Ukrainian orchestra plays in annual concert

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Ukrainian orchestra plays in annual concert

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Vitalii Chepeliuk

The Embassy of Ukraine sponsored a concert on July 3 featuring the performances of the Ukraine Crimea Sevastopol State Symphonic Orchestra at Youngsan Art Hall in Yeouido, western Seoul.

The orchestra from the seaside city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea played various well-known pieces such as Beethoven’s “Egmont” to the traditional Korean folk song Arirang.

The event also featured works by composers Giacomo Puccini and Robert Schumann.

“Every year we invite the best Ukrainian musicians to come to Korea to introduce their art, entertain Korean audiences, and contribute to bringing [together] Korean and Ukrainian cultures,” said Vitalii Chepeliuk, Counselor at the Embassy of Ukraine.

“Last year, we had Days of Ukrainian Culture in Korea and Days of Korean Culture in Ukraine.

These events showed that, despite the long distance between the two countries, we have [many] things in common and we should learn more about each other,” Chepeliuk added.

The concert, sponsored by the Korea International Culture Exchange Association, was open to the general public and attended by heads of diplomatic missions and Ukrainian residents living in Korea.

In an effort to bring the Korean and Ukrainian cultures closer together, the Embassy of Ukraine has hosted such events since 2003.

“The main annual musical event for the Embassy of Ukraine is the concert tour of the invited orchestra. Every year, we invite different [orchestras]. Last year, it was Khmelnytsky Academic Regional Symphony Orchestra,” he said.

Korean ancestors were forcibly relocated to Central Asia in 1937 under Joseph Stalin’s rule. They managed to cultivate rice and replicate their standard of living despite the area being unpopulated and mountainous.

The orchestra’s permanent conductor Volodymyr Kim is a third-generation Korean-Ukrainian, a living historical link between Korea and Ukraine.

The counselor says the historical ties prompted the embassy to continue cultural exchanges between the two nations, inviting different artists, musicians, ballet dancers and athletes.

Chepeliuk added, “We’ve constantly sought to develop cooperation in the cultural field. For example, Ukrainian performers took part in the 6th Korea International Ballet Competition,” as well as the annual international festival of free calisthenics LG Whisen Rhythmic All Stars 2013.

“Also, two famous Ukrainian artists and painters are planning to take part [in the coming autumn’s] Mosan Art Expo festival,” he said.

The proceeds from the event will be used to help some 30,000 ethnic Koreans or koryo saram currently residing in Ukraine without proper documents and who are neither citizens of Korea or Ukraine.



BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]
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