Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall
The Saturday morning concert series provides a range of classical music to start the weekend. Concerts are held every third Saturday of the month and the series continues into 2011.
Saturday: The series opens with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67, “Schicksall.”
Nov. 20: The series continues with Mozart’s Violin Concerto in G major, K. 216, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550.
Dec. 18:This year’s series ends with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From the New World.”
Concerts start at 11 a.m.
Tickets cost 20,000 won ($17.50).
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5
(02) 580-1300, www.sac.or.kr
2010 ASIA SONG FESTIVAL
Jamsil Olympic Stadium
Oct. 23: Leading Asian pop stars will gather in October to give Seoul a festive mood ahead of the G-20 Summit in November.
The Asia Song Festival is an annual pop music event in Korea. All proceeds will be donated to Unicef and earmarked for children in flood-stricken Pakistan. A total of 15 artists or bands from seven countries will participate, including Korean pop diva BoA. The tentative lineup also features Jane Zhang, dubbed China’s Mariah Carey for her high octave range, Taiwanese singer and entertainer Joe Cheng and Malaysian singer-songwriter and Asia-wide sensation Michael Wong.
Sports Complex Station, line No. 2, exit 7
(02) 2240-8801, www.asf.or.kr
ITZHAK PERLMAN RECITAL
Seoul Arts Center
Oct. 26: Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will perform in Seoul as part of the HyundaiCard Super Concert program. This will be the well-known virtuoso’s first concert in Korea in 19 years.
The recital will feature Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in F Major, Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A Major and shorter pieces by Brahms and Schumann.
The concert starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from 80,000 won to 200,000 won.
Nambu Bus Terminal Station, line No. 3, exit 5
(02) 02-580-1300, http://privia.hyundaicard.com.
DAEGU INTERNATIONAL OPERA FESTIVAL
Daegu Opera House
To Oct. 30: This festival has established itself as one of Asia’s major opera events since its inception in 2003. The festival includes productions from Korea and abroad and features “The Barber of Seville,” “Andrea Chenier,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Simsan Kim Chang-sook” and “La Traviata.”
Performance times vary.
Tickets range from 10,000 won to 70,000 won.
From Seoul, take a bus or KTX to Daegu.
(053) 666-6111, www.diof.org
SEOUL INTERNATIONAL DANCE
Seoul Arts Center, Sogang University’s Mary Hall and Hoam Art Hall
To Oct. 20: The 13th Seoul International Dance Festival is Korea’s largest annual dance extravaganza. Sixty-three performances covering traditional and contemporary Western, Eastern, classical and popular dance will be presented by local and foreign dance troupes. Malson of DanzAbierta, Cuba’s contemporary dance troupe, will open the festival.
Performance times and ticket prices vary.
(02) 3216-1185, www.sidance.org
CITY GIRL’S 7 RULES OF LIFE
Wonder Space Circle Theater
To Oct. 24: This is a musical comedy about three 33-year-old women struggling to survive in the city. Every Saturday after the last performance, there is an after-party that is open to everyone.
Performances start at 8 p.m. on weekdays, at 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and at 3 and 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets cost 35,000 won for adults and 25,000 won for students.
Hyehwa Station, line No. 4, exit 1
(02) 745-0334, www.wonderspace.co.kr
THE PALACE, THE MUSICAL
National Museum of Korea, Theater Yong
To Oct. 24: This musical is based on bestselling Korean comic book “The Palace.” The comic has sold a record 1.4 million copies and the original TV drama of the same name had an audience share of close to 30 percent. The musical focuses on the romance between a young woman and young man from different backgrounds.
Performances start at 8 p.m. on weekdays and at 3 and 7 p.m. on weekends. There are no performances on Mondays.
Tickets range from 60,000 won to 100,000 won.
Ichon Station, line No. 4, exit 2
TICK, TICK... BOOM!
Chungmu Art Hall, Middle Theater Black
To Nov. 7: This Broadway musical by American composer Jonathan Larson is being performed with a Korean cast. Larson won a Pulitzer and two Tony Awards for his musical “Rent.” The musical “Tick, Tick... Boom!” is about an aspiring composer named Jon, who lives in New York in 1990. Jon’s friend wants him to join corporate America, while his girlfriend wants him to move to Cape Cod with her. But he doesn’t want to abandon the musical he’s worked on for the past five years and he has not yet given up faith that it will give him his big break. The story is autobiographical, as Larson himself had been trying to establish himself in the theater since the early 1980s.
The musical starts at 8 p.m. on weekdays, at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2 and 6 p.m. on Sundays. There are no performances on Mondays.
Tickets range from 40,000 to 50,000 won.
Singdang Station, line No. 6, exit 9
(02) 2230-6600, www.cmah.or.kr
SEOUL PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL
Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul Arts Center and other venues
To Nov. 14: SPAF 2010 will feature a variety of breathtaking performances, including plays, dances and multimedia work by 28 groups from Russia, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Korea.
Performance times and ticket prices vary.
(02) 3673-2561, www.spaf.or.kr
TRADITIONAL KOREAN PERFORMANCE
SEOPYEONJE BOSEONG SORI FESTIVAL
Saturday and Sunday: This festival celebrates pansori, traditional Korean narrative singing, and the contributions of legendary pansori singer Park Yu-jeon. Park was one of the nation’s best pansori singers, an accomplishment he was able to achieve through the support of King Gojong and his father, the Daewongun. The festival program includes performances of Korean traditional music, exhibitions displaying artifacts related to pansori and other items.
From Seoul, take a bus to Boseong Terminal.
(061) 852-2181, www.boseong.go.kr
2010 GREAT BAEKJE WORLD FESTIVAL
Buyeo and Gongju, South Chungcheong
To Sunday: Head out to Buyeo and Gongju to learn about the cultural heritage of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of old Korea. Today, the region is home to Buddhist temples, royal relics and more.
The festival features two special events. One entitled “A Day at Sabi Palace” offers a re-enactment of royal ceremonies such as the king’s parade, coronation and welcoming party for envoys. “A Day at Ungjin Fortress” offers hands-on cultural activities to help visitors understand the Baekje era.
Some of Baekje’s long-unseen relics will also be put on display in a related exhibition.
The festival’s closing ceremony will be held on Oct. 17 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
From Seoul, take a bus to Gongju or take the KTX to Daejeon Station.
(041) 837-6954, www.baekje.org
DAEGU PHOTO BIENNALE
Daegu Culture and Arts Center, Bongsan Cultural Center and other venues
To Oct. 24: The Daegu Photo Biennale will exhibit work by more than 240 artists from 22 countries, most of whom are Asian or European.
The main exhibition is entitled “true(E)motion.” The subsections are entitled “Seconds of Life,” “Breaking the Edge” and “Helsinki School.”
The “Helsinki School” section exhibits work by the most well-known artists to come out of the school, including Ulla Jokisalo and Jorma Puranen.
Admission is 5,000 won for adults, 3,000 won for teens and 2,000 won for children. Go to Seongdangmot Station on Daegu Subway line No. 1, exit 1, and walk for 10 minutes.
(070) 7552-2445, www.daeguphoto.com
BUSAN INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL
Seoul Arts Center
Near Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge
Oct. 21 to 23: The festival, now in its sixth year, has some new elements for fireworks fans. The 60-minute presentation spans the entire world with presentations by teams from China, Italy and Portugal.
On opening day, pan-Asian actress Choi Ji-woo will sign autographs for fans and there will be a concert by up-and-coming K-pop bands.
From Seoul, take a KTX train to Busan.
(051) 888-3395, www.bff.or.kr
NAMDO FOOD FESTIVAL
Naganeupseong Folk Village, Sucnheon, South Jeolla
Oct. 28 to 31: The Namdo Food Festival is one of the largest of its kind in Korea.
The food in Namdo is known throughout Korea as some of the country’s finest and this festival allows visitors to try some of the area’s more famous dishes for themselves.
Festival visitors will be able to wander through stalls offering samples of some 700 dishes from 22 cities and counties in South Jeolla.
There will also be an exhibition about Namdo’s traditional Korean royal-court food and demonstrations of folk games like tightrope walking and a clown performance, as well as performances of traditional Korean music and dance.
The festival will be held in the picturesque Naganeupseong Folk Village in the city of Suncheon.
From the Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Suncheon Terminal.
(061) 286-5240, www.namdofood.or.kr
Gwangju Biennale Hall, Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju Folk Museum
To Nov. 7: The biannual contemporary art show in the southwestern city features photographic, installation and media works by about 120 artists from 31 countries. The title of the biennale is “10,000 Lives,” or “Maninbo” in Korean, after the epic poem by renowned poet Ko Un.
Tickets range from 2,000 won for children to 14,000 won for adults.
From Seoul, take a flight to Gwangju Airport or take the KTX to Gwangju Station.
(062) 608-4114, www.gb.or.kr
MEDIA CITY SEOUL
Seoul Museum of Art and other venues
To Nov. 17: This showcase is focused on new media art.
The 45 participating groups of artists from 21 countries include famous names like British-American artist Sarah Morris and Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Among the Korean artists involved are Cho Duck-hyun, Lim Min-ouk and Noh Sun-tag.
The show is entitled “Trust,” and organizers said the artwork on display will tell or ask what trust is, as the expansion of media brings about a distortion of information and the blurring of messages.
Exhibits are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Admission is free.
City Hall Station, line No. 1 or 2, exit 1
(02) 2124-8947, www.mediacityseoul.org
Busan Museum of Art and other venues
To Nov. 20: The title of this year’s biennale is “Living in Evolution,” and is based on the idea that art, in all its various forms, has contributed to the intellectual evolution of the human race.
The artistic director is independent Japanese curator Takashi Azumaya.
The main exhibition features works by 72 artists from 23 countries.
Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets at the door cost 7,000 won for adults and 4,000 won for students, or 5,000 won and 3,000 won in advance.
(051) 503-6111, http://2010.busanbiennale.org
*Event information is culled from the Korea Tourism Organization and other online sources.