Sejong center launches new hall with month-long classical festival

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Sejong center launches new hall with month-long classical festival

In celebration of the opening of its new chamber hall, the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts is hosting a range of well-known classical performers and chamber orchestras as part of a month long “Bridging the Sound” festival.
The festival, which started Monday, will feature virtuoso artists including cellist Yang Sung-won, guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey, opera singer Matthias Goerne, contrabassist Edgar Meyer, violist Baiba Skride and the Cho Trio. Chamber orchestras appearing include the Mozart Collegium Wien, Operassion and the Tchaikovsky String Quartet.
The Sejong Center opened in 1978 with one main hall and one small theater. Both were used as multipurpose theaters, but the center did not have a performance hall for small chamber orchestra performances or solo opera performances. The center turned an existing convention center into a 476-seat chamber hall, which opened Monday. The ceiling was raised to 8.9 meters (29 feet) from 6 meters, and sound professionals finetuned the room’s acoustic qualities.

Yang, who started playing violin when he was seven years old, has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Terrace Theater in Washington and the NHK Hall in Tokyo. He will play the Six Suites for Cello Solo by Bach, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 and 8. Ticket prices are 30,000 won ($31) to 50,000 won.
Director, composer and guitarist Gallardo del Rey debuted when he was nine. He has performed with celebrated orchestras including the London Royal Philharmonic and played at Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Concert House, the Royal Theater in Madrid and the Stravinsky Auditorium in Montreux, Switzerland.
Del Rey will play “Adios Nonino” and “Chau Paris” by Piazzola, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7. Ticket prices are 30,000 won to 50,000 won.
Celebrated baritone Lieder singer Matthias Goerne will perform Schubert’s Die Winterreise on Sept. 11 and Die Schoene Muellerin on Sept. 13. Both concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Goerne is a frequent guest at renowned festivals such as the Salzburg Festival and has sung at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Wigmore Hall in London. Ticket prices are 60,000 won to 90,000 won.
The winner of the Queen Elisabeth Contest in 2001, violinist Baiba Skride’s career has taken the fast lane. She debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2004. Following a guest performance with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper called her performance “lyric internalization” and said she had an “uncommonly eloquent feeling for far-reaching musical statements.” Skride’s performance will start at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15. Ticket prices range from 40,000 won to 60,000 won.
The Cho Trio consists of three siblings, pianist Cho Young-bang, cellist Young-chang and violinist Young-mi. All three of them teach music in universities ― Young-chang at Folkwang Hochschule fur Musik in Essen, Germany, Young-mi at Yonsei University and Young-bang at Dankook University. The trio’s concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14. Ticket prices are 40,000 won to 60,000 won.


by Limb Jae-un
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