, led by Conductor Tadaaki Otaka, from Hokkaido to perform with Daejin Kim, one of the leading Korean pianists.
The organizers explained that the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra took part in the “Toyota Classics” performances in Southeast Asia and was invited to perform at major cities including London and Munich. The two will be performing S. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Conerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 2, on the last day of the festival, which is Sept. 29.
The festival began, however, with Korean traditional music. On Thursday, Joosun Cho, a famous pansori singer, performed with the Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Music Orchestra. Ms. Cho is renowned for her stamina on stage, having done an entire performance of a solo Korean traditional opera, called Simchungga, that can go on for as long as eight hours straight.
Starting today, though, it’s all western classics.
Stephen Prutzman will also give a piano recital of Bach's English Suite No. 6 in D minor and Wagner's “Tristan und Isolde.” The Mannheim Theater orchestra will join the Korean Symphony Orchestra to play Mozart's Ouverture “Le Nozze di Figaro” as well as his “Il Mion Tesoro Intanto,” “Mi Tradi Quell'alma Ingrata” and “Madamina, il Catalogo e Questo” from the Mozart opera Don Giovanni.
Conductor Krzysztof Penderecki and cellist Arto Noras have been invited to perform with the Korean Chamber Ensemble. Conductor Rumon Gamba and cellist Andrej Melik also came to Seoul to perform with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra. All concerts will be held at the Seoul Arts Center, southern Seoul.
by Lee Min-a
Tickets for the Seoul International Music Festival are available at: www.ticketlink.co.kr. Tickets cost from 20,000 won to 50,000 won. For more details, call 02) 3272-4150.