Eagon classical concert will surprise and delight

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Eagon classical concert will surprise and delight

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The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet showcase their program at a press conference on Wednesday ahead of their 25th Eagon Concert, which happens across the country. From left: Michael Hasel on flute, Andreas Wittmann on oboe, Fergus McWilliam on horn, Marion Reinhard on bassoon and Walter Seyfarth on clarinet. Provided by the organizer

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet says this year’s 25th Eagon Concert - organized by building materials supplier Eagon Industrial Company - will be “full of surprises.”

“The theme of our program,” explained Fergus McWilliam, the quintet’s horn player, “is to surprise the audience with the extraordinary range of possibilities that the wind quintet makes possible.”

A wind quintet is more unfamiliar to Koreans than a string or brass quartet. While the latter uses instruments of the same family, a wind quintet, said McWilliam, “is composed of five completely different instruments.”

“A whole new language is possible,” he says.

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, comprised of Michael Hasel on flute, Andreas Wittmann on oboe, Walter Seyfarth on clarinet, Marion Reinhard on bassoon and McWilliam, kicked off its five-day concert series yesterday in Busan.

The quintet comes to Goyang tonight, the Seoul Arts Center tomorrow, Incheon on July 8 and Gwangju on July 9.

The quartet’s program includes Mozart’s Fantasie in F minor, Kalevi Aho’s Kvintetto, Gyorgy Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, and Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet in A major, Op. 43.

Except for the Mozart piece, all are modern works.

“The aspects that interests us, which we think will interest the audience as well, is that each of these major 20th-century works is a surprise,” said McWilliam. “The audience expects to hear modern music that doesn’t interest them, but, in fact, when we play these pieces they came out delighted.”

For a work like Nielsen’s Wind Quintet in A major, McWilliam said it’s also a “big surprise because people expect to hear five woodwind performances, but it actually sounds like a small symphony - like a small orchestra.”

Inviting a less familiar wind quintet to Korea while allowing them to be adventurous and to challenge themselves by performing modern music was all Eagon Industrial’s idea, said McWilliam.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Eagon Concert is an annual classical concert initiated from 1990 as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by Eagon.

For this year’s concert, the company invited the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.

“We received an invitation from the Eagon, and the company had a specific request that they wanted a very adventuresome and challenging program,” said McWilliam.

According to Choi Ji-hoon from Eagon, the concert’s initial objective back in the 1990s was to introduce international classical musicians to Korea.

But since there are now so many different classical concerts for Korean audiences to enjoy, Eagon now aims at “trying new things that other commercial performance organizations hesitate to attempt.”

This is why Eagon has invited the wind quintet to Korea, says Choi. As the Eagon Concert is a part of a CSR project, the concert is provided free for those who apply in advance through the company’s blog.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]


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