The Vienna Philharmonic play World Cup StadiumOne of the best orchestras in the world, the Vienna Philharmonic, has returned to Seoul. This time, maestro Valery Gergiev will conduct and violin virtuoso Sarah Chang is the featured soloist. A massive outdoor concert is planned today at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, which can house 46,000 people. The orchestra gave a sold-out performance at the Seoul Arts Center yesterday.
The Vienna Philharmonic, established in 1842, doesn’t have a permanent conductor. Instead, its members choose a guest conductor for each concert. Prestigious international conductors, including Herbert von Karajan, Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta, have taken the baton for the orchestra. Its members are also stringently selected to maintain the group’s quality as well as independence. It only auditions musicians who have been members of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra for at least three years. This is the seventh visit to Seoul by the Vienna Philharmonic.
Gergiev, the Russian conductor who took the baton for the orchestra’s Seoul concerts, is known as one of the busiest conductors of today. Currently, he is the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, the principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. He is also expected to be appointed the permanent conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra next year.
Gergiev visited Seoul with the Mariinsky Theatre’s opera company and orchestra last year and led the 14-hour-long “Ring of the Nibelung,” better known as the “Ring Cycle.” That was the first time the complete cycle had been performed in Korea.
Chang, born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, started playing the violin when she was 4 and debuted with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 9. Now 25 years old, Chang is recognized as one of the most fascinating and gifted artists in the classical music scene. She has collaborated with major orchestras such as the London Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic. She performed in the World Cup Stadium in 2003 with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta.
At today’s concert, Chang will play Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen Op. 20, with a violin made by Guarneri del Gesu in 1718.
The concert program will include Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito Overture and Symphony No. 36, Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.
by Park Sung-ha
The concert will start at 8 p.m. today at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Sangam-dong. The nearest subway station is World Cup Station, line No. 6, exits 1, 2 and 3. Ticket prices range from 20,000 won ($21) to 200,000 won. For more information, call (02) 368-1515 or visit www.ticketlink.co.kr or www.interpark.com.