Beethoven spirit thrives in spring concert
The German composer had just begun to make a name for himself when he began to lose his hearing. Only in his 20s, he overcame his frustrations with a burning passion for composition that is still felt today at concerts and on records.
The Seoul Spring Festival of Chamber Music has chosen Beethoven as this year’s theme, hoping his works will inspire people going through difficult times. It will also be the first time the complete collection of Beethoven’s string quartets are played at a single festival in Korea, organizers say. For that reason, the festival is titled B4+, meaning “Beethoven quartets and more.”
“People will get a glimpse of Beethoven and his life, from his early to late works,” said Kang Dong-suk, the festival’s artistic director.
Now in its fourth year, the festival has pursued three goals: to make chamber music more accessible, bring classical music closer to those who are culturally alienated, and in doing all these, promote Seoul as a cultural city.
Despite the harsh economy, the festival has expanded this year.
“This was possible because the artists share a vision of promoting chamber music and strengthening their musical rapport,” he added.
Israeli violin virtuoso, violist and conductor Shlomo Mintz will be giving a solo performance in Korea for the first time in five years. There will also be concerts to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) as well as a free concert at Deoksu Palace in downtown Seoul, which has become the regular opening for the festival.
The festival runs from May 5 to 18 at venues in Seoul. Tickets range from free-of-charge to 40,000 won ($30). For more information, visit www.seoulspring.org or call the organizer at (02) 712-4879.
By Kim Hyung-eun [firstname.lastname@example.org]